California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

5000. Duties of the Judge and Jury

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5000.Duties of the Judge and Jury
Members of the jury, you have now heard all the evidence [and the
closing arguments of the attorneys]. [The attorneys will have one last
chance to talk to you in closing argument. But before they do, it] [It] is
my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case. You must
follow these instructions [as well as those that I previously gave you].
You will have a copy of my instructions with you when you go to the
jury room to deliberate. [I have provided each of you with your own
copy of the instructions.] [I will display each instruction on the screen.]
You must decide what the facts are. You must consider all the evidence
and then decide what you think happened. You must decide the facts
based on the evidence admitted in this trial.
Do not allow anything that happens outside this courtroom to affect
your decision. Do not talk about this case or the people involved in it
with anyone, including family and persons living in your household,
friends and coworkers, spiritual leaders, advisors, or therapists. Do not
do any research on your own or as a group. Do not use dictionaries or
other reference materials.
These prohibitions on communications and research extend to all forms
of electronic communications. Do not use any electronic devices or
media, such as a cell phone or smart phone, PDA, computer, tablet
device, the Internet, any Internet service, any text or instant-messaging
service, any Internet chat room, blog, or website, including social
networking websites or online diaries, to send or receive any
information to or from anyone about this case or your experience as a
juror until after you have been discharged from your jury duty.
Do not investigate the case or conduct any experiments. Do not contact
anyone to assist you, such as a family accountant, doctor, or lawyer. Do
not visit or view the scene of any event involved in this case. If you
happen to pass by the scene, do not stop or investigate. All jurors must
see or hear the same evidence at the same time. [Do not read, listen to,
or watch any news accounts of this trial.] You must not let bias,
sympathy, prejudice, or public opinion influence your decision.
[If you violate any of these prohibitions on communications and
research, including prohibitions on electronic communications and
research, you may be held in contempt of court or face other sanctions.
That means that you may have to serve time in jail, pay a fine, or face
other punishment for that violation.]
I will now tell you the law that you must follow to reach your verdict.
You must follow the law exactly as I give it to you, even if you disagree
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with it. If the attorneys [have said/say] anything different about what
the law means, you must follow what I say.
In reaching your verdict, do not guess what I think your verdict should
be from something I may have said or done.
Pay careful attention to all the instructions that I give you. All the
instructions are important because together they state the law that you
will use in this case. You must consider all of the instructions together.
After you have decided what the facts are, you may find that some
instructions do not apply. In that case, follow the instructions that do
apply and use them together with the facts to reach your verdict.
If I repeat any ideas or rules of law during my instructions, that does
not mean that these ideas or rules are more important than the others.
In addition, the order in which the instructions are given does not make
any difference.
[Most of the instructions are typed. However, some handwritten or
typewritten words may have been added, and some words may have
been deleted. Do not discuss or consider why words may have been
added or deleted. Please treat all the words the same, no matter what
their format. Simply accept the instruction in its final form.]
New September 2003; Revised April 2004, October 2004, February 2005,
December 2009, June 2011, December 2013
Directions for Use
As indicated by the brackets in the first paragraph, this instruction can be read
either before or after closing arguments. The advisory committee recommends that
this instruction be read to the jury before reading instructions on the substantive
law.
Sources and Authority
• Charge to the Jury. Code of Civil Procedure section 608.
Contempt of Court for Juror Misconduct. Code of Civil Procedure section
1209(a)(6).
• Jury as Trier of Fact. Evidence Code section 312(a).
• An instruction to disregard any appearance of bias on the part of the judge is
proper. (Gist v. French (1955) 136 Cal.App.2d 247, 257–259 [288 P.2d 1003],
disapproved on other grounds in Deshotel v. Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry.
Co. (1958) 50 Cal.2d 664, 667 [328 P.2d 449] and West v. City of San Diego
(1960) 54 Cal.2d 469, 478–479 [6 Cal.Rptr. 289, 353 P.2d 929].)
• Jurors must avoid bias: “ ‘The right to unbiased and unprejudiced jurors is an
inseparable and inalienable part of the right to trial by jury guaranteed by the
CONCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS CACI No. 5000
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constitution.’ ” (Weathers v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1971) 5 Cal.3d 98,
110 [95 Cal.Rptr. 516, 485 P.2d 1132], internal citations omitted.) Evidence of
racial prejudice and bias on the part of jurors amounts to misconduct and may
constitute grounds for ordering a new trial. (Ibid.)
• An instruction to consider all the instructions together can help avoid
instructional errors of conflict, omission, and undue emphasis. (Escamilla v.
Marshburn Brothers (1975) 48 Cal.App.3d 472, 484 [121 Cal.Rptr. 891].)
• Providing an instruction stating that, depending on what the jury finds to be the
facts, some of the instructions may not apply can help avoid reversal on the
grounds of misleading jury instructions. (See Rodgers v. Kemper Construction
Co. (1975) 50 Cal.App.3d 608, 629–630 [124 Cal.Rptr. 143].)
• “[T]he jury was charged that (1) no undue emphasis was intended by repetition
of any rule, direction or idea; (2) instructions on the measure of damages
should not be interpreted to mean that liability must be found; and (3) the judge
did not intend to intimate how any issue should be decided and if any juror
believed such intimation was present such should be disregarded. Of course
such admonitions will not salvage an inherently one-sided charge although the
giving of such instructions should be considered in weighing the net effect of
the charge.” (Bertero v. National General Corp. (1974) 13 Cal.3d 43, 57 [118
Cal.Rptr. 184, 529 P.2d 608].)
Secondary Sources
7 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Trial, § 281
Wegner et al., California Practice Guide: Civil Trials & Evidence, Ch. 14-D,
Preparing Jury Instructions, ¶¶ 14:151, 14:190 (The Rutter Group)
4 California Trial Guide, Unit 91, Jury Deliberations and Rendition of Verdict,
§ 91.20 (Matthew Bender)
28 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 326, Jury Instructions, § 326.21
(Matthew Bender)
1 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trial and Post-Trial Civil Procedure,
Ch. 16, Jury Instructions, 16.19 et seq.
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings—Trial (2d ed.) §§ 5.120, 13.6,
13.27 (Cal CJER 2010)
CACI No. 5000 CONCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS
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