All across the world, there are countries who rely on trial by jury to help determine the futures of individuals in the judicial system. However, of the 54 countries that provide jury trials, 53 of them use it solely for criminal cases. This is what makes the United States stand out regarding how various civil trials are handled and how the outcomes are determined.
U.S. Is the Only Country to Allow Civil Jury Trials
When it comes to civil cases, the United States is the only country that uses juries in this specific type of legal matter. The U.S. remains a protector of the trial by jury process and what it entails. America believes that jury trial gives individuals hope. On the other hand, many refer to it as a “dozen dimwits gathered at random.” Regardless, jury trial makes the America court system unique in that it gives individuals a voice and a chance to shed light on the actions of the negligent parties.
Tactics Used in Court Systems
There are a number of reasons that many countries don’t allow for jury trials in civil cases. One of the most common reasons would include the tactics used during the trials. This can include:
- Prolonged discovery processes
- Use of experts
- Preparation and presentation of evidence
- Selection of the fact finder
With all of these tactics, it works to incentivize individuals to settle rather than go through the duration of trial, thus resulting in the declining percentage of jury trials over the years.
How This Impacts Plaintiff Costs and the Importance of Contingency Fees
For plaintiffs, the idea of a costly trial is often enough to make them settle in an attempt to avoid the high costs. However, many trial lawyers have changed the way they do business in civil jury trials, including offering contingency fees. Contingency fees allow plaintiffs to secure legal representation without paying any of the expenses out of pocket. Instead, the lawyer will front the money in the case and will only accept payment if and when the case is successful and compensation is recovered for the plaintiff. Even then, the payment is paid to the lawyer from the verdict amount issued to the victim. This allows these individuals to go through the jury trial process without concern of costly expenses.