West Thomson Publishes Illinois Civil Jury Instructions Companion Handbook

Jury Instructions and the Insurance Dispute Law Suit

Jury instructions are a judge’s written directions to a jury concerning the laws relating to the case under consideration. They are critically important because a jury uses the instructions as a guide in determining which party will win and what the award will be.

There are 100s of instructions to be found in the Illinois Civil Jury Instructions and counsel involved in an insurance dispute should review and understand all potentially applicable instructions as they move forward in the litigation.

There are many critical jury instructions in Illinois addressing insurance issues. For example, the instruction on Liability Insurance, 3.03 states that “Whether a party is insured has no bearing whatever on any issue that you must decide. You must refrain from any inference, speculation, or discussion about insurance.”

When reviewing the damages to be awarded to a party, it is important that the attorney understand and review complicated instructions such as 710.07, Insurance Bad Faith–Measure of Damages, that provides that:

“If you decide for the plaintiff on the question of liability, you must then award the amount of money which will compensate the plaintiff for the damages proved by the evidence to have resulted from _________________________ of insurance company’s negligence or bad faith. The plaintiff’s damages are $ __________ sum [which is the amount of the judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff and against _______________ of insured (minus the amount received by the plaintiff from _________________________ of insurance company under the policy) (and) (minus the amount received by the plaintiff from another insurance company) (and) (minus ______________________________________ any other allowable offset(s))].”

The Illinois Civil Jury Instructions Companion Handbook helps to make sense of the intricate civil jury instructions and offers guidance to both judges and attorneys.

David Roe has penned the Thomson West, Illinois Civil Jury Instructions Companion Handbook, 2008 – 2009 Edition to address this complicated legal area.

This 576 page resource is a companion to Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, providing guidance to judges and attorneys on using that resource as a research and case-planning Illinois Civil Jury Instructions Companion Handbooktool. It contains examples of jury instructions given by Illinois judges and requests for instructions submitted by attorneys for parties in a wide variety of cases, including motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, breach of contract, and intentional torts.

The Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions are the official Illinois civil pattern jury instructions for civil cases with jury trials. The instructions are written by the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions in Civil Cases. When attorneys and judges seek guidance on when and how to inform a jury of the law, burden of proof and related matters, they turn to the pattern jury instructions.

Publisher: Thomson West, Softcover, 576 pages, 2008.