The Court's Charge: Current Trends and Issues


Drafting a charge in even a seemingly simple negligence case can become quite complex – particularly with tricky apportionment issues. While a simple negligence claim with a single defendant, no contributory negligence and no exemplary damage claims is easily pulled from the patterns, as your case diverges from that simple fact pattern drafting the charge may become more difficult. This paper discusses some recent opinions and percolating issues about which you should know, including –

  • The latest on broad-form preferences – multiple theories in multiple or single issues.
  • Conditioning – sometimes risky.
  • Inferential rebuttal issues – what and how many.
  • Spoliation instructions – what are the risks.
  • Causation – definitions and mitigation distinctions.
  • Proportionate responsibility submissions – what claims and persons and how.
  • Single business enterprise – is it viable to create vicarious liability and in what form.
  • Fiduciary duty questions – one-size may not fit all.
  • Tortious interference with prospective relations – wrongful conduct towards third party injects difficulty.
  • Equitable relief – specific performance may raise predicate fact issues.

Presented to the Tarrant County Bar Association Brown Bag Seminar, January 22, 2010. To read the full paper, click on the PDF linked below.

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