Feb. 3, 2021 – Wisconsin Jury Instructions, previously available for purchase, are now available free online through the Wisconsin State Law Library. Lawyers and the public now have open access to the criminal, civil, and children’s jury instructions.
The uniform jury instructions “serve as models, checklists or minimum standards to assist judges and lawyers in providing instructions to jurors who must reach verdicts during trials,” according to a Jan. 25 media release from the Wisconsin Court System announcing online access.
U.W. Law School, which published the Wisconsin Jury instructions for more than 60 years, “has determined that transitioning the jury instructions to a public digital platform is in the best interest of the legal community and the state,” the court system’s media release explained.
"For over six decades, the U.W. Law School has been privileged to publish and provide a home for the Wisconsin Jury Instructions,” said UW Law School Dean Dan Tokaji. “This has been a labor of love, grounded in our deep commitment to the Wisconsin Idea. We are delighted that the jury instructions will be digitized and made free to the public from this point forward, thanks to the diligent efforts of the state courts and many people working with them."
Supplements to the instructions will still be compiled in the conventional annual release format and made available for upload via the State Law Library website, the court’s release noted.
The model Wisconsin Jury Instructions are prepared by three standing committees of the Judicial Conference of Wisconsin, whose members consist of Wisconsin judges. The U.W. Law School’s Continuing Education and Outreach Program publishes the jury instructions.
For more information, contact Bryce Pierson, Legal Advisor – Jury Instruction, in the Office of Judicial Education, firstname.lastname@example.org.