Vanishing Jury Trials -- Why Do We Care? What to Do?

Wednesday February 1st, 2017 - 1:30 PM
(1.0 CLE) While the Seventh Amendment to the US Constitution and most state constitutions guarantee citizens the right to a jury trial in common-law civil cases, the civil jury trial is steadily disappearing. In 1962, juries resolved 5.5 percent of federal civil cases; since 2005, the rate has remained below 1 percent. In Texas, for example, in 1997, there were 3,369 civil jury trials in state court; in 2012, even as the number of lawsuits had risen substantially, there were fewer than 1,200. Similar trends are evident in states across the nation. We are at a critical moment in American history for the jury. This program will examine why there has been such a steep drop-off in the number of civil jury trials, whether trial by jury still serves a useful purpose in our complex society, and, if so, what, if anything, can be done to reverse the trend.
Speakers: Stephen D. Susman
Written Material(s): Vanishing Jury Trials.pdf

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