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Wisconsin jury instructions now online

Wisconsin jury instructions can now be found for free online.

The Office of Judicial Education, in partnership with the Wisconsin State Law Library, is providing free digital access to the latest criminal, civil and juvenile jury instructions on the State Law Library’s website.

The instructions serve as models, checklists or minimum standards to help judges and lawyers provide instructions to jurors who must reach verdicts during trials.

UW Law School, which formally published the jury instructions for more than six decades, decided that moving the jury instructions to a public digital platform was in the best interest of the legal profession and the state.

UW Law School Dean Dan Tokaji said the effort was a labor of love, grounded in the university’s “deep commitment to the Wisconsin Idea.” He credited state courts and other people working with them for making the digitization possible.

Online instructions will make it easier for judges and lawyers to have the latest information, said Morgan Young, director of the Office of Judicial Education.

The move to online will have little effect on the process of creating and revising material. All three Jury Instructions Committees of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference will carry on with their standard schedules and work on developing the instructions, said Director of State Courts Hon. Randy R. Koschnick.

Supplements to the instructions will still be compiled in the conventional annual release format and offered for upload on the State Law Library website.’

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at [email protected]

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