Do you think civil cases should be tried before a jury? Why or why not?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is, of course, possible to argue this both ways. 

There are some people who feel that civil trials should not be heard by juries.  They feel that juries are not likely to know enough to be competent to judge the kinds of technical issues that can often come up in civil trials.  They would also argue that juries in civil trials are too likely to award unrealistic damages to plaintiffs.  In this view, doing away with jury trials would lead to more competent and just verdicts.

Others feel that it is important to keep jury trials.  They feel that it is important to make sure that such decisions are being made by regular people, not by some legal elite.  To them, jury trials in civil matters are a method of protecting our democratic system.

Personally, I would argue that it is not necessary to have juries for civil trials.  It is important to have juries in criminal trials so that the government cannot simply oppress us.  But civil trials do not present this danger.  Therefore, it would be better to have people who were more knowledgeable, making the decisions.  

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