Florida Standard Jury Instructions: Contract and Business Cases

These instructions contain the "How to Use This Book" section of the Florida Supreme Court Committee's Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, as well as Sections 100, 200, 300, 600, 700, and 800 of those instructions. The Second Edition with 2019 Supplement, now presented in an easy-to-use loose-leaf binder, updates the instructions with the changes incorporated after this title was originally produced.

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In June 2013, the Florida Supreme Court authorized the publication of Florida Standard Jury Instructions: Contract and Business Cases. These instructions contain the "how to write instructions" appendix section of the Florida Supreme Court Committee's Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, Sections 100, 200, 300, 600, 700, and 800 of those instructions, as well as Sections 400 and 500 that focus specifically on contract and business instructions. The Second Edition with 2019 Supplement, now presented in an easy-to-use loose-leaf binder, updates the instructions with the changes incorporated after this title was originally produced.

Accordingly, the new business and contract-specific instructions are limited to Sections 400 and 500 of the instructions:

  • Section 400: Substantive Instructions, contains instructions for the principal issues the jury is to resolve and the legal principles governing the resolution of those issues, organized according to specific causes of action. These instructions are individually numbered under 416 in order to not conflict with the already existing instructions numbered 401 through 415 by the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases.
  • Section 500: Damages, contains instructions on damages arranged so that the various elements of damage proper for consideration in any given case may be selected. The model charges contain guidance on straightforward and complicated or multiple claim cases. These instructions are individually numbered under 504 to not conflict with the instructions already existing numbered 501 through 503 by the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases. 

 

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Authors / Contributors

Table of Contents

 Preliminary Sections How to Use This Book 
A.  Getting Started
B.  Using This Book for the First Time
C.  Finding the Right Instruction
D.  Ensuring the Instruction Is Current
E.  Assembling a Set of Instructions
F.  Drafting Case-Specific Instructions
G.  Referring to Instructions by Number
H.  Providing Written Instructions to the Jury
I.  When Instructions Should Be Given
J.  Included Instructions
K.  Variance from Standard Instructions
L.  Use of Special Verdicts
M.  Understanding the Signals in This Book

Orders of the Supreme Court Creating and Revising These Instructions Committee
 Members

SECTION 100 — OATHS
101.1  Oath of Jurors Before Voir Dire
101.2  Oath of Juror After Voir Dire
101.3  Oath of a Witness
101.4  Oath of an Interpreter

SECTION 200 — PRELIMINARY INSTRUCTIONS

Qualifications Instruction

A.  During Jury Selection
201.1  Description of the Case (Before Voir Dire)
201.2  Introduction of Participants and Their Roles
201.3  Explanation of the Voir Dire Process

B.  After Jury Selected and Sworn
202.1  Introduction
202.2  Explanation of the Trial Procedure
202.3  Note-Taking by Jurors
202.4  Juror Questions
202.5  Jury to be Guided by Official English Translation/Interpretation

SECTION 300 — EVIDENCE INSTRUCTIONS
301.1  Deposition Testimony, Interrogatories, Stipulated Testimony, Stipulations, and Admissions
301.2  Instruction When First Item of Documentary, Photographic, or Physical Evidence is Admitted
301.3  Instruction When Evidence is First Published to Jurors
301.4  Instruction Regarding Visual or Demonstrative Aids
301.5  Evidence Admitted for a Limited Purpose
301.6  Jury to be Guided by Official English Translation/Interpretation
301.7  Jury to be Guided by Official English Transcript of Recording in Foreign Language (Accuracy Not in Dispute)
301.8  Jury to be Guided by Official English Translation/Interpretation — Transcript of Recording in Foreign Language (Accuracy in Dispute)
301.9  Disregard Stricken Matter
301.10  Instruction Before Recess
301.11  Failure To Maintain Evidence Or Keep A Record

