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AMI 103 Respective Duties of Judge and Jury—Cautionary Instructions

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 103
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 1. Introductory Instructions
AMI 103 Respective Duties of Judge and Jury—Cautionary Instructions
(a) A fair trial depends on you, the jury.
(b) It is my duty as judge to inform you of the law applicable to this case by instructions, and it is your duty to accept and follow them as a whole, not singling out one instruction to the exclusion of others. You should not consider any rule of law with which you may be familiar.
(c) It is your duty to determine the facts from the evidence produced in this trial. You are to apply the law as contained in these instructions to the facts and render your verdict upon the evidence and law. You should not permit sympathy, prejudice, or like or dislike of any party to this action or of any attorney to influence your findings in this case.
(d) Many of us have biases about, or certain perceptions, or stereotypes of other people. We may be aware of some of our biases, but not fully aware of others. You must not let bias, prejudice, or public opinion influence your decision. You must not be biased in favor of or against any party or witness because of his or her disability, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or socioeconomic status.
(e) In deciding the issues you should consider the testimony of the witnesses and the exhibits received in evidence. The introduction of evidence in court is governed by law. You should accept without question my rulings as to the admissibility or rejection of evidence, drawing no inferences that by these rulings I have in any manner indicated my views on the merits of the case.
(f) Opening statements, remarks during the trial, and closing arguments of the attorneys are not evidence but are made only to help you in understanding the evidence and applicable law. Any argument, statements, or remarks of attorneys having no basis in the evidence should be disregarded by you. [However, an admission of fact by an attorney is binding on [his][or][her] client.]
(g) I have not intended by anything I have said or done, or by any questions that I may have asked, to intimate or suggest what you should find to be the facts, or that I believe or disbelieve any witness who testified. If anything that I have done or said has seemed to so indicate, you will disregard it.
The last sentence in (f) should be given only when counsel's statements may be treated as an admission.
It is the better practice to give this instruction when requested or to recite into the record the reasons for not giving it in the exceptional cases when a refusal to give it is justified. McDaniel Bros. Constr. Co. v. Mid–State Constr. Co., 252 Ark. 1223, 482 S.W.2d 825 (1972), citing Smith v. Alexander, 245 Ark. 567, 433 S.W.2d 157 (1968).
Allegedly improper remarks made by the court may be cured by this instruction. Nobles v. Casebier, 327 Ark. 440, 938 S.W.2d 849 (1997); Rickett v. Hayes, 256 Ark. 893, 511 S.W.2d 187 (1974).
Remarks by counsel during trial are not evidence. Barnes v. Everett, 351 Ark. 479, 95 S.W.3d 740 (2003); Ark. State Highway Comm'n v. Liles, 256 Ark. 715, 510 S.W.2d 275 (1974); Ross v. Moore, 30 Ark. App. 207, 785 S.W.2d 243 (1990).
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