Juries and the Adversarial Process Feb 27

Juries and the Adversarial Process Feb 27 - Juries and the...

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Juries and the Adversarial Process February 27, 2008 Right to a Jury Trial The right to a jury trial is governed by three different sets of rules that apply to three different types of cases o Civil cases in federal court o Civil Cases in state court, and Criminal cases (whether in federal court or state court) Civil Case in Federal Court In civil cases in federal court the right to a jury trial is governed by the 7 th Amendment to the US Constitution It is clear that the Amendment does not provide for jury trials in all federal civil cases o As of the time of the Amendment’s adoption in 1791 there were several kinds of cases that were not Suits at Common Law o Subsequently many kinds of suits have come in being that did not exist at all in 1791, and the law/equality distinction was abolished in 1938 It is sometimes difficult to decide what jury trial rights ‘shall be preserved” under the seventh amendment o If the suit seeks money damages there is almost surely a right to a jury trial o If the suits seeks only equitable relive there almost surely is not right to a jury trial Since about 1980 there has been a question whether there is a complexity exception to the seventh amendment o Whether there are cases so complex that juror cannot be expected to have the capacity to rationally decided them, so that submitting such cases to a jury would violate the Due Process Clause o One federal circuit has held that a complex case exception sexists, the Supreme Court has never directly ruled on the issue Civil Cases in State Court In civil cases in state court, the right to a jury trial is governed by the state’s constitution and statues o The Supreme court has repeatedly held that the seventh Amendment right to a jury trial applies only to federal courts o Most states make jury trials widely available for many kinds of civil cases above the level of small
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2009 for the course PLSC 382I taught by Professor Kent,shanise during the Spring '08 term at Binghamton University.

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Juries and the Adversarial Process Feb 27 - Juries and the...

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