CACI No. 118. Personal Pronouns

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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118.Personal Pronouns
One of the [parties/witnesses/attorneys/specify other participant in the
case] in this case uses the personal pronouns [specify the person’s
pronouns]. You may hear the judge and attorneys refer to [name of
person] using the pronouns: [specify the person’s pronouns].
New May 2020
Directions for Use
It is the policy of the State of California that intersex, transgender, and nonbinary
people are entitled to full legal recognition and equal treatment under the law. In
accordance with this policy, attorneys and courts should take affirmative steps to
ensure that they are using correct personal pronouns. To further this policy, these
instructions have been expanded to include “nonbinary pronoun” wherever
appropriate. Although the advisory committee acknowledges a trend for the singular
use of “they,” “their,” and “them,” the committee also recognizes these pronouns
have plural denotations with the potential to confuse jurors. For clarity in the jury
instructions, the committee recommends using an individual’s name rather than a
personal nonbinary pronoun (such as “they”) if the pronoun could result in
The court should consult with the attorneys in the case before reading this
instruction to the jury. The court should also consult with the individual whose
pronouns are being discussed to ensure the court acts in a way that protects the
individual’s dignity and privacy.
Sources and Authority
Gender Recognition Act. Stats. 2019, ch. 853 (SB 179).
“Sex” Defined. Gov. Code, § 12926(r)(2).
“Gender Expression” Defined. Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11030(a).
“Gender Identity” Defined. Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11030(b).
119-199. Reserved for Future Use

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