The Florida Bar

Civil Jury Instructions – Public Comments

The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases has published the following notices seeking public comments on possible amendments to the Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases.

Current Notices

No current notices.

Past Notices

November 1, 2019  The Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases (Committee) has submitted to the Florida Supreme Court a report proposing amendments to the Note on Use for Punitive Damages Charges, and to civil jury instructions 503.1 (Punitive Damages – Bifurcated Procedure) and 503.2 (Punitive Damages – Non-Bifurcated Procedure).

The Court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are available in full online and as summarized below by the Committee. All comments must be filed with the Court on or before December 2, 2019, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the Committee Chair, Laura K. Whitmore, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, 100 N. Tampa Street, Suite 2900, Tampa, Florida 33602, [email protected], and on the Bar Staff Liaison to the Committee, Heather Telfer, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, [email protected], as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument which may be scheduled in this case. The Committee Chair has until December 23, 2019, to file a response to any comments filed with the Court. If filed by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar, the comment must be electronically filed via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (Portal) in accordance with In re Electronic Filing in the Supreme Court of Florida via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC13-7 (Feb. 18, 2013). If filed by a nonlawyer or a lawyer not licensed to practice in Florida, the comment may be, but is not required to be, filed via the Portal. Comments filed via the Portal must be submitted in Microsoft Word 97 or higher. See In re Electronic Filing in the Florida Supreme Court, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC17-27 (May 9, 2017). Any person unable to submit a comment electronically must mail or hand-deliver the originally signed comment to the Florida Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1927; no additional copies are required or will be accepted.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CIVIL CASES—REPORT NO. 19-05, CASE NO. SC19-1560

November 1, 2019  The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases proposes amendments to the majority of the “Legal Cause” instructions to replace “its” with “the” in subdivision c. to conform to subdivision b. The Committee also proposes strictly editorial amendments to the notes on use.

Interested parties have until December 1, 2019, to submit comments electronically, [email protected], or to the Chair of the Civil Committee, Laura Whitmore, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, 100 N. Tampa, Street, Suite 2900, Tampa, FL 33602-5810, [email protected], and a copy to The Florida Bar Liaison for the Committee, Heather Savage Telfer, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-6523, [email protected].

October 1, 2019 The Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases (Committee) has submitted to the Florida Supreme Court a report proposing amendments to civil jury instructions 201.3 (Explanation of the Voir Dire Process), 501.4 (Comparative Negligence, Non-Party Fault and Multiple Defendants), 502.5 (Comparative Negligence, Non-Party Fault, and Multiple Defendants), and Section 700 (Closing Instructions), as well as Model Instruction Nos. 1 – 6, and Form 2(b) (Model Form of Verdict for Wrongful Death Damages).

The Court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are available in full online and as summarized below by the Committee. All comments must be filed with the Court on or before November 1, 2019, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the Committee Chair, Laura K. Whitmore, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, 100 N. Tampa Street, Suite 2900, Tampa, Florida 33602, [email protected], and on the Bar Staff Liaison to the Committee, Heather Telfer, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, [email protected], as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument which may be scheduled in this case. The Committee Chair has until November 22, 2019, to file a response to any comments filed with the Court. If filed by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar, the comment must be electronically filed via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (Portal) in accordance with In re Electronic Filing in the Supreme Court of Florida via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC13-7 (Feb. 18, 2013). If filed by a nonlawyer or a lawyer not licensed to practice in Florida, the comment may be, but is not required to be, filed via the Portal. Comments filed via the Portal must be submitted in Microsoft Word 97 or higher. See In re Electronic Filing in the Florida Supreme Court, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC17-27 (May 9, 2017). Any person unable to submit a comment electronically must mail or hand-deliver the originally signed comment to the Florida Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1927; no additional copies are required or will be accepted.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CIVIL CASES—REPORT NO. 19-04, CASE NO. SC19-1350

 August 15, 2019 The Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases (Committee) has submitted to the Florida Supreme Court a report proposing amendments to civil jury instructions 403.7 (Strict Liability), 403.8 (Strict Liability Failure to Warn), 403.15 (Issues on Main Claim), 403.17 (Burden of Proof on Main Claim), 403.18 (Defense Issues), 403.19 (Burden of Proof on Defense Issues), and Model Instruction Number 7.

The Court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are available in full online and as summarized below by the Committee. All comments must be filed with the Court on or before October 1, 2019, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the Committee Chair, Laura K. Whitmore, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, 100 N. Tampa Street, Suite 2900, Tampa, Florida 33602, [email protected], and on the Bar Staff Liaison to the Committee, Heather Telfer, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, [email protected], as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument which may be scheduled in this case. The committee chair has until October 22, 2019, to file a response to any comments filed with the Court. If filed by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar, the comment must be electronically filed via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (Portal) in accordance with In re Electronic Filing in the Supreme Court of Florida via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC13-7 (Feb. 18, 2013). If filed by a nonlawyer or a lawyer not licensed to practice in Florida, the comment may be, but is not required to be, filed via the Portal. Comments filed via the Portal must be submitted in Microsoft Word 97 or higher. See In re Electronic Filing in the Florida Supreme Court, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC17-27 (May 9, 2017). Any person unable to submit a comment electronically must mail or hand-deliver the originally signed comment to the Florida Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1927; no additional copies are required or will be accepted.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CIVIL CASES—REPORT NO. 19-03, CASE NO. SC19-1246

April 22, 2019 The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases propose amendments to the notes on use to 401.20a (Issues on Plaintiff’s Claim—Premises Liability). The Committee proposes replacing the cases cited in note on use 2 with a reference to section 768.0755, Florida Statutes.

