instructions


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Instructions

Directives given by a judge to a jury during a trial prescribing the manner in which the jurors should proceed in deciding the case at bar. Jury instructions ordinarily include a statement of the questions of fact for determination by the jury, as well as a statement of the laws applicable to the facts of the case.

See: charge, direction, order

instructions

the facts of a case given by a client to his solicitor or by a solicitor to a barrister with directions to conduct the case.

INSTRUCTIONS, com. law, Contracts. Orders given by a principal to his agent in relation to the business of his agency.
     2. The agent is bound to obey the instructions he has received and when he neglects so to do, he is responsible for the consequences, unless he is justified by matter of necessity. 4 Binn. R. 361; 1 Liverm. Agency, 368.
     3. Instructions differ materially from authority, as regards third persons. When a written authority is known to exist, or, by the nature of the transaction, it is presupposed, it is the duty of persons dealing with an agent to ascertain the nature and extent of his authority; but they are not required to make inquiry of the agent as to any private instructions from his principal, for the obvious reason that they may be presumed to be secret and of a confidential nature, and therefore not to be communicated to third persons. 5 Bing. R. 442.
     4. Instructions are given as applicable to the usual course of things, and are subject to two qualifications which are naturally, and perhaps necessarily implied in every mercantile agency. 1. As instructions are applicable only to the ordinary course of affairs, the agent will be justified, in cases of extreme necessity and unforeseen emergency, in deviating from them; as, for example, when goods on hand are perishable and perishing, or when they are accidentally injured and must be sold to prevent further loss; or if they are in imminent danger of being lost by the capture of the port where they are, they may be transferred to another port. Story on Ag. Sec. 85, 118, 193; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 218; 4 Binn. 361; 1 Liverm. on Ag. 368. 2. Instructions must be lawful; if they are given to perform an unlawful act, the agent is not bound by them. 4 Campb. 183; Story on Ag. Sec. 195. But the lawfulness of such instruction does not relate to the laws of foreign countries. Story, Confl. of Laws, Sec. 245; 1 Liverm. on Ag. 15- 19. As to the construction of letters of instruction, see 3 Wash. C. C. R. 151; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 551; 1 Liv. on Ag. 403; Story on Ag. Sec. 74; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 132; 2 Crompt. & J. 244; 1 Knapp,, R. 381.

INSTRUCTIONS, practice. The statements of a cause of action, given by a client to his attorney, and which, where such is the practice, are sent to his pleader to put into legal form of a declaration. Warr. Stud. 284.
     2. Instructions to counsel are their indemnity for any aspersions they may make on the opposite party; but attorneys who have a just regard to their own reputation will be cautious, even under instructions, not to make any unnecessary attack upon a party or witness. For such unjustifiable conduct the counsel will be held responsible. Eunom. Dial. 2, Sec. 43, p. 132. For a form of instructions, see 3 Chit. Pr. 117, and 120 n.

References in classic literature ?
My instructions are, Copperfield, to put this placard on your back.
Your acceptance of it, and your observance of it as binding, is the only remaining condition that I am charged with, by the person from whom I take my instructions, and for whom I am not otherwise responsible.
However, a malicious rogue of a skipper went to an officer, and pointing to me, told him, "I had not yet trampled on the crucifix;" but the other, who had received instructions to let me pass, gave the rascal twenty strokes on the shoulders with a bamboo; after which I was no more troubled with such questions.
What I have thus far addressed to thee are instructions for the adornment of thy mind; listen now to those which tend to that of the body.
So far as might concern the misbehavior of the Executive in perverting the instructions or contravening the views of the Senate, we need not be apprehensive of the want of a disposition in that body to punish the abuse of their confidence or to vindicate their own authority.
Besides, he took with him an interpretor, who was frequently able to express his instructions more distinctly than he could himself.
The reader will bear these instructions in mind, as events will prove their wisdom and importance, and the disasters which ensued in consequence of the neglect of them.
Three white men, then, two half-breeds, one negro, and three Indians made up the personnel of the little expedition which lay waiting for its instructions at Manaos before starting upon its singular quest.
monsieur," said he, in a low voice, to the officer to whom, for an hour, he had ceased speaking, "what would I give to know the instructions for the new commander
he muttered, and after listening to the verbal instructions his father had sent and taking the correspondence and his father's letter, he returned to the nursery.
The Englishman, who usually kept an eye upon his black captor, saw now that the latter was explaining something in detail to his warriors, and from his gestures and his manner it was apparent that he was persuading them to some new plan as well as giving them instructions as to what they were to do.
I'm due at the Admiralty at four to receive my final instructions," he said.

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