The Iowa State Bar Association’s Jury Instructions Committee updated the civil jury instructions, which are now in effect. The changes in the civil instructions impact instruction 100.2 related to juror biases. The new instruction includes the following language:
As you consider the evidence, do not be influenced by any personal sympathy, bias, prejudices or emotions. Because you are making very important decisions in this case, you are to evaluate the evidence carefully and avoid decisions based on generalizations, gut feelings, prejudices, sympathies, stereotypes, or biases. The law demands that you return a just verdict, based solely on the evidence, your reason and common sense, and these instructions. As jurors, your sole duty is to find the truth and do justice.
Iowa State Bar Ass’n, Iowa Civil Jury Instruction 100.2 (2016). Other changes impact instructions 3120.1 to 3120.5, regarding workplace harassment and hostile work environments. Instructions 3120.2 through 3120.5 are new to the chapter and further define workplace harassment and hostile work environment.