(a) Filing Proposed Jury Instructions. All proposed jury instructions must be filed and served prior to trial, except for isolated unforeseeable instructions, which are addressed in subsection (c)(1). Jury instructions are to be submitted in accordance with the following requirements:
(1) Joint Submission. The parties must jointly submit one set of agreed instructions. To this end, the parties must serve their proposed instructions upon each other, then meet, confer, and submit one complete set of agreed instructions.
(2) Supplemental Individually-Proposed Instructions. If the parties cannot agree upon one complete set of instructions, they must submit one set of those instructions that have been agreed, and each party must submit a supplemental set of instructions that are not agreed.
(3) Consultation Requirement. It is not sufficient that the parties merely agree upon general instructions, and then each submit their own set of substantive instructions. The parties are expected to meet, confer, and agree upon the substantive instructions for the case, if possible.
(b) Format of Proposed Instructions.
(1) Annotation. Each proposed instruction must indicate the number of the proposed instruction and the authority supporting the instruction.
(2) Neutrality Requirement. All instructions must be short, concise, understandable, and neutral statements of law. Argumentative instructions are improper, will not be given, and should not be submitted.
(3) Single Legal Proposition. Each proposed instruction must, as far as possible, embrace a single legal proposition.
(4) Modification of Form Instructions. Any modifications of instructions from statutory authority, Devitt and Blackmar, PIK, or other form instructions must specifically state the modification made to the original form instruction, along with the authority supporting the modification.
(1) Waiver of Instruction.
Instructions not requested as set forth above and not timely filed will be considered not properly requested within the meaning of Fed. R. Civ. P. 51
, and may be deemed waived unless the subject of the request is one arising in the course of trial that could not have been anticipated prior to trial from the pleadings, discovery, or nature of the case.
(2) Waiver of Objection. The failure to timely file objections, consistent with the pretrial order, may constitute a waiver of such objection.
(d) Additional Copy of Proposed Instructions. In addition to filing proposed jury instructions, the parties must submit the instructions directly to the appropriate judge or magistrate judge in the form and manner used by that judge.
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As amended 3/17/10. Renumbered 3/04. Formerly Rule 39.1(b).