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WPI 2.06 Witness Who Has Been Interviewed

6 WAPRAC WPI 2.06Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6 Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 2.06 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part I. General Instructions
Chapter 2. Credibility of Witnesses, Weight of Testimony, and Other Evidence
WPI 2.06 Witness Who Has Been Interviewed
The fact that a witness has talked with a party, lawyer, or party's representative does not, of itself, reflect adversely on the testimony of the witness. [A party, lawyer, or representative of a party has a right to interview a witness to learn what testimony the witness will give.]
The WPI Committee recommends this instruction be used only in those situations in which the court is satisfied that, if not given, there is danger some of the jurors may be misled as to the propriety of an interview. The bracketed sentence should be used only when the party or lawyer had a right to interview the witness.
Lawyers cannot interview certain witnesses through informal ex parte contacts, but must instead use the formal discovery process. See generally Ende, 15A Washington Practice, Washington Handbook on Civil Procedure § 41.1 (2017–2018 ed.); Ende, 14 Washington Practice, Civil Procedure § 13:3 (3d ed.).
The use of a similar instruction was approved in Windle v. Huson, 32 Wn.App. 230, 646 P.2d 790 (1982), to correct erroneous impressions jurors might have when a witness has been interviewed prior to trial by a party's attorney. In approving the instruction, the Windle court held that an earlier version of WPI 2.06 was neither prejudicial nor a comment on the credibility of the witness.
[Current as of September 2018.]
End of Document