United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
STEPHEN J. JECKER, Plaintiff,
MONUMENTAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
of the jury, now it is time for me to instruct you about the
law that you must follow in deciding this case.
start by explaining your duties and the general rules that
apply in every civil case.
will explain some rules that you must use in evaluating
particular testimony and evidence.
will explain the elements, or parts, of the claims asserted
by the plaintiff against the defendant.
last, I will explain the rules that you must follow during
your deliberations in the jury room, and the possible
verdicts that you may return.
listen very carefully to everything I say.
will be given a copy of these instructions.
have two main duties as jurors. The first one is to decide
what the facts are from the evidence that you saw and heard
here in court. Deciding what the facts are is your job, not
mine, and nothing that I have said or done during this trial
was meant to influence your decision about the facts in any
second duty is to take the law that I give you, apply it to
the facts, and decide if the plaintiff has proven his case by
the preponderance of the evidence. It is my job to instruct
you about the law, and you are bound by the oath that you
took at the beginning of the trial to follow the instructions
that I give you, even if you personally disagree with them.
This includes the instructions that I gave you before and
during the trial, and these instructions. All the
instructions are important, and you should consider them
together as a whole.
these duties fairly. Do not let any bias, sympathy or
prejudice that you may feel toward one side or the other
influence your decision in any way.
term "preponderance of the evidence" is used many
times in these instructions and deserves some additional
explanation. To establish by a "preponderance of the
evidence" means to prove that something is more likely
so than it is not so. In other words, a preponderance of the
evidence in this case means such evidence as, when considered
and compared to that opposed to it, has more convincing
force, and produces in your mind a belief that what is sought
to be proved is more likely true than not true.
determining whether any fact in issue has been proved by a
preponderance of the evidence in the case, you may, unless
otherwise instructed, consider the testimony of all witnesses
regardless of who may have called them, and all exhibits
received in evidence, regardless of who may have produced
must make your decision based only on the evidence that you
saw and heard here in court. Do not let rumors, suspicions,
or anything else that you may have seen or heard outside of
court influence your decision in any way.
evidence in this case includes only what the witnesses said
while they were testifying under oath and the exhibits that I
allowed into evidence.
else is evidence. The lawyers' statements and arguments
are not evidence. Their questions and objections are not
evidence. My legal rulings are not evidence. And my comments
and questions are not evidence.
the trial I did not let you hear the answers to some of the
questions that the lawyers asked. I also ruled that you could
not see some of the exhibits that the lawyers wanted you to
see. And sometimes I ordered you to disregard things that you
saw or heard, or I struck things from the record. You must
completely ignore all of these things. Do not even think
about them. Do not speculate about what a witness might have
said or what an exhibit might have shown. These things are
not evidence, and you are bound by your oath not to let them
influence your decision in any way.
your decision based only on the evidence, as I have defined
it here, and nothing else.
should use your common sense in weighing the evidence.
Consider it in light of your everyday experience with people
and events, and give it whatever weight you believe it
deserves. If your experience tells you that certain evidence
reasonably leads to a conclusion, you are free to reach that
some of you may have heard the terms "direct
evidence" and "circumstantial evidence."
evidence is simply evidence like the testimony of an
eyewitness which, if you believe it, directly proves a fact.
If a witness testified that he saw it raining outside, and
you believed him, that would be direct evidence that it was
evidence is simply a chain of circumstances that indirectly
proves a fact. If someone walked into the courtroom wearing a
raincoat covered with drops of water and carrying a wet
umbrella, that would be ...