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In re Std. Jury Instructions-Contract & Bus. Cases

Supreme Court of Florida

June 6, 2013, Decided

No. SC12-1931

Opinion

 [*284]  Original Proceeding - Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions — Contract and Business Cases

 [*285]  LEWIS, J.

This matter is before the Court upon the report, recommendation and proposal of the Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions—Contract and Business Cases and a printed book of instructions prepared by the Committee for use when appropriate in civil cases. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const. This Court generally approves the theory and technique of instructing juries with regard to the applicable law as recommended by the Committee and embodied in the proposed instructions when applicable. Accordingly, this Court authorizes and directs the publication and use of these instructions, but without prejudice to the rights of any litigant objecting to the use of any of these approved forms.

In 1962, this Court established the Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions  [**2] as a committee of this Court to study and develop a program for standard jury instructions. By 1964, this Committee had determined that for the initial effort, the work and plan should be limited and directed to the preparation and publication of standard instructions for use in the trial of only negligence-type cases. In January 1967, this Committee had completed all work except the final editorial work on Florida Standard Jury Instructions. On April 19, 1967, this Court entered its final approval and authorized the publication of those instructions. The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions continues in existence and from time to time files new proposed instructions and amendments to instructions.

The lawyers and judges in Florida have found the existing Standard Jury Instructions, although limited to certain case types, to be beneficial to the administration of justice. With this predicate, since at least 1999, the Committee on Standard Jury Instructions has from time to time explored the possibility of expanding the work of the group to include instructions for other types of cases. As of July 2006, the existing committee had been unable to move forward and had terminated  [**3] all efforts to proceed in that direction.

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116 So. 3d 284 *; 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1925 **; 2013 WL 2435441

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS—CONTRACT AND BUSINESS CASES

Subsequent History: Related proceeding at In re: Std. Jury Instructions in Civ., Crim., Contract, & Bus. Cases-Jurors' use of Elec. Devices, 152 So. 3d 529, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 3547 (Fla., Dec. 4, 2014)

Related proceeding at In re Std. Jury Instructions in Civ. Cases & Std. Jury Instructions in Contract & Bus. Cases - Joint Report No. 18-01, 2018 Fla. LEXIS 2012 (Fla., Oct. 18, 2018)

Related proceeding at In re: Std. Jury Instructions in Contract & Bus. Cases - 2018 Report, 260 So. 3d 87, 2018 Fla. LEXIS 2388 (Fla., Dec. 6, 2018)

Related proceeding at In re Std. Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, 277 So. 3d 1007, 2019 Fla. LEXIS 1513 (Fla., Aug. 29, 2019)

Related proceeding at In re Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases-Report No. 19-02, 2019 Fla. LEXIS 2251 (Fla., Dec. 5, 2019)

CORE TERMS

claimant, parties, instructions, jurors, damages, AUTHORITIES, questions, Contracts, circumstances, cases, insert, condition precedent, modified, words, deliberations, breach of contract, standard jury instruction, affirmative defense, translation, jury room, occurrence, recommends, witnesses, lost profits, interpreter, ambiguous, answers, communicate, breached, courtroom

CORE TERMS

Counsel:  [**1] Honorable Jonathan D. Gerber, Committee Chair, and Manuel Farach, Committee Vice-Chair, West Palm Beach, Florida; and Brian F. Spector, Committee Vice-Chair, Miami, Florida, for Petitioner.

CORE TERMS

Judges: LEWIS, J. POLSTON, C.J., and PARIENTE, QUINCE, CANADY, LABARGA, and PERRY, JJ., concur.

CORE TERMS

Opinion by: LEWIS