BRAND MARKETING GROUP, LLC doing business as THERMABLASTER, Plaintiff,
INTERTEK TESTING SERVICES NA, INC. doing business as INTERTEK TESTING SERVICES Defendant.
FINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS
ARTHUR J. SCHWAB, District Judge.
I. General Instructions
Now that you have heard the evidence and the argument, it is my duty to instruct you on the law.
We have given you copies of the special Verdict Form on which you will answer specific questions. Please take a few minutes to read the Verdict Form, because the instructions I am about to give you will help you answer those questions.
When you retire to the jury room to deliberate, you may take these instructions with you, along with your notes, the exhibits that the Court has admitted into evidence, and the Verdict Form. You should select one member of the jury as your foreperson. That person will preside over the deliberations and speak for you here in open Court.
You 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 way.
Your second duty is to take the law that I give you, apply it to the facts, and decide if, under the appropriate burden of proof, the parties have established their claims. In other words, it is your duty to determine from the evidence what actually happened in this case, applying the law as I now explain it.
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; do not disregard or give special attention to any one instruction; and do not question the wisdom of any rule of law or rule of evidence I state. In other words, do not substitute your own notion or opinion as to what the law is or ought to be.
Perform 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.
As jurors, you have a duty to consult with each other and to deliberate with the intention of reaching a verdict. Each of you must decide the case for yourself, but only after a full and impartial consideration of all of the evidence with your fellow jurors. Listen to each other carefully. In the course of your deliberations, you should feel free to re-examine your own views and to change your opinion based upon the evidence. But you should not give up your honest convictions about the evidence just because of the opinions of your fellow jurors. Nor should you change your mind just for the purpose of obtaining enough votes for a verdict.
When you start deliberating, do not talk to the bailiff, to me, or to anyone but each other about the case. During your deliberations, you must not communicate with or provide any information to anyone by any means about this case. You may not use any electronic device or media, such as a cell phone, a smart phone like Blackberries, Droids, or iPhones, or a computer of any kind; the internet, any internet service, or any text or instant messaging service like Twitter; or any internet chat room, blog, website, or social networking service such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, or YouTube, to communicate to anyone any information about this case or to conduct any research about this case until I accept your verdict.
If you have any questions or messages for me, you must write them down on a piece of paper, have the foreperson sign them, and give them to the bailiff. The bailiff will give them to me, and I will respond as soon as I can. I may have to talk to the lawyers about what you have asked, so it may take some time to get back to you.
One more thing about messages: Never write down or tell anyone how you stand on your votes. For example, do not write down or tell anyone that a certain number is voting one way or another. Your votes should stay secret until you are finished.
Your verdict must represent the considered judgment of each juror. In order for you as a jury to return a verdict, each juror must agree to the verdict. Your verdict must be unanimous.
A Verdict Form has been prepared for you. It has a series of questions for you to answer. You will take this form to the jury room and when you have reached unanimous agreement as to your verdict, you will fill it in, date the form, and each of you will sign it. You will then return to the courtroom and your foreperson will deliver your verdict to the bailiff. Unless I direct you otherwise, do not reveal your answers until you are discharged. After you have reached a verdict, you are not required to talk with anyone about the case unless I order you to do so.
Once again, I want to remind you that nothing about my instructions and nothing about the form of verdict is intended to suggest or convey in any way or manner what I think your verdict should be. It is your sole and exclusive duty and responsibility to determine the verdict.
What is Evidence
I have mentioned the word "evidence." The "evidence" in this case consists of the testimony of witnesses, the documents and other physical items, if any, received as exhibits, and any facts stipulated by the parties.
Counsel for Brand and Intertek have agreed to the legal admissibility of various exhibits. This means that these exhibits meet the requirements of the rules of evidence and therefore have been admitted for your consideration. This does not mean that the parties agree as to the inferences or conclusions that you should or may draw from any exhibit.
Stipulations of Fact
The parties have agreed, or stipulated, to certain facts as being true and those stipulations have been placed on the record in this trial. You must treat any stipulations of fact as having been proved for the purposes of this case.
What is Not Evidence
The following things are not evidence:
1. Statements, arguments, questions and comments by the lawyers are not evidence.
2. Likewise, objections are not evidence. Lawyers have every right to object when they believe something is improper. You should not be influenced by the objection. If I sustained an objection to a question, you must ignore the question and must not try to guess what the answer might have been.
3. Any testimony that I ordered stricken from the record, or told you to disregard, is not evidence and you must not consider any such matter.
4. Anything you saw or heard about this case outside the courtroom is not evidence. You must decide the case only on the evidence presented here in the courtroom. Do not let rumors, suspicions, or anything else that you may see or hear outside of court influence your decision in any way.
Evidence, Inferences, and Common Sense
While you may consider only the evidence in the case in arriving at your verdict, you are permitted to draw such reasonable inferences from the testimony and exhibits you feel are justified in the light of your common experience, reason and common sense.
