The jury trial is sacred in American jurisprudence. It is enshrined in our state and federal constitutions. It the reason courthouses have courtrooms and not just chambers. In law schools throughout the nation, it is revered as the crescendo of our legal process. After all, juries search for the truth, they stand between the government and the accused, and they settle disputes between bickering parties. The jury trial is also in mortal danger of becoming a footnote in our justice system.
The Modern Era
It has long been rumored that the jury trial is on life support. The 2017 civil circuit jury trial statistics for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit not only confirm this, but seemingly show that the jury trial is closer to death than ever before. For the first time in our modern era, the number of jury trials in Miami dropped below 200. This past year, there were only 184 civil circuit juries selected in Miami. The number of verdicts is no doubt even lower due to midtrial settlements, mistrials, and directed verdicts.
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