The court must inform the parties of its decision as to the appropriate instructions prior to closing arguments. The practice is for the trial judge to confer with counsel on the instructions prior to closing arguments.66 Any objection to the court’s instructions must be made either before the jury retires or at a time immediately thereafter set by the trial court. The objecting party must state distinctly the grounds for the objection. Failure to follow these requirements will be deemed a waiver of the right to object to the instructions on appeal.67 Objections to instructions are to be heard, at the request of the objecting party, outside the presence of the jury.68
66. DeAngelis v. Harrison, 628 A.2d 77, 80 (Del. 1993).
67. Super. Ct. Civ. R. 51; Super. Ct. Civ. R. 30; Comm. Pls. Ct. Cr. R. 30(a); Riggins v. Mauriello, 603 A.2d 827, 830 (Del. 1992); Alber v. Wise, 166 A.2d 141, 143-144 (Del. 1960).
68. Super. Ct. Civ. R. 51; Super. Ct. Cr. R. 30; Comm. Pls. Ct. Cr. R. 30(a).
© 2010 David L. Finger