California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

VF-1701. Defamation per quod (Public Officer/Figure and Limited Public Figure)

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VF-1701.Defamation per quod (Public Officer/Figure and Limited
Public Figure)
We answer the questions submitted to us as follows:
1. Did [name of defendant] make the following statement to [a
person/persons] other than [name of plaintiff]? [Insert claimed per
quod defamatory statement.]
1. Yes No
1. If your answer to question 1 is yes, then answer question 2. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
2. Did the [person/people] to whom the statement was made
reasonably understand that the statement was about [name of
plaintiff]?
2. Yes No
2. If your answer to question 2 is yes, then answer question 3. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
3. Was the statement false?
3. Yes No
3. If your answer to question 3 is yes, then answer question 4. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
4. Did [name of plaintiff] prove by clear and convincing evidence
that [name of defendant] knew the statement was false or had
serious doubts about the truth of the statement?
4. Yes No
4. If your answer to question 4 is yes, then answer question 5. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
5. Is the statement, because of facts known to the people who heard
or read it, the kind that would tend to injure [name of plaintiff]
in [his/her] occupation?
5. Yes No
5. If your answer to question 5 is yes, then answer question 6. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
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0059
6. Did [name of plaintiff] suffer harm to [his/her] property, business,
profession, or occupation [including money spent as a result of
the statement]?
6. Yes No
6. If your answer to question 6 is yes, then answer question 7. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
ACTUAL DAMAGES
7. Was [name of defendant]’s conduct a substantial factor in causing
[name of plaintiff] actual harm?
7. Yes No
7. If your answer to question 7 is yes, then answer questions 8. If
you answered no, skip question 8 and answer question 9.
8. What are [name of plaintiff]’s actual damages? [$ ]
PUNITIVE DAMAGES
9. Did [name of plaintiff] prove by clear and convincing evidence
that [name of defendant] acted with malice, oppression, or fraud?
9. Yes No
9. If your answer to question 9 is yes, then answer question 10. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
10. What is your award of punitive damages, if any, against [name of
defendant]? $
Signed: Presiding Juror
Dated:
After [this verdict form has/all verdict forms have] been signed, notify
the [clerk/bailiff/court attendant] that you are ready to present your
verdict in the courtroom.
New September 2003; Revised December 2005, December 2010, December 2016
Directions for Use
This verdict form is based on CACI No. 1701, Defamation per quod—Essential
Factual Elements (Public Offıcer/Figure and Limited Public Figure).
The special verdict forms in this section are intended only as models. They may
VF-1701 DEFAMATION
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0060
need to be modified depending on the facts of the case.
Multiple statements may need to be set out separately, and if separate damages are
claimed as to each statement, separate verdict forms may be needed for each
statement because all the elements may need to be found as to each statement.
Users may need to itemize all the damages listed in question 8 if, for example,
there are multiple defendants and issues regarding apportionment of damages under
Proposition 51.
Question 5 may be modified by referring to one of the other two grounds listed in
element 3 of CACI No. 1701, Defamation per quod—Essential Factual Elements
(Public Offıcer/Figure and Limited Public Figure), depending on which ground is
applicable in the case.
Additional questions may be needed on the issue of punitive damages if the
defendant is a corporate or other entity.
Omit question 10 if the issue of punitive damages has been bifurcated.
If there are multiple causes of action, users may wish to combine the individual
forms into one form. If different damages are recoverable on different causes of
action, replace the damages tables in all of the verdict forms with CACI No. VF-
3920, Damages on Multiple Legal Theories.
If the jury is being given the discretion under Civil Code section 3288 to award
prejudgment interest (see Bullis v. Security Pac. Nat’l Bank (1978) 21 Cal.3d 801,
814 [148 Cal.Rptr. 22, 582 P.2d 109]), give CACI No. 3935, Prejudgment Interest.
This verdict form may need to be augmented for the jury to make any factual
findings that are required in order to calculate the amount of prejudgment interest.
DEFAMATION VF-1701
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