In jury trials, juries are the fact finders or trier of fact. It is the jury’s responsibility to sort through disputed accounts presented in evidence before coming to a decision during deliberation at the end of the trial. The judge decides questions of law, i.e., how the law applies to a given set of facts. In most trials, jurors can take reasonable notes while paying close attention to the evidence and arguments presented. They cannot be given a transcript of the trial, but must rely on their notes and collective memories. They are permitted to have all the trial exhibits with them in the jury room during deliberations.
To aid jurors during the deliberation process, the judge, at the end of the trial, “charges the jury.” Jury instructions are a set of lengthy legal rules that jurors must follow when deciding a civil or criminal case. The instructions explain how a jury should deliberate and how they should analyze the witnesses and the evidence. In jury instructions, the law of the case is explained in detail and they are instructed to make their decision strictly according to the law. Jury instructions are given to the jury by the judge orally, in writing or both. Jury charges are reviewed beforehand by attorneys on both sides in the case.
The majority of the states in the United States have a basic set of instructions, usually called “pattern jury instructions,” which provide the framework for the charge to the jury. Delaware follows “Delaware’s Civil Pattern Jury Instructions.” Jury charges are often very complex and play a significant role in jury discussions.
You may read the State of Delaware’s Civil Pattern Jury Instructions here
At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at (302) 428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.