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Legal Writing

How do I find jury instructions on Westlaw?

Reference Attorneys  Thomson Reuters

· 5 minute read

Reference Attorneys  Thomson Reuters

· 5 minute read

Westlaw Edge has model or standard jury instructions for many jurisdictions. If you are searching for a particular jurisdiction’s model instructions on Westlaw Edge and are having trouble finding them, there are a few places you can look that may yield some helpful results.

Below are some tips for quickly finding jury instructions on Westlaw Edge.

Find jury instructions in secondary sources

There are many ways in which you can find jury instructions on Westlaw Edge. For example, you can quickly access jury instructions (or almost anything on Westlaw Edge) by typing the name of the content for which you are searching into the global search bar at the top of the screen and selecting the appropriate type of content.

Another way to find jury instructions on Westlaw Edge involves two simple steps:

  1. First click on “Secondary Sources” under the “Content Types” tab on the main Westlaw Edge page
  2. Then click on “Jury Instructions”

Once you are on the Jury Instruction content page, you can:

  1. Run a search;
  2. Browse available titles; and/or
  3. Filter down by jurisdiction and topic, among other options

Find jury instructions in trial court documents

If you can’t locate the jurisdiction you need in secondary sources, you can always search through the jury instructions actually filed with the courts.

Parties typically submit proposed jury instructions to the court just before trial begins, and they may meet with the Judge to discuss which instructions will be used and the format of the instructions. You can often find these proposed instructions on Westlaw Edge in the Trial Court Documents content.

Although it only takes a few clicks from the home page to find this content, you can typically get there faster using the global search bar to search for “trial documents jury” and selecting either “Civil Trial Court Documents – Jury Instruction Filings” or “Criminal Trial Court Documents – Jury Instruction Filings.”

Once you have accessed the appropriate jury instruction filing page, you can use either the template or the search box at the top of the screen to find the instructions you need.

Jury instructions are an important part of any trial. They provide guidance to the jury on the law that applies to the case and help ensure a fair trial for all parties involved. If you’re looking for an edge in your next trial, make sure to check out the jury instructions filed with the court. You can get a free 7-day trial of Westlaw Edge today and access all these resources and more.

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