By Tracy M. Evans, Associate, Saxon, Gilmore, Carraway & Gibbons, P.A.
The Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion on June 6, 2013, adopting the publication and use of standard jury instructions for contract and business cases. This is the first time that standardized jury instructions have been approved for use in contract and business litigation. The standardized jury instructions cover issues common in this type of litigation including contract formation, breach of contract, modification, and interpretation. The instructions also cover possible affirmative defenses and damages in contract-based cases. It is important to note that the publication of the standardized instructions does not prevent a litigant from objecting to the use of the approved instructions, nor does it prevent a litigant from proposing additional or alternative instructions. Rather, the new standardized instructions serve as a useful tool in formulating jury instructions in cases involving contract and business litigation.
The Court’s full opinion along with the new standardized instructions can be found here.
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