Jury Trials are a constitutionally protected that right that reflects our deep commitment to democracy. It is a tool that is used to obtain truth and fairness based on the demographic cross section of our jurors. We can trust 6 jurors in civil matter to arrive at a fair (but certainly not perfect) result. We can expect that there will be disagreements among jurors during their decision-making process, but we can also expect that, through compromise, a fair result will ensue.
There are only a few civic duties that we must all fulfill as citizens: 1) Conscription in the military during wartime 2) pay taxes, and 3) participate as a juror when called upon by the government to do so. Certainly these civic duties are not exactly convenient, but most certainly they are essential to maintaining a democracy. (Disclosure: I have been called to jury duty and attended jury selection. Lawyers are not exempt from jury duty, nor are most professions).
A person who has been injured in an automobile, construction, slip & fall, or other accident has the constitutional right to seek redress in a jury trial. When parties to a lawsuit disagree, they can resort only to a jury trial to resolve their differences. From a juror’s perspective, they have been inconvenienced. From the injured person’s perspective, they are grateful that a fellow citizen would take the time to hear and decide their lawsuit.
It is my job as a lawyer to convince juror’s that their role as the “finder of fact” is a very serious role. I must prove to them that my client was not at fault and that their injuries from an automobile, construction, slip and fall, or other accident was caused by the accident. I must convince them that you are entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering and economic loss.
I begin the process of convincing potential jurors that they are an important part of the judicial process by reiterating what the Constitution of the United States states: that all citizens are entitled to a Trial by Jury. This point is made by bringing a copy of the Constitution and having them see it in person. Lawyers need to remind fellow citizens that all cases, whether they be regarding an automobile, construction, slip and fall, or other type of accident, deserve to be decided in a court of law and by a jury of their peers.