John Keker, who’s made his reputation performing before juries, laments that many civil cases these days are routed to mediation and arbitration. “A lot of times in federal court you could fire a cannon down the halls and you wouldn’t hit anybody,” says the Keker & Van Nest partner. “There’s nobody around.” Keker spoke with The Recorder about the dearth of civil jury trials and what he thinks it means for the profession and the law.

Are you seeing a significant drop in the amount of jury trial work that’s coming your way at the firm? No. We’re not seeing a slowdown. We’re recognizing a long, 10-year problem of a lack of civil jury trials in anything but product liability and personal injury cases. And that’s not a slowdown. That’s just the way it’s been for a while.