Texas Pattern Jury Charges Committees

The Texas Pattern Jury Charges series is widely accepted by attorneys and judges as the most authoritative guide for drafting questions, instructions, and definitions in a broad variety of cases.

Each Texas Pattern Jury Charges volume includes an electronic version with the entire book as a hyperlinked and word-searchable PDF file, also available for purchase separately. All charge language is included as Word files linked to the comments for quick retrieval and assembly of jury charges. Texas case citations are linked to PDF files of the cases and to an online version of the Casemaker Web Library.

Pattern Jury Charges Committees:

Department Contact
Texas Bar Books
(512) 427-1411
books@texasbar.com
texasbarbooks.net


Pattern Jury Charges – Business, Consumer, Insurance & Employment Committee

Created in 1985

Purpose

To prepare and periodically revise pattern jury charges for common law and statutory claims encountered in consumer, insurance, business, commercial, and employment litigation. The committee shall consist of a balance of judges, plaintiffs, and defense lawyers with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice under review by this committee.

2020-2021 Projects and Objectives

  • This will be a publication year for the committee and the committee will be working to finalize updates for the 2022 edition. This will include a comprehensive review and update of existing charges to reflect new statutory and case law and adding new charges where needed. Additionally, the committee will work with the other civil drafting committees and the Oversight Committee on updates that appear in multiple volumes.

Staff Contact

Elma Garcia
Publications Attorney
(512) 427-1858

Chair
Carlos Soltero
Soltero Sapire Murrell, PLLC
Austin
(512) 422-1559

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Pattern Jury Charges – Criminal Committee

Created in 2005

Purpose

To monitor statutory and case law developments in criminal law and prepare supplementation as needed for Pattern Jury Charges - Criminal. The committee shall consist of a balance of judges and practitioners with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice under review by this committee.

2021-2022 Projects and Objectives

  • The Committee continues to focus on the transition of the Criminal Pattern Jury Charges from printed volumes to an online-only product. The Committee has revised the basic format for how charges for all crimes are presented to juries, who will in the future see streamlined instructions that are easier to understand. Members are applying the new format to existing charges, as well as revising the CPJCs for recent changes in the law. The group is also adding new charges for various crimes, including burglary of a vehicle and animal cruelty.

Staff Contact

Jim Norman
Attorney I
(512) 427-1460

Chair
John Messinger
(512) 463-1660

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Pattern Jury Charges – Family and Probate Committee

Created in 1987

Purpose

To monitor statutory and case law developments in family and probate law and prepare supplementation as needed for Pattern Jury Charges - Family and Probate. The committee shall consist of a balance of judges and practitioners with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice under review by this committee.

2021-2022 Projects and Objectives

  • The 2022 edition of the PJC - Family & Probate volume will be published in early 2022. Changes will reflect statutory revisions enacted during the 2021 legislative session, including new provisions for juries to place geographic restrictions on sole managing conservators. The Committee has completely revised the charge and instructions for reimbursement claims in divorce litigation and is drafting a new charge for contempt of court in cases where the defendant has a right to a jury.

Staff Contact

James Norman
Attorney I
(512) 427-1460

Chair
John Nickelson
Law Office Of Gary L. Nickelson
Fort Worth
(817) 735-4000

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Pattern Jury Charges – General Negligence, Intentional Personal Torts & Workers’ Compensation Committee

Created in 1984

Purpose

To monitor statutory and case law developments in the subject matter of this PJC volume and prepare supplementation as needed. The committee shall consist of a balance of judges, plaintiffs’, and defense lawyers with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice under review by this committee.

2021-2022 Projects and Objectives

  • Complete the 2022 volume for publication: "Shepardize all Chapters; Add/revise charges on Proximate Cause, Inferential Rebuttal, Cap-busting, Trespass and Nuisance, Personal Property Damages, Physical Impairment, Pecuniary Loss, and Subsequent Injury. Monitor case law developments; Develop and draft jury questions and instructions for the new laws passed under 2021 (R) Tex. HB 19 (Relating to civil liability of a commercial motor vehicle owner or operator, including the effect that changes to that liability have on commercial automobile insurance) which becomes effective September 1, 2021

Staff Contact
Derek Smith
(512) 427-1832

Chair
Hyattye Simmons
Hyattye O. Simmons, Attorney at Law
Dallas
(888) 204-5299

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Pattern Jury Charges – Malpractice, Premises & Products Committee

Created in 1987

Purpose

To monitor statutory and case law developments in the subject matter of this PJC volume and prepare supplementation as needed. The committee shall consist of a balance of judges, plaintiffs, and defense lawyers with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice under review by the committee.

2021-2022 Projects and Objectives

  • The Committee is updating the volume to reflect changes enacted by the 2021 legislature and recent case law. Changes also will be made to the charges and instructions for the Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act, the definition of "design defect," the basic damages question to clarify when damages were caused by an injury or by an occurrence, cases where plaintiff seek to exceed normal limits on exemplary damages, and others. In addition, the committee is updating the comments to the proximate cause instruction, actions against attorneys, inferential rebuttals, premises liability actions, and other PJCs.

Staff Contact

James Norman
Attorney I
(512) 427-1460

Chair
Michelle Robberson
Cooper & Scully PC
Dallas
(214) 712-9511

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Pattern Jury Charges – Oil and Gas Committee

Created in 2013

Purpose

To monitor statutory and case law developments in the subject matter for this PJC volume and prepare supplementation as needed. The committee shall consist of a balance of judges, and practitioners with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice under review by the committee.

2021-2022 Projects and Objectives

  • The committee will spend this year finalizing materials to be included in the 2022 edition. The committee will complete a comprehensive review of the current charges and consider what changes or additions should be made to reflect new cases and statutory law. The committee will also continue to work closely with the other drafting volumes on new materials impacting more than one volume. This includes working with the General Negligence volume to develop updated materials on nuisance and working with the Business volume to update contracts materials included in both volumes.

Staff Contact

Elma Garcia
Publications Attorney
(512) 427-1858

Chair
Craig Haynes
(214) 969-1239

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Pattern Jury Charges – Oversight Committee

Created in 2003

Purpose

To set appropriate policies and standards, to act as an oversight and coordinating committee for the PJC committees, and to concern itself with the study and formulation of the form of charges submitted for publication through the Books and Systems Department. The membership of the PJC - Oversight Committee shall consist of two ex-officio members of the Texas Supreme Court as designated by the Supreme Court, a balance of district and appellate court judges, and a balance of lawyers with demonstrated expertise in the various areas of practice, including plaintiffs and defense lawyers, and general member appointments.

2021-2022 Projects and Objectives

  • The PJC Oversight Committee will work with each of the individual civil PJC volumes (General Negligence, Intentional Personal Torts & Workers’ Compensation; Oil & Gas; Business, Consumer, Insurance & Employment; Family & Probate; and Malpractice, Premises & Products) to complete work for the 2022 editions. The PJC Oversight Committee will review new materials and updates and work with appointed cross-volume subcommittees to complete work impacting multiple volumes. The Oversight Committee will also continue to support the work of the Criminal PJC Committee as it updates its materials and transitions its volumes on-line.

Staff Contact

Elma Garcia
Publications Attorney
(512) 427-1858

Chair
Daniel Hinde
Schiffer Hicks Johnson PLLC
Houston
(713) 357-5155

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