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Rule 19

Rule 19. Instructions.

(a) 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 alleged crime, 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. Preliminary instructions shall be inwriting and a copy provided to each juror. At the final pretrial conference orat such other time as the court directs, a party may file a written requestthat the court instruct the jury on the law as set forth in the request. Thecourt shall inform the parties of its action upon a requested instruction priorto instructing the jury, and it shall furnish the parties with a copy of itsproposed instructions, unless the parties waive this requirement.

(b) 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. Prior to giving the written instruction, thecourt shall advise the parties of its intent to do so and of the content of theinstruction. A party may request an interim written instruction.

(c) At the close of the evidence orat such earlier time as the court reasonably directs, any party may filewritten request that the court instruct the jury on the law as set forth in therequest. At the same time copies of such requests shall be furnished to theother parties. The court shall inform counsel of its proposed action upon therequest; and it shall furnish counsel with a copy of its proposed instructions,unless the parties waive this requirement. Final instructions shall be inwriting and at least one copy provided to the jury. The court shall provide acopy to any juror who requests one and may, in its discretion, provide a copyto all jurors.

(d) Upon each written request sopresented and given, or refused, the court shall endorse its decision and shallinitial or sign it. If part be given and part refused, the court shalldistinguish, showing by the endorsement what part of the charge was given andwhat part was refused.

(e) 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 stating the objection the party shall identify the matter to which theobjection is made and the ground of the objection.

(f) The court shall not comment onthe evidence in the case, and if the court refers to any of the evidence, itshall instruct the jury that they are the exclusive judges of all questions offact.

(g) Arguments of the respectiveparties shall be made after the court has given the jury its finalinstructions. Unless otherwise provided by law, any limitation upon time forargument shall be within the discretion of the court.