Pattern Jury Instructions Now Available for Free Online

Yesterday, I received the following announcement from a colleague here at the School. I thought that it was worth sharing in its entirety:

The North Carolina Pattern Jury Instructions (PJI) are now available, for free, in PDF Format in an Online Library from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government. The Pattern Jury Instructions also remain available in hard copy and software formats.

The software format, from CX Corporation, provides a very good editing tool for the pattern jury instructions, which North Carolina’s superior and district court judges and many litigators use.

The PJI Online Library contains the most recent Annual Supplement Update pages (the “green sheets”). Users can use this page to learn whether they have the latest versions of particular jury instructions.

The School continues to sell paper copies of the Pattern Jury Instructions and paper copies of annual supplements.

The Pattern Jury Instructions are sample jury instructions organized by legal topic. Trial judges use them for particular cases based on the relevant law and facts, and share them with juries as guidance for reaching a decision in their cases. The instructions are created and compiled by The Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, made up of trial judges. They are assisted by the School of Government and supported by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. The Committee creates annual supplements, based on changes in statutory and case law.

We hope the availability of multiple formats is helpful to the users of the North Carolina pattern jury instructions.

I’ve only looked briefly at the online library, but it has criminal, civil, and motor vehicle instructions, and appears to be logically organized and easy to navigate. I’ve used the paper version in the past but anticipate making the move to electronic access now.

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