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Introduction

The Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions Civil (IPI Civil) are a set of standardized instructions that are given to juries in civil cases in Illinois. These instructions provide guidance to the jury on the law that applies to the case and the specific legal standards that they must consider when making their decision. The IPI Civil instructions are created and maintained by the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions.

Why are the IPI Civil Instructions Important?

The IPI Civil instructions are important because they help ensure that juries understand the legal standards that apply to the case they are deciding. These instructions help guide the jury in their deliberations and help ensure that the jury’s decision is based on the correct legal principles. The IPI Civil instructions are also important because they promote consistency and fairness in the administration of justice.

Sample IPI Civil Instruction 1.01

This is a sample instruction from the IPI Civil instructions:

“The law requires a plaintiff to prove each of the following propositions: First, that the defendant was negligent; Second, that the plaintiff was injured; Third, that the defendant’s negligence was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.”

Sample IPI Civil Instruction 20.01

This is another sample instruction from the IPI Civil instructions:

“In determining the amount of damages, you may consider the nature, extent and duration of the injury.”

Sample IPI Civil Instruction 30.01

Here is a third sample instruction:

“If you decide for the plaintiff on the question of liability, you must then fix the amount of money which will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for any of the following elements of damages proved by the evidence to have resulted from the negligence of the defendant:

1. The nature, extent and duration of the injury;

2. The effect of the injury on the plaintiff’s ability to work;

3. The plaintiff’s physical and mental pain and suffering in the past;

4. The plaintiff’s physical and mental pain and suffering in the future;

5. The disfigurement and/or deformity caused by the injury.”

Sample IPI Civil Instruction 40.01

Here is a fourth sample instruction:

“In determining the amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate [name of plaintiff] for his/her injury, you may not reduce that compensation by any sum of money you find [name of plaintiff] is entitled to receive from a source wholly independent of the defendant [or defendants].”

Sample IPI Civil Instruction 50.01

And finally, here is a fifth sample instruction:

“You are the sole judges of the believability of the witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony. In determining the credibility of a witness or the weight to be given to the testimony of a witness, you may consider the following:

1. The opportunity of the witness to observe the occurrence or event about which he/she testified;

2. The ability of the witness to observe accurately;

3. The quality of the witness’s memory;

4. The manner of the witness while testifying;

5. Any interest, bias, or prejudice the witness may have;

6. The reasonableness of the witness’s testimony in light of all the evidence in the case.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What are the IPI Civil instructions?

The IPI Civil instructions are a set of standardized instructions that are given to juries in civil cases in Illinois. These instructions provide guidance to the jury on the law that applies to the case and the specific legal standards that they must consider when making their decision.

2. Who creates and maintains the IPI Civil instructions?

The IPI Civil instructions are created and maintained by the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions. This committee is responsible for reviewing and updating the instructions to ensure that they accurately reflect the current state of the law.

3. How are the IPI Civil instructions used in a trial?

The IPI Civil instructions are typically provided to the jury at the beginning of the trial. The judge will read the instructions to the jury and explain their significance. The jury is then expected to refer to the instructions during their deliberations to help guide their decision-making process.

4. Can the IPI Civil instructions be modified or customized for a specific case?

The IPI Civil instructions are generally not modified or customized for specific cases. They are intended to provide a standardized set of instructions that apply to a wide range of civil cases. However, in some cases, the judge may modify or supplement the instructions to address specific issues or circumstances that are unique to the case.

5. Are the IPI Civil instructions binding on the jury?

The IPI Civil instructions are considered to be the law that the jury must follow in deciding the case. However, the jury is ultimately responsible for determining the facts of the case and applying the law to those facts. They are not bound to follow the instructions if they believe that a different interpretation of the law is more appropriate based on the evidence presented.

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Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions Civil, IPI Civil, civil cases, legal standards, jury instructions, Illinois Supreme Court Committee, trial, law, evidence, interpretation, standardized instructions, jury decision, legal principles, fairness, consistency, injury, damages, negligence, proximate cause, compensation, believability, witnesses, testimony, jury deliberations

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