CACI 223 Opinion Testimony of Lay Witness

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

223 Opinion Testimony of Lay Witness

A witness [who was not testifying as an expert] gave an opinion during the trial. You may, but are not required to, accept that opinion. You may give the opinion whatever weight you think is appropriate.

Consider the extent of the witness’s opportunity to perceive the matters on which the opinion is based, the reasons the witness gave for the opinion, and the facts or information on which the witness relied in forming that opinion. You must decide whether information on which the witness relied was true and accurate. You may disregard all or any part of an opinion that you find unbelievable, unreasonable, or unsupported by the evidence.

Directions for Use

Give the bracketed phrase in the first sentence regarding the witness not testifying as an expert if an expert witness also testified in the case.

Sources and Authority

Opinion Testimony of Lay Witness. Evidence Code section 800.

Foundation for Opinion Testimony of Lay Witness. Evidence Code section 802.

Character Evidence. Evidence Code section 1100.

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Opinion Evidence, §§ 3–25
Wegner et al., California Practice Guide: Civil Trial and Evidence, Ch. 8C-H, Opinion Evidence, ¶¶ 8:643–8:681 (The Rutter Group)
Jefferson’s California Evidence Benchbook (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) §§ 29.1–29.17
48 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 551, Trial, § 551.70 (Matthew Bender)
1 Cotchett, California Courtroom Evidence, Ch. 17, Nonexpert and Expert Opinion, § 17.01 (Matthew Bender)
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings—Trial § 8.72 (Cal CJER 2019)