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The Elusive Jury Trial

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees a right to a jury trial. Although this is our right, fewer and fewer trials are happening. I had a first-hand experience recently. We had 3 cases set for trial in one month. If they all went to trial, it was going to be a challenging month. By all accounts, none of the cases seemed like they were going to be resolved before trial. But one by one, they all went away.

One of the cases was a criminal trial. The prosecution dismissed the case a few days before the trial was supposed to start. That was a win for our client, so we were all happy!

The second case settled after prolonged negotiations. Our client was pleased with the settlement, so we had no complaints. I will say we had some emotions of sadness because we had put in so much hard work getting ready for trial.

The third case was never reached. In other words, there were other cases in front of us that went to trial and the judge did not have the time to try our case. That case will get reset in a month or so and we will try again.

After this month, I realized there really is truth to vanishing jury trials. I also know that you must be ready to go to trial at any point because there is a good chance you’ll have that case that does go to trial. When we are prepared for trial, good things happen for our clients.

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