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  • Writer's pictureLandon Stinson

401.1 INTRODUCTION ((Florida Standard Jury Instruction)


Members of the jury, you have now heard and received all of the evidence in this case. I am now going to tell you about the rules of law that you must use in reaching your verdict. [You will recall at the beginning of the case I told you that if, at the end of the case I decided that different law applies, I would tell you so. These instructions are (slightly) different from what I gave you at the beginning and it is these rules of law that you must now follow.] When I finish telling you about the rules of law, the attorneys will present their final arguments and you will then retire to decide your verdict.


1. When instructing the jury before taking evidence, use instruction 202.1 in lieu of instruction 401.1. See Model Instruction No. 1. Instruction 401.1 is for instructing the jury after the evidence has been concluded. Use the bracketed language in instruction 401.1 when the final instructions are different from the instructions given at the beginning of the case. If the instructions at the end of the case are different from those given at the beginning of the case, the committee recommends that the court point out the differences with appropriate language in the final instructions, including an explanation for the difference, such as where the court has directed a verdict on an issue.

2. Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.470(b) authorizes instructing the jury during trial or before or after final argument. The timing of instructions is within the sound discretion of the trial judge, to be determined on a case-by-case basis, but the committee strongly recommends instructing the jury before final argument.

3. Each juror must be provided with a full set of jury instructions for use during their deliberations. Rule 1.470(b). The trial judge may find it useful to provide these instructions to the jurors when the judge reads the instructions in open court so that jurors can read along with the judge, as the judge reads the instructions aloud.

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