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One of the most intriguing topics of current conversation among today's experienced, as well as inexperienced, trial lawyers is the preparation and use of jury instructions. This interest is initiated within the law school setting, where professors teaching courses in evidence and procedure will invariably seek to impart in one lecture-or implicitly consider throughout the entire course-what they consider to be the rationale for effective and successful jury instructions. Yet it has only been recently that the federal bench has expressed itself with convincing clarity on this timely matter. Previously, unrecorded comments and ideas concerning the preparation of jury instructions were exchanged in the privacy of court chambers and among the jurists themselves but were never released for general publication. Additionally, model or pattern instructions have been a matter of individual discretion with each judge. Because of this situation, the author has chosen to write an article directed toward the "art" of instructing federal juries.



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