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jury instructions

Mar 13, 2020

Criminal Law: Jury Instructions-Intent and Scheme Evidence

Where a defendant appealed her convictions for making a false statement to receive a health care payment and for financial exploitation of the elderly, the trial court used a definitional instruction that was not in the Missouri Approved Instructions but had been approved by the Missouri Supreme Court based on similar facts, so the use […]

Mar 11, 2020

Criminal Law: Jury Instructions-Propensity Evidence

Where a defendant challenged his convictions for statutory sodomy and victim tampering, the trial court did not plainly err in instructing the jury on the first-degree statutory sodomy counts, and there was no violation of the defendant’s right to an unanimous verdict, and the judgment is affirmed because even though the court plainly erred in […]

Feb 18, 2020

Criminal Law: Assault-Jury Instructions-Sudden Passion

Where a defendant challenged his conviction for assault in the first degree, the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on second-degree assault based on sudden passion because the instruction was supported by the evidence, so the cause is remanded for a new trial on two counts, and the remaining points on appeal […]

Jan 3, 2020

Negligence: Medical Malpractice-Jury Instructions

Defendant appealed from the jury verdict entered against it in the medical-malpractice, wrongful-death case filed by plaintiffs after decedent, an admitted high-risk candidate for surgery, died from complications following surgery. On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erroneously charged the jury on the law for punitive damages and further contended that the claim for […]

Dec 30, 2019

Criminal Law: First-Degree Murder-Death Sentence-Jury Instructions

Where a defendant convicted of first-degree murder after a joint trial with a co-defendant challenged his death sentence, including the aggravating and mitigating factors considered by the jury and the instructions received, the defendant did not show that the district court’s refusal to sever the proceedings at the guilt phase allowed the jury to hear […]

Dec 26, 2019

Employment: Disability Discrimination-MHRA-Jury Instructions

Where plaintiff employee challenged a jury verdict against her on her action for damages on claims of disability discrimination and retaliation under the Missouri Human Rights Act, the evidence did not establish that the employer regarded the employee as  having a physical impairment that had a substantial impact on a major life activity, so the […]

Dec 17, 2019

Criminal Law: Attempted Enticement of a Child-Jury Instructions

Defendant appealed from his conviction for attempted enticement of a child, after he attempted to persuade a 14-year-old to engage in sexual conduct. At trial, defendant unsuccessfully sought to elicit testimony from the victim’s sister about the victim’s tendency to exaggerate. The trial court also rejected defendant’s proffered instructions that would have required the jury […]

Nov 22, 2019

Criminal Law: Statutory Sodomy-Jury Instructions

Defendant appealed from his conviction on four counts of statutory sodomy involving two victims. On appeal, defendant challenged the exclusion of a DSS employee’s testimony from evidence and also challenged the jury instructions on the verdict director for two of his counts. Where the record indicated that trial counsel made a strategic decision not to […]

Oct 14, 2019

Negligence: FELA-Jury Instructions-Negligence Per Se

Where a former locomotive engineer claimed that the railroad was negligent for providing loose cab seats that failed to protect him from excessive shock and jarring, which resulted in significant back injuries, the trial court’s refusal to give a proffered verdict director on the negligence per se theory was error, so the judgment for the […]

Sep 18, 2019

Negligence: FRSA-Retaliation-Jury Instructions

Where a plaintiff who suffered an eye injury while working for his railway employer challenged an adverse verdict on retaliation claims brought under the Federal Railroad Safety Act, the jury instructions misstated the “honestly held belief” defense in the context of the act’s contributing-factor standard and misallocated the burden of proof, and the composite error […]

Sep 17, 2019

Criminal Law: Pre-Trial Lineup-Admission of Gun-Jury Instructions

Where a defendant challenged his conviction and sentence on charges including assault in the first degree, the victim’s pre-trial identification of the defendant from a photo lineup was not unduly suggestive, and the admission of a firearm found in a car used by the defendant and his accomplices during the crime was not an abuse […]

Sep 6, 2019

Flawed jury instructions prompt second reversal by 8th Circuit in railroad employment case

For the second time, a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sent a railroad employment case back to a U.S. district court because of faulty jury instructions. Referred to by plaintiff Edward Blackorby in his appeals brief as “arguably the most important case” in the past decade under the whistleblower-protection provisions […]

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