Find instructions using these databases. Access is restricted and requires individual username and password.
Bloomberg Law - Choose Litigation → Dockets Tab → Litigation Resources → Other Court Materials → Federal and State Jury Instructions
LexisAdvance - Choose Browse → Sources by Category → Jury Instructions
Westlaw - Choose All Content → Secondary Sources → Jury Instructions
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There are two major encyclopedic sets of federal jury instructions, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions (West) and Modern Federal Jury Instructions: Civil and Criminal (Lexis). These treatises are also accessible on Westlaw and Lexis respectively. Access to Westlaw and Lexis is restricted to faculty and students of Marquette University Law School through individual usernames and passwords.
Companion handbooks to Federal Jury Practice and Instructions, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions: Civil Companion Handbook and Federal Jury Practice and Instructions: Criminal Companion Handbook, provide guidance in applying the jury instructions in cases.
Federal civil jury instructions are governed by Rule 51 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure while federal criminal jury instructions are governed by Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. For both civil and criminal cases, the procedural aspects of jury instructions are specifically governed by the federal rules.
In addition, the treatises Federal Practice and Procedure (West) and Moore's Federal Practice (Lexis) provide information about federal jury instructions.
Compiled lists of federal jury instructions have been made available on several websites, including the Library of the U.S. Courts of the Seventh Circuit webpage, the United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit webpage and at Federal Evidence Review's Federal Jury Instructions Resource Page.
Federal court jury instructions may also be found by going to the appropriate court's website. A list of federal courts with links to court websites is available on the United States Courts website's Courts Locator page. Some federal judges may have their own standard jury instructions available electronically. Find the judge's name on the court's website to see if preferred instructions are noted. If they are not listed, the judge should be contacted to determine if the judge has standard instructions.
Federal pattern or model jury instructions may also be found by searching BloombergLaw, LexisAdvance and Westlaw. Access to these commercial databases is restricted to faculty and students of Marquette University Law School through individual usernames and passwords.
The federal courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts between the district, or trial courts, and the United States Supreme Court. There are thirteen courts of appeals: eleven numbered circuits (First through Eleventh), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Not all circuits have published jury instructions: the Second and Fourth Circuits do not. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a unique court in that it has nationwide jurisdiction in a variety of subject areas. Appeals are heard by panels comprised of three judges. There are no jury instructions for this court. Title 28 of the United States Code, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the court's Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures govern procedure in the Federal Circuit.
Please see the boxes below for jury instructions for specific federal courts of appeals.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is composed of the district courts in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is composed of the district courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virgin Islands.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is composed of the district courts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and the Canal Zone.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is composed of district courts in Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is composed of district courts in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is composed of district courts in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is composed of district courts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is composed of the district courts in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit is composed of the district courts in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
Jury instructions for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are published in Standardized Civil Jury Instructions for the District of Columbia and Criminal Jury Instructions for the District of Columbia. Both titles are published by Matthew Bender and can be found online on Lexis. Access to Lexis is restricted to faculty and students of Marquette University Law School through individual usernames and passwords.
The United States District Courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. The district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including civil and criminal matters. Trial courts include a district court judge and a jury that decides the case. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state and the District of Columbia. Four territories, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, have U.S. district courts which hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases.
Many federal district courts include jury instructions on their websites. Some judges may have their own preferred standard jury instructions. To find the instructions, go to the court's website and also check the judges' listings. Lists of district courts can be found at the Court Websites Links page of the United States Courts website with links to the district courts websites. A list of the United States District Courts, arranged alphabetically by state, with links to the Courts' websites can be found on Findlaw. Jury instructions for some district courts are included. The directories listed below may be useful for providing contact information for district courts as well as specific judges.