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Anderson v. American Airlines

July 15, 2008

GRETA L. ANDERSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC., DEFENDANT.



JURY INSTRUCTIONS

DUTY OF JURY

Members of the Jury: Now that you have heard all of the evidence and you will hear the arguments of the attorneys, it is my duty to instruct you as to the law of the case.

A copy of these instructions will be sent with you to the jury room when you deliberate.

You must not infer from these instructions or from anything I may say or do as indicating that I have an opinion regarding the evidence or what your verdict should be.

It is your duty to find the facts from all the evidence in the case. To those facts you will apply the law as I give it to you. You must follow the law as I give it to you whether you agree with it or not. And you must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. That means that you must decide the case solely on the evidence before you. You will recall that you took an oath to do so.

In following my instructions, you must follow all of them and not single out some and ignore others; they are all important.

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

WHAT IS EVIDENCE

The evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are consists of:

(1) the sworn testimony of any witness;

(2) the exhibits which are received into evidence; and

(3) any facts to which the lawyers have agreed.

WHAT IS NOT EVIDENCE

The following things are not evidence, and you must not consider them as evidence in deciding the facts of this case:

(1) Arguments and statements by lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses. What they have said in their opening statements; [will say in their] closing arguments, and at other times is intended to help you interpret the evidence, but it is not evidence. If the facts as you remember them differ from the way the lawyers have stated them, your memory of them controls;

(2) Questions and objections by lawyers are not evidence. Attorneys have a duty to their clients to object when they believe a question is improper under the rules of evidence. You should not be influenced by the objection or by the court's ruling on it;

(3) Testimony that has been excluded or stricken, or that you have been instructed to disregard, is not evidence and must not be considered. In addition sometimes testimony and exhibits are received only for a limited purpose; when I give a limiting instruction, you must follow it; and

(4) Anything you may have seen or heard when the court is not in session is not evidence. You are to decide the case solely on the evidence received at trial.

EVIDENCE FOR LIMITED PURPOSE

Some evidence has been admitted for a limited purpose only. When I instruct you that an item of evidence has been admitted for a limited purpose, you must consider it only for that limited purpose and for no other.

If I instructed you that certain evidence is not to be considered when deciding whether or not to impose liability, you must disregard that evidence when making your decision as to whether Plaintiff has proved her case. If I instructed you that certain evidence is not to be considered when assessing damages, you must disregard that evidence when deciding the damages that Plaintiff has proved.

RULING ON OBJECTIONS

There are rules of evidence that control what can be received into evidence. When a lawyer asks a question or offers an exhibit into evidence and a lawyer on the other side thinks that it is not permitted by the rules of evidence, that lawyer may object. If I overruled the objection, the question may be answered or the exhibit received. If I sustained the objection, the question cannot be answered, and the exhibit cannot be received. Whenever I sustained an objection to a question, you must ignore the question and must not guess what the answer might have been.

Sometimes I may have ordered that evidence be stricken from the record and that you disregard or ignore the evidence. That means that when you are deciding the case, you must not consider the evidence that I told you to disregard.

DIRECT AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is proof of one or more facts from which you could find another fact. You should consider both kinds of evidence. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much weight to give to any evidence

CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES

A witness is a person who has knowledge related to this case. You will have to decide whether you believe each witness and how important each witness's testimony is t o the case. You may believe all, part or none of a witness's testimony.

In considering whether to believe a witness's testimony, you may consider, among other factors, the following:

(a) How well did the witness see, hear or otherwise sense the things that he or she described in court?

(b) How well did the witness remember and describe what happened?

(c) How did the witness look, act and speak while testifying?

(d) Did the witness have any reason to say something that was not true? Did the witness show any bias or prejudice? Did the witness have a personal relationship with any of the parties involved in the case? Does the ...


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