December 1, 2018 The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases propose errors and omissions amendments to 502.5 (Comparative Negligence, Non-Party Fault, and Multiple Defendants) to correct an error in the first note on use; 700 (Closing Instructions) to correct a typographical error and amend the second to last paragraph to avoid confusion; Model Instruction 1 to add a specific question on the permanency of the injury; and to include a previously published amendment to instruction 201.3;and the hypothetical to Model Instruction 2 to make clear that Model Instruction 2 is addressing a loss of consortium claim. Model Instructions Nos. 1–7 are also being amended to conform the model instructions to the corresponding standard instructions; to make the use of italics consistent throughout the model instructions; to eliminate the use of all caps in the model jury verdict forms; and to confine the use of the model opening and closing instructions to Model Instruction No. 1

July 15, 2018, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes these amendments to the Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases. The committee proposes amending 415.4—Retaliation; Adverse Employment Action; 415.5—Protected Activity; and 415.8—Preliminary Issue—Adverse Employment Action to clarify the Unlawful Retaliation instructions, based on the private-sector whistle-blower provisions in sections 448.101–105, Florida Statutes.

May 15, 2018, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amending 403.17 (Burden of Proof on Main Claims), 403.18 (Defense Issues), and 403.19 (Burden of Proof on Defense Issues). The proposed amendments to 403.18 were initially published for comment September 1, 2016, but the notice inadvertently omitted proposed amendments to subdivision e. Amendments to instructions 403.17 and 403.19 conform to the Court’s opinion in In re: Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases—Report No. 17-03, 236 So. 3d 919 (Fla. 2018).

April 15, 2018, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes a new set of instructions, numbered 420, to the Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases to address tort actions of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

April 1, 2018, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amending 203.13 (Explanation of the Voir Dire Process) to explain the difference between how prospective jurors may feel about applying a particular provision of the law versus their willingness to follow the law.

January 1, 2018, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amending the notes on use for 503.1 (Punitive Damages—Bifurcated Procedure) and 503.2 (Punitive Damages—Non-Bifurcated Procedure) to make the instructions consistent with current law on punitive damages.

January 1, 2018, Florida Bar News. The Committee and the Committee on Contracts and Business propose a new set of instructions , numbered 451, addressing Fiduciary Duty.

September 1, 2017, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amendments to Standard Jury Instruction in Civil Cases 402.9—Preliminary Issues—Vicarious Liability. The amendments will add clarity and remove any possible ambiguity or confusion.

June 15, 2017, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amendments to Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases 402.4—Medical Negligence. The amendments will accurately represent the state of the law.

May 1, 2017, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes these amendments to the Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases. The committee proposes amending 415.4—Retaliation; Adverse Employment Action; 415.5—Protected Activity; and 415.8—Preliminary Issue—Adverse Employment Action to clarify the Unlawful Retaliation instructions, based on the private-sector whistle-blower provisions in sections 448.101–105, Florida Statutes.

September 15, 2016, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amending the following Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases: 202.2 — Introduction of Participants and Their Roles; and 202.4 — Juror Questions to specify at what point during the proceedings a juror may ask questions of a witness.

September 1, 2016, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amending the following Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases: 403.7 — Strict Liability; 403.18 — Defense Issues; Model Instruction No.7 — Product liability case; negligence and strict liability claims; comparative negligence defense; aggravation of pre-existing injury. These amendments are being submitted to address the decisions in Aubin v. Union Carbide Corporation, 177 So. 3d 489 (Fla. 2015), and Coba v. Tricam Indus., Inc. 164 So. 3d 637, 648 n.2 (Fla. 2015).

August 15, 2016, Florida Bar News. The Committee proposes amending following Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases 403.17 — Burden of Proof on Main Claim; 408.2 — Summary of Claims or Contentions; 409.10 — Burden of Proof on Main Claim; 415.4 — Retaliation; Adverse Employment Action; 415.5 — Protected Activity; 415.10 — Issues on Plaintiff’s Claim; 415.12 —Unlawful Retaliation Damages, Model Instruction No. 1; and Form 4 — Model Forms of Verdict for Statute of Limitations Defense in a Medical Negligence Case to address errors and omissions. Additionally, these amendments to Model Instruction No. 1 correct inconsistencies between the model instructions and the standard instructions and address the new instruction on subsequent medical care.

Notice published in the August 15, 2015, Florida Bar News.  Deadline for comments was September 15, 2015.  This proposed amendment to instruction 403.7 Strict Liability updates the notes on use to reflect a recent decision by the Florida Supreme Court.