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Florida Supreme Court Approves Jury Instructions for Business Litigation

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W Mason is a commercial litigation attorney in Fox Rothschild’s West Palm Beach office. Below is a “guest post” by W concerning business litigation jury instructions. For anyone with questions or comments regarding this post, you can reach W at (561) 804-4432 or wmason@foxrothschild.com.

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The Florida Supreme Court approved Standard Jury Instructions for use in Contract and Business Litigation on June 6, 2013. The new jury instructions result from six years of efforts by a committee made up of trial and appellate attorneys, judges from the various circuits and district courts of appeal, and individuals with specific expertise and experience in this subject. The Standard Jury Instructions for Contract and Business Cases include numerous instructions on various issues inclusive of breach of contract, contract formation, contract interpretation, contractual damages, open account, goods sold and delivered, and contract related affirmative defenses.

Up until now, the Supreme Court left commercial litigators to draft their own jury instructions. Often times the complex nature of contract and business related disputes led to contentious negotiations in connection with drafting stipulated jury instructions. The Supreme Court’s approval of these standard jury instructions will provide an important and much-needed reference for commercial litigators in drafting contract and business dispute related jury instructions.

A link to the instructions is available here:  http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2013/sc12-1931.pdf