There is a lack of jury trials in the American Court System

This is a great piece in the NY Times today about the lack of jury trials in the American court system. Things are even worse in Indiana, where our Supreme Court justices have warned of lack of jury trials for years. ( The NY Times cites Federal mandatory minimums – which are really a form of trial tax  – as a major contributor to the lack of jury trials. For criminal cases, that is completely accurate; in civil cases, I attribute the lack of jury trials to:

1. Cost – civil juries with experts cost at least $30,000. With caps on damages and fees, it is often difficult for the Plaintiff’s lawyer to get his or her money back.

2. In States like Indiana where the law is so favorable to the insurance industry, most cases – well over 90% – are dismissed on summary judgment or because of a 12(b)(6) motion.

At Saeed and Little, we try cases, a lot of cases, as many as anyone else in Indiana. This year we have tried two cases to verdict (one trial lasted over a month) and have at least two more cases going to trial this year.

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