The newest version of California Civil Jury Instruction Companion Handbook has recently been published by Thomson Reuters. Written and compiled by retired Court of Appeal Justice Elizabeth Baron, this book discusses the CACI jury instructions for civil cases, using 40 real cases as examples of how the CACI instructions (as well as some special instructions) were used in actual trials.
Among the cases discussed in the handbook is Schultz v. County of San Diego, in which we represented the parents of a 22-year-old Marine who died when her car hydroplaned on a flooded road and collided with a utility pole. We argued at trial that the road had a long history of flooding and that the County had failed to take reasonable steps to address the problem. The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $4 million against the County.
The handbook includes comments by Justice Baron and by Roger Booth concerning a number of the instructions given in the Schultz case, addressing issues such as the order in which the instructions should be given, why certain instructions are particularly important and which instructions should be emphasized in closing argument. Similar comments are included with each of the 40 sets of instructions in the book.
This book is a great resource for really understanding how jury instructions should be used. Too many lawyers only open up the CACI book on the eve of trial. But the CACI instructions set the ground rules for how your jury is going to decide your case, so they really ought to be reviewed at the outset of the case and used as a roadmap for investigation, discovery and trial preparation.
When I met with Roger, he was honest, genuine, and straight-forward on how we would proceed. Roger took a leap of faith when taking this case. He trusted what I said to be true, and wasn’t afraid to proceed.
– Cynthia Mitchell
“We felt lucky like we were referred to Booth & Koskoff by someone we trusted. Richard’s professionalism and tenacity showed that he definitely was in our court.”
– John Mahoney
The lawyers and staff at Booth & Koskoff were efficient, thorough, helpful and always available, even on weekends. I am very pleased with my overall experience, and I would recommend Booth & Koskoff to anyone who needs an excellent attorney.
– Keith Schultz
“Because of Roger’s experience and professionalism, I was able to focus on the others things I needed to do for my brother to care for him during this time. He was a godsend, and I would highly recommend Roger and his staff.”
– Penny Vincelli
“From the moment I contacted Booth & Koskoff from my hospital bed to the eventual settlement of my case, I experienced nothing but outstanding assistance and representation.”
– Claire Rexon
“Mr. Booth did an incredible job resolving the case for us, and we are very thankful for the successful ending to our lawsuit. Thank you for your hard work Mr. Booth. You will always be our family lawyer and friend.”
– Sam Kirakosyan
My family experienced a tremendous loss as a result of my father’s death. During the entire process of investigation and settlement of our case, we were treated with the utmost professionalism by the Booth & Koskoff attorneys and staff.
– Dale Magner