Invited Error Rule Definition
What is the Invited Error Rule?
"'The doctrine of invited error is designed to prevent an accused from gaining a reversal on appeal because of an error made by the trial court at his behest. If defense counsel intentionally caused the trial court to err, the appellant cannot be heard to complain on appeal.' " (People v. Bunyard (1988) 45 Cal.3d 1189, 1234,.)
"'For the doctrine to apply, "it must be clear from the record that defense counsel made an express objection to the relevant instructions. In addition, because important rights of the accused are at stake, it must also be clear that counsel acted for tactical reasons and not out of ignorance or mistake." ' " (People v. Duncan (1991) 53 Cal.3d 955, 969.)
In Mary M. v. City of Los Angeles (1991) 54 Cal.3d 202, the court more fully explained the invited error rule and its limitations, while citing and distinguishing Jentick v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. (1941) 18 Cal.2d 117.
In Mary M., the trial court ordered that an erroneous jury instruction should be given, despite the appellant City's objections. The appellant City then acquiesced, and submitted a jury instruction in accordance with the trial court's prior ruling. As the high court held, the appellant City was not barred from complaining about the erroneous instruction, because the doctrine of invited error "does not apply when a party, while making the appropriate objections, acquiesces in a judicial determination. As this court has explained: '"An attorney who submits to the authority of an erroneous, adverse ruling after making appropriate objections or motions, does not waive the error in the ruling by proceeding in accordance therewith and endeavoring to make the best of a bad situation for which he was not responsible."' " (Mary M., supra, 54 Cal.3d at pp. 212-213.)
In Jentick v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. (1941) 18 Cal.2d 117, 121 (Jentick), the court held that a utility company could not complain on appeal concerning an erroneous jury instruction, because the company itself had initially requested the giving of such an instruction, and thereby induced the adverse action complained of on appeal.