Wisconsin Jury Instructions
The Wisconsin Jury Instructions are created as models, checklists, or minimum standards. It may be necessary to modify instructions to accommodate the facts of the case. There is not a model instruction for every cause of action, criminal offense, or other situation. Users may have to create instructions without a model.
Instructions are broken down into descriptive categories, and arranged numerically. Comments below the text of the instruction discuss special conditions for its use or other cautionary or explanatory information. Brackets indicate where a user may include additional information, such as selecting a paragraph, taking an action, or inserting information from a different instruction.
Instructions may be cited by number. It is suggested that instructions are referred to by their citations when the user requests that the instruction is given verbatim. If an instruction is modified, refer to the model instruction like, "See Wis JI—____ (Date)." (For example, "See Wis JI—Criminal 50 (2021)")
The Wisconsin Jury Instructions are created and edited by the Wisconsin Jury Instructions Committees of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference. The Wisconsin Jury Instructions include contributions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, and are used with its permission. For more information about the Wisconsin Jury Instructions Committees or instructions, contact the reporter Bryce Pierson at:
Office of Judicial Education
110 East Main Street, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703-3328
Ph: (608) 266-7807
Fax: (608) 261-6650
The Civil, Criminal, and Children's Jury Instructions Committees are standing committees of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference. These committees prepare model jury instructions for Wisconsin circuit court judges. Current committee members are listed on the Wisconsin Judicial Conference committee list.
Some of the history of the Wisconsin Jury Instructions is covered in these introductory materials from the 2020 and 2019 instruction sets:
How can I update my print set of instructions?
Each instruction set includes an updates page, which links to filing releases for recent years.
When an instruction set is updated, a filing release will be created and posted on the set's updates page. Users can use the latest update release to print off new instructions to update their set. In addition, annually-updated printable versions of tables and indexes are linked at the top of each index and table page. A complete, printable copy of each instruction set is linked as a single file from each main instruction page, above the table of contents. The Wisconsin Court system does not produce a physical publication, but one may be available from private publishers.
Join our email list for updates throughout the year on newly released instructions for your sets. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get notifications.
Where can I find older instructions?
This website only publishes current jury instructions. For information about prior updates or copies of superseded or withdrawn jury instructions, contact the Wisconsin State Law Library reference desk at 608-267-9696 or email@example.com. Beginning in 2020, archived compilations of jury instructions are also kept on the Wisconsin Digital Archive website.