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The Jury Charge . TRCP 271-279, 285-289. The Purpose. The charge is the collection of questions, definitions, and instructions the court submits to the jury to resolve the factual disputes in the case. It is the trial court’s responsibility to submit a proper charge. . References.

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the jury charge

The Jury Charge

TRCP 271-279, 285-289

the purpose
The Purpose
  • The charge is the collection of questions, definitions, and instructions the court submits to the jury to resolve the factual disputes in the case.
  • It is the trial court’s responsibility to submit a proper charge.
references
References
  • 1. O’Connor’s Texas Forms * Civil Trials, 81.
  • 2. Texas Pattern Jury Charges (State Bar of Texas).
  • 3. Court’s Charge Reporter (Butterworth 1995).
  • 4. Barber, Texas Court Charges-Negligence Actions (Butterworth 1993).
  • 5. Robins, Texas SpecialIssues Forms (Butterworth 2d ed. 1995).
texas pattern jury charge
Texas Pattern Jury Charge
  • Authoritative, but not always correct.
  • SeeState v. Williams, 940 S.W.2d 583, 584 (Tex. 1996). (erroneous premises liability charge).
  • When a case is submitted on an erroneous charge from the PJC, the appellate court should reverse and remand, not render. City of San Antonio v. Rodriguez, 931 S.W.2d 535, 536 (Tex.1996).
preparing a draft
Preparing a Draft
  • 1. Each party should prepare a complete version of the charge-including its opponent’s jury questions, instructions, and definitions –before engaging in discovery.
  • 2. Review and revise just before trial.
  • 3. Review and revise after the introduction of evidence and before the informal charge conference.
more stuff
More Stuff
  • Broad Form Questions ???
  • Proper Tender of Request
    • Examine live pleadings and the evidence before preparing the draft charge
slide7
Cluster of related requests
  • Proper Burden of persuasion
  • Proper Condition
  • Proper Damage Questions
    • Proper measure
    • Proper Segregation
    • Proper Tie
    • Alternative theories of damage
informal charge conference
Informal Charge Conference
  • Deadline for requests
  • The proposed charge
  • Time to examine
the formal charge conference
The Formal Charge Conference
  • Make a record
  • Challenging the charge
    • When to object
    • When to request –omission in the charge
      • Court omits a question
      • Court omits any party’s definition of instruction
when to object or request
When to object or request
  • Court omits opponent’s question
  • Court places erroneous burden of persuasion
  • Short-hand rule to challenge the charge
deadline to object request
Deadline to object & request
  • The charge
  • Supplemental instructions
  • Presumption of timeliness