Standards of Review: Appellate review of jury instructions

From Harstad v. Whiteman, COA, Published 3/4/2011:

“Alleged errors regarding jury instructions are considered questions of law that we examine under a de novo standard of review.” Hamilton v. CSX Transp., Inc., 208 S.W.3d 272, 275 (Ky. App. 2006). Kentucky follows the “bare bones” rule of jury instructions and gives latitude for attorneys to flesh out the details in their arguments. Cox v. Cooper, 510 S.W.2d 530, 535 (Ky. 1974).

From Leighton v. CSX, COA, Published 3/11/2011

Alleged errors regarding jury instructions are questions of law that we examine de novo. Reece v. Dixie Warehouse & Cartage Co., 188 S.W.3d 440, 449 (Ky. App. 2006). The purpose of an instruction is to furnish guidance to the jury in their deliberations and to aid them in arriving at a correct verdict. If the statements of law contained in the instructions are substantially correct, they will not be condemned as prejudicial unless they are calculated to mislead the jury. Ballback’s Adm’r v. Boland-Maloney Lumber Co., 306 Ky. 647, 652-53, 208 S.W.2d 940, 943 (1948).

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