SECTION 400 — SUBSTANTIVE INSTRUCTIONS
416.1  Breach of Contract — Introduction
416.2  Third-Party Beneficiary
416.3  Contract Formation — Essential Factual Elements
416.4  Breach of Contract — Essential Factual Elements
416.5  Oral or Written Contract Terms
416.6  Contract Implied in Fact
416.7  Contract Implied in Law
416.8  Contract Formation — Offer
416.9  Contract Formation — Revocation of Offer
416.10  Contract Formation — Acceptance
416.11  Contract Formation — Acceptance by Silence or Conduct
416.12  Substantial Performance
416.13  Modification
416.14  Interpretation — Disputed Term(s)
416.15  Interpretation — Meaning of Ordinary Words
416.16  Interpretation — Meaning of Disputed Technical or Special Words
416.17  Interpretation — Construction of Contract as a Whole
416.18  Interpretation — Construction by Conduct
416.19  Interpretation — Reasonable Time
416.20  Interpretation — Construction Against Drafter
416.21  Existence of Condition Precedent Disputed
416.22  Occurrence of Agreed Condition Precedent
416.23  Anticipatory Breach
416.24  Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
416.25  Affirmative Defense — Mutual Mistake of Fact
416.26  Affirmative Defense — Unilateral Mistake of Fact
416.27  Affirmative Defense — Undue Influence
416.28  Affirmative Defense — Fraud
416.29  Affirmative Defense — Negligent Misrepresentation
416.30  Affirmative Defense — Waiver
416.31  Affirmative Defense — Novation
416.32  Affirmative Defense — Statute of Limitations
416.33  Affirmative Defense — Equitable Estoppel
416.34  [Reserved for Future Use]
416.35  Affirmative Defense — Judicial Estoppel
416.36  Affirmative Defense — Ratification
416.37  Goods Sold and Delivered
416.38  Open Account
416.39  Account Stated
416.40  Money Had and Received

451 Fiduciary Duty (Shared Instructions with Civil Jury Instructions)
451.1  Introduction
451.2  Summary of Claims or Contentions
451.3  Greater Weight of the Evidence
451.4  Existence of Fiduciary Duty Disputed
451.5  Breach of Fiduciary Duty
451.6  Legal Cause
451.7  Preemptive Charges
451.8  Preliminary Issue — Vicarious Liability
451.9  Burden of Proof on Preliminary Issues
451.10  Issues on Main Claim
451.11  Burden of Proof on Main Claim
451.12  Defense Issues
451.13  Burden of Proof on Defense Issues
451.14  Model Form of Verdict for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

SECTION 500 — DAMAGES
504.1  Introduction to Contract Damages
504.2  Breach of Contract Damages
504.3  Lost Profits
504.4  Damages for Complete Destruction of Business
504.5  Owner's Damages for Breach of Contract to Construct Improvements on Real Property
504.6  Obligation to Pay Money Only
504.7  Buyer's Damages for Breach of Contract for Sale of Real Property
504.8  Seller's Damages for Breach of Contract to Purchase Real Property
504.9  Mitigation of Damages
504.10  Present Cash Value of Future Damages
504.11  Nominal Damages

SECTION 600 — SUBSTANTIVE INSTRUCTIONS — GENERAL
601.1  Weighing the Evidence
601.2  Believability of Witnesses
601.3  Jury to be Guided by Official English Translation/Interpretation
601.4  Multiple Claims, Numerous Parties, Consolidated Cases
601.5  Concluding Instruction (Before Final Argument)

SECTION 700 — CLOSING INSTRUCTIONS

SECTION 800 — SUPPLEMENTAL MATTERS
801.1  Juror Questions During Deliberations
801.2  Read-Back of Testimony
801.3  Jury Deadlocked
801.4  Instruction Upon Discharge of Jury

APPENDIX A:  HOW TO WRITE AND USE JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CIVIL CASES
APPENDIX B:  MODEL VERDICT FORMS