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Professor Susan Klein appointed reporter for the Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee

 

Professor Susan Klein, Alice McKean Young Regents Chair in Law.

Professor Susan Klein, Alice McKean Young Regents Chair in Law, has been appointed reporter for the Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, which writes the set of legal rules that jurors follow in federal criminal cases filed in districts covered by the Fifth Circuit, which includes dozens of courts in dozens of cities in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. She was formerly an ex officio member of the Committee. The Committee will meet in February 2012 at the Law School to finalize drafts for the next edition of the Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions, Criminal, which was last published by West in 2001. The Committee has revised every instruction in the publication in light of changes in federal criminal law over the past decade. The new instructions will be published online in early 2012, and published in book form later that year.

“I assisted Judge Hayden Head, chair of the Judicial Committee, when his committee drafted the Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions in 2001, and I was thrilled when he asked me to participate again in this update,” Klein said. “This project is one of the most important things I will ever do in terms of making a practical impact in the real world of law. Juries make decisions about people’s lives every day after being instructed by the court in the law, and these instructions truly matter to the jury and to the defendant.  If the instructions are incorrect, a conviction is likely to be reversed. This hurts the government, which loses the resources it invested in prosecuting the matter, and it hurts the defendant, who may have to suffer a second trial.  Everybody wins if the jury instructions are clear and correct.”  

Other members of the Committee are cochairs the Honorable Hayden Head of the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas and the Honorable George P. Kazen, of the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas; the Honorable Lance M. Africk of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; the Honorable Jane J. Boyle of the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas; the Honorable Marcia A. Crone of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas; the Honorable Kurt D. Engelhardt of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; the Honorable Andrew S. Hanen of the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas; the Honorable Harry Lee Hudspeth of the United States District Court, Western District of Texas; the Honorable Simeon Timothy Lake III of the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas; the Honorable Alia Moses Ludlum, United States District Court, Western District of Texas; the Honorable Xavier Rodriguez, United States District Court, Western District of Texas; and the Honorable Walter S. Smith Jr. of the United States District Court, Western District of Texas.

Klein is a nationally prominent scholar in the fields of criminal procedure, federal criminal law, and prosecutorial ethics. She is the author of one of the nation’s leading federal criminal law casebooks, Federal Criminal Law and Its Enforcement (5th ed., West 2010), with Sara Sun Beale and Norm Abrams. Her many articles have appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the California Law Review, the Supreme Court Review, the Stanford Law Review, and many other top ten journals, and have been cited recently by the United States Supreme Court. She is active in educating state and federal judges and coteaches the Advanced Federal Criminal Prosecution Seminar at the Law School with Anthony Brown, ’86, chief assistant United States attorney for the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas.

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