California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

116. Why Electronic Communications and Research Are Prohibited

Download PDF
116.Why Electronic Communications and Research Are
I know that many of us are used to communicating and perhaps even
learning by electronic communications and research. However, there are
good reasons why you must not electronically communicate or do any
research on anything having to do with this trial or the parties.
In court, jurors must make important decisions that have consequences
for the parties. Those decisions must be based only on the evidence that
you hear in this courtroom.
The evidence that is presented in court can be tested; it can be shown to
be right or wrong by either side; it can be questioned; and it can be
contradicted by other evidence. What you might read or hear on your
own could easily be wrong, out of date, or inapplicable to this case.
The parties can receive a fair trial only if the facts and information on
which you base your decisions are presented to you as a group, with
each juror having the same opportunity to see, hear, and evaluate the
Also, a trial is a public process that depends on disclosure in the
courtroom of facts and evidence. Using information gathered in secret
by one or more jurors undermines the public process and violates the
rights of the parties.
New June 2011
Directions for Use
Give this instruction after CACI No. 100, Preliminary Admonitions, in order to
provide more information to the jury as to the reasons why independent electronic
research using the internet and electronic communications are prohibited.
Secondary Sources
7 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Trial, § 330 et seq.
Wegner et al., California Practice Guide: Civil Trials & Evidence, Ch. 7-F, Juror
Misconduct During Trial, ¶¶ 7:110, 7:113.1 (The Rutter Group)
Wegner et al., California Practice Guide: Civil Trials & Evidence, Ch. 15-F, Juror
Misconduct During Deliberations, ¶¶ 15:206–15:210 (The Rutter Group)
4 Johnson, California Trial Guide, Unit 91, Jury Deliberations and Rendition of
Verdict, § 91.10 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
27 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 322, Juries and Jury Selection,
§ 322.50 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
1 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trial and Post-Trial Civil Procedure,
Ch. 17, Dealing With the Jury, 17.21
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings—Trial (2d ed.) §§ 5.129, 14.50,
14.51 (Cal CJER 2010)
117–199. Reserved for Future Use