Special Jury Instructions: When CACI Won't Cut It


Trial is Imminent, and it's time to prepare a set of proposed jury instructions. Just whip out the list of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) instructions, check all the ones that conceivably apply, and the job is done, right? Well, not exactly, especially not if the plan is to keep one eye on any potential appellate proceedings down the road.

A recent appellate decision highlights the potential

problems. In Bowman v. Wyatt (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 286,

the Court of Appeal reversed a verdict of over $15 million in

a personal injury action, all because of instructional error. The plaintiff in Bowman sued the driver of the dump truck that

caused his injury, as well as the city for whom the driver was

working at the time of the accident, alleging negligence and

vicarious liability.

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