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Law blog on preserving error

Plain-language jury instructions

The other day, I learned that the Louisiana Supreme Court has promulgated a set of standard, plain-language jury instructions for civil cases. The instructions can be found in Part R, Rule XLVI (46) of the Court’s rules, which you can find on the Court’s rules page. You can find a link to a PDF copy on the page listing the Court’s changes to its rules—look for the one signed September 12, 2014, effective October 15, 2014, enacting Part R Rule XLVI.

I tested the instructions by converting them to Word and running them through the spelling and grammar checker to get the readability statistics. The numbers aren’t bad:

  • Flesch reading ease: 59.9
  • Flesch-Kincaid grade level: 10.2 (meaning a sophomore in high school can understand them)
  • Average words per sentence: 22


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