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Trial by Jury Class 2. 7th Amendment– U.S. Constitution “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right.

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Presentation on theme: "Trial by Jury Class 2. 7th Amendment– U.S. Constitution “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trial by Jury Class 2

2 7th Amendment– U.S. Constitution “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved,……..” Jury trial guaranteed in civil cases in federal courts

3 6 th Amendment– U.S. Constitution “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…..”

4 SRI Int’l v. Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, 775 F.2d 1107 (9 th Cir. 1985) Facts: involved a claim of patent infringement on complicated technology Defendant argued the “complexity exception”– legally or factually complex matters are “too complex” for juries to comprehend, and those cases should be tried by a single judge.

5 SRI Int’l v. Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, 775 F.2d 1107 (9 th Cir. 1985) Upheld right to trial by jury under the 7 th Amendment; There is no distinction in the 7 th Amendment between complex and less complex factual issues No basis for a complexity exception denying parties the constitutional right to a trial by jury under the 7 th Amendment.

6 Arguments against jury trials Trial by judge is more impartial Trial by judge is more efficient A judge is more independent Trial by a Judge upholds respect for the law

7 Right to Trial by Jury Civil Cases Right to jury trial in federal civil cases States differ on whether there is a jury trial right in civil cases (not required by 7 th Amendment) Lots of litigation over kinds of civil cases entitled to jury trial

8 Right to Trial by Jury Criminal Cases Right to Trial by Jury in federal cases Guaranteed by Article III and the 6 th Amendment of the Constitution Most state Constitutions require trial by jury in all criminal cases. Supreme Court has held that trial by jury is guaranteed for all serious criminal cases.

9 Selection of the Trial Jury Venire: list from which jurors are selected (voter registration lists, driver’s license records; telephone directory) Goal is to have cross-section of the population represented Some exemptions: person < 18; incompetents, non-English speaking etc. Hardship exemptions

10 Selection of the Trial Jury Summons—subpoened to come to court Considered citizen’s duty—illegal in most states to fire someone serving on a jury; Voir Dire: lawyers or the judge question the jurors to determine their suitability to serve. Peremptory Challenges—lawyer can excuse certain number of jurors for any reason Challenges for Cause– can challenge any juror who has obvious bias in case.

11 Federal Rules of Evidence Many of the Rules exist to regulate the information given to the jury. “hearsay” statement, other than testimony at trial, introduced at trial to prove the truth of the matter asserted --John talked to Joe who said that the defendant ran the red light. --excluded if offered for the truth…

12 Jury Verdict – Civil Case Jury listens to testimony and considers written evidence. Jurors don’t ask questions during trial. After closing arguments, Judge reads instructions on the law to the jury. Jury must decide the facts based on the evidence, and apply the law to the facts. Jury also decides damages.

13 Jury Verdict Hung Jury: jury that is unable to reach a verdict. Judge will eventually declare a mistrial. Announcing the verdict—written verdict. Foreperson hands verdict to judge who reads it and hands it back. Verdict read by foreperson


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