Jury Instructions

In some asbestos trials, courts have provided jurors with a brief set of informal instructions at the outset of the case; these instructions describe the general type of case and present an overview of the applicable law. Use of preliminary jury instructions is also a common practice in most protracted civil trials, and some courts use them in all trials.114 Presumably such instructions outline the general rules for the jurors and give them a cognitive map for orĀ­ganizing the evidence as they hear it. Social psychological theory and experimental data support the validity of such a practice.115

  1. G. Bermant et al., supra note 48, at 50.
  2. I. Horowitz & T. Willging, The Psychology of Law 186-91 (1984).