If you’re considering filing a lawsuit – or have recently been served – don’t expect a Texas jury to decide your case.
The number of civil jury trials in Texas state courts has fallen 64 percent in the past 15 years, and is now at a 40-year low. Federal jury trials in Texas have also declined by more than 62 percent.
People aren’t suing each other less. They’re just settling more.
“This means justice in Texas is at a 40-year low,” Frank Branson told the Dallas Morning News.
Partly because of the high cost of electronic discovery, cases that once would have been tried in court are now resolved in pretrial mediation or privately funded arbitration. Others are filed in plaintiff-friendly states like Philadelphia, California or West Virginia. Tort reform – which limited noneconomic damages and made it more difficult for products liability and medical malpractice plaintiffs to file claims – also contributed to Texas’ civil jury trial decline.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have long lamented this trend. But now defense attorneys are also protesting, calling the decrease an “attack” on our seventh amendment right to a trial by jury.
If you want to argue your case before a jury, it’s important to hire an attorney who understands how to navigate the pitfalls of e-discovery, pre-dispute arbitration agreements and damage caps.
Despite the obstacles, bringing a suit to trial is often worth the effort. After all, who better to decide the fate of an injured party or accused corporation than 12 impartial citizens?
The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson provides legal representation to victims of trucking and other commercial vehicle accidents. Whether the cause of the collision is driver fatigue, improper truck maintenance, and/or improper screening, training and supervision of drivers, the Dallas truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson have the experience, resources and technical abilities to determine what happened and who should be held responsible.