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I Object! A Blog on Preservation of Error

January 2015

January 27, 2015 4:14 PM | Posted by Cristina Alonso | Permalink

You have been asked to prepare a set of jury instructions and a verdict form for trial.  What do you do? Where do you start?  In my last op-ed, I talked about the potential grounds for reversible error that may arise from the verdict form.  In this op-ed, the last of a 5-part series, I discuss an often over-looked area of concern for reversible error—the court’s reading of the instructions to the jury.

V. The Court’s Reading of the Instructions to the Jury

When the court reads the instructions to the jury, listen and compare them to the instructions the court agreed to give. Make sure they are the same as any written instructions that will be submitted to the jury; if there is any difference between the two, the oral instructions will likely control on appeal.

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January 12, 2015 5:52 PM | Posted by Joseph H. Lang, Jr. | Permalink

Preservation of Error TipsThe Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Dudley v. Eli Lilly and Co., 2014 WL 7360016 (11th Cir. Dec. 29, 2014), highlights the risk of waiving (or, at a minimum, postponing) an otherwise proper removal by not creating a proper record to allow a federal court to assess the amount in controversy.

Preservation Issue: Making a Record in Support of Removal to Federal Court

On December 29, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit issued its decision in Dudley v. Eli Lilly and Co., which impacts removal practice under the Class Action Fairness Act.

In Dudley, the plaintiff filed a class action, alleging that the defendants had failed to make one or more of four different types of incentive payments to former employees. The district court remanded the case, finding that “Lilly’s proffers about the amount in controversy were purely speculative because Lilly had failed to identify a specific number of class participants made up of only those employees who did not receive their promised compensation; and had failed to identify the amount each member was entitled to receive as compensation.” Dudley, 2014 WL 7360016, at *1.

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January 5, 2015 12:08 PM | Posted by Cristina Alonso | Permalink

You have been asked to prepare a set of jury instructions and a verdict form for trial. What do you do? Where do you start? In my last op-ed, I discussed how to persuade the court to give your requested instructions, the charge conference itself and how to ensure your issues are preserved for review, both as to your requested instructions and your objections to the other side’s proposed instructions. Now it’s time to discuss a crucial stage at trial and a fertile ground for reversible error—the verdict form.

IV. The Verdict Form

The verdict form should go hand in hand with your instructions. There are important strategic and legal issues you must consider when drafting the verdict form.

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