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January 27, 2013

How to Find Wisconsin Jury Instructions


Where can I find the Wisconsin Jury Instructions online? 

This is a frequent question we get at the reference desk. Unlike some other states, jury instructions for Wisconsin are not available anywhere online - either for free or through a subscription database. Wisconsin jury instructions are commercially published through the University of Wisconsin's CLEW (Continuing Legal Education for Wisconsin).

Wisconsin's jury instructions are divided into three titles: Civil, Criminal, and Children. Civil and criminal jury instructions are issued loose in 3-ring binders (Picture 1). The children's jury instructions are issued in annual paperbound volumes.

The Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL), Milwaukee Legal Resource Center (MLRC), and Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC) all have current jury instructions available for checkout, or reference copies are available for use at WSLL and MLRC.

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In addition to current jury instructions, WSLL archives outdated jury instructions (Picture 2). Here is our coverage of superseded jury instructions:

Children: 1996-current
Civil: 1960-1967, and replaced pages from 1981 to current versions
Criminal: 1962, and replaced pages from 1980 to current versions

Copies of current or past jury instructions can be requested through the library's Order a Document service. Tell us which type of instruction you need (civil, criminal, or children) and the number (Picture 3).

Librarians can help you locate jury instructions if you don't have a direct citation. Each title has an index and table of contents, and the criminal set also includes a comparison table to look up jury instructions by Wisconsin statute citation. Do you need help locating a Wisconsin jury instruction? Ask a librarian for help!

Wisconsin Jury Instructions can be purchased from the University of Wisconsin's CLEW (Continuing Legal Education for Wisconsin).

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