Direct and Circumstantial Evidence
In this regard, you may consider either direct or circumstantial evidence. "Direct evidence" is the testimony of someone who asserts actual knowledge of a fact, such as an eyewitness. "Circumstantial evidence" is proof of a chain of facts and circumstances from which you may infer that something either did or did not happen. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It requires only that you weigh all of the evidence and be convinced that the party has met the burden of proof before you return a verdict for that party.
Bias, Sympathy And Prejudice
You may not allow sympathy or personal feelings to influence your determination. Your duty is to decide the case solely on the basis of the evidence or lack of evidence and the law as I have instructed you, without bias, prejudice, or sympathy for or against the parties or their counsel. Both the parties and the public expect that you will carefully and impartially consider all of the evidence in the case, follow the law as stated by the court, and reach a just verdict regardless of the consequences.
Evidence Admitted for a Limited Purpose
In certain instances evidence may be admitted only for a particular purpose and not generally for all purposes. Whenever evidence was admitted for a limited purpose, consider it only for that purpose, and no other purpose.
In this regard, Plaintiff's exhibit number 20 is not to be considered for the truth of the matters asserted therein, such as whether a sales restriction on the Thermablaster heaters was indeed lifted. The information set forth in the e-mail is only considered to be true to the extent that Mr. Campo testified to his first-hand knowledge of the matters contained therein.
Plaintiff's exhibit number 21 is not to be considered for the truth of the matters asserted therein, such as what the ANSI standard states or means. The information set forth in the e-mail is only considered to be true to the extent that Mr. Campo testified to his first-hand knowledge of the matters contained therein.
Your notes are not evidence in the case and must not take precedence over your independent recollection of the evidence. Notes are only an aid to your recollection and are not entitled to greater weight than your recollection of what the evidence actually is. You should not disclose any notes taken to anyone other than a fellow juror.
You were not obligated to take notes. If you did not take notes you should not be influenced by the notes of another juror, but instead should rely upon your own recollection of the evidence.
III. Credibility of Witnesses / Weight of Testimony in General In General
You must consider all of the evidence, but this does not mean you must accept all of the evidence as true or accurate. You are the sole judges of the credibility of the witnesses and the weight their testimony deserves.
You may be guided by the appearance and conduct of the witness, by the manner in which the witness testifies, by the character of the testimony given and by evidence or testimony to the contrary.
You should carefully scrutinize all the testimony given, the circumstances under which each witness has testified, and every matter in evidence which tends to show whether a witness is worthy of belief. Consider each witness' intelligence, motive, state of mind, and demeanor or manner while on the stand. Consider the witness' ability to have observed the matters as to which he or she has testified, and whether he or she impresses you as having an accurate recollection of these matters. Consider any business, personal or other relationship a witness might have with either side of the case; the manner in which each witness might be affected by the verdict; and the extent to which, if at all, each witness is either supported or contradicted by other evidence in the case.
Inconsistencies or Discrepancies
Consider inconsistencies or discrepancies in the testimony of a witness or between different witnesses, which may or may not cause you to discredit such testimony. Two or more persons witnessing an incident or a transaction may see or hear it differently, and innocent mis-recollection, like failure of recollection, is not an uncommon experience. In weighing the effect of a discrepancy, always consider whether it pertains to a matter of importance or an unimportant detail, and whether the discrepancy results from innocent error or intentional falsehood.
After making your own judgment, give the testimony of each witness the weight you think it deserves. You may, in short, accept or reject the testimony of any witness in whole or in part.
False In One, False In All
If you find that a witness has lied to you in any material portion of his or her testimony, you may disregard that witness' testimony in its entirety. I say that you may disregard such testimony, not that you must. However, you should consider whether the untrue part of the testimony was the result of a mistake or inadvertence, or was, rather, willful and stated with a design or intent to deceive.
Not Required to Accept Uncontradicted Testimony
You are not required to accept any testimony, even though the testimony is not contradicted and the witness is not impeached. You may decide, because of the witness' bearing and demeanor, because of the inherent improbability of his or her testimony, or because of other reasons sufficient to you, that such testimony is not worthy of belief.
Number of Witnesses Not Important
The weight of the evidence is not determined by the number of witnesses testifying for either side. You may find that the testimony of a small number of witnesses as to any fact is more credible than that of a larger number of witnesses to the contrary. In short, what is most important is how believable the witnesses were, and how much weight you think their testimony deserves.
Depositions - Use as Evidence
Certain out-of-Court testimony of witnesses has been presented to you. Such testimony was given under oath prior to this trial, during depositions of the witnesses. This method is permitted in order to simplify the presentation of the evidence, and you should not regard evidence presented in this way as any different from any other oral testimony. You may assess the credibility of witnesses who ...