Virginia: Special Cases – A Lawyer’s Instructions

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On May 10, 2018, by unpublished Order in Mack v. Blount, No. 170878, an appeal from Hampton Circuit Court, the Virginia Supreme Court found that it was “[reversible] error for the trial court to refuse to properly instruct the jury, when it was aware of the jury’s confusion and [a party] had specifically requested an instruction addressing the matter”.  Id. at 4.  Particularly in light of Mack observing that the Virginia Supreme Court normally would “set aside the veride and remand the case for retrial,” id.; Mack stands to be ominous for many medical malpractice, vehicle accident, and other trials, since historically most trial judges have declined to instruct a jury further in response to written questions evincing its confusion.