Texas Pattern Jury Charges, published by the State Bar of Texas, is a compilation of definitions, jury instructions, and supplemental material, intended to assist practitioners with developing jury charges. Volumes are organized by broad practice area and are generally sold individually, since few practitioners have need for all of them. The pattern charges use questions to direct the practitioner to the proper provided fill-in-the-blank language. Local bar associations often encourage practitioners to use these pattern charges, so it’s important for students to familiarize themselves with these resources before graduating.
Online access to the Texas Pattern Jury Charges - Civil can be found on LexisAdvance.
Each set of jury charges is divided into topical chapters, the subsections of which contain pattern jury charges addressing specific questions or circumstances. Each civil volume contains the same first and last chapter: “Admonitory Instructions” and “Preservation of Charge Error,” respectively. Each criminal volume begins with a chapter on “Commentary on Criminal Jury Charges” and a chapter on “The General Charge.”
Volumes may also contain any of the following: preface, introduction, Quick Guide to Drafting a Jury Charge, appendix, statutes and rules cited, cases cited, and a subject index.
Most individual chapters begin with a section of statutory references and a section of general comments.
There are eight total sets of jury charges (four civil and four criminal).
Business, Consumer, Insurance, & Employment
Family and Probate
General Negligence & Intentional Personal Torts
Malpractice, Premise & Products
Criminal – Defenses
Criminal – Intoxication and Controlled Substances
Criminal – Crimes Against Persons
Criminal – Property Crimes