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Rule51. Instructions to jury; objections.

(a)Preliminary instructions. After the jury is sworn andbefore opening statements, the court may instruct the jury concerning thejurors' duties and conduct, the order of proceedings, the elements and burdenof proof for the cause of action, and the definition of terms. The court mayinstruct the jury concerning any matter stipulated to by the parties and agreedto by the court and any matter the court in its discretion believes will assistthe jurors in comprehending the case.

(b)Interim instructions. During the course of the trial,the court may instruct the jury on the law if the instruction will assist thejurors in comprehending the case. A party may request an interim instruction.

(c)Final instructions. The court shall instruct thejury at the conclusion of the evidence as may be needed.

(d)Request for instructions. Parties shall file requestedjury instructions at the final pretrial conference or at any other timedirected by the court. If a party relies on a statute, rule or case to supportor object to a requested instruction, the party shall provide a citation to ora copy of the statute, rule or case. The court shall provide the parties with acopy of the approved instructions, unless the parties waive this requirement.

(e)Written instructions. Whenever practical, juryinstructions should be in writing. At least one written copy shall be providedto the jury. The court shall provide a written copy to any juror who requestsone.

(f)Objections to instructions. Objections to writteninstructions shall be made before the instructions are given to the jury.Objections to oral instructions may be made after they are given to the jury,but before the jury retires to consider its verdict. The court shall provide anopportunity to make objections outside the hearing of the jury. Unless a partyobjects to an instruction or the failure to give an instruction, theinstruction may not be assigned as error except to avoid a manifest injustice.In objecting to the giving of an instruction, a party shall identify the matterto which the objection is made and the grounds for the objection.

(g)Arguments. Arguments for the respectiveparties shall be made after the court has given the jury its finalinstructions. The court shall not comment on the evidence in the case, and ifthe court states any of the evidence, it must instruct the jurors that they arethe exclusive judges of all questions of fact.