A fellow Michigan Law alumni recently authored an article in the Michigan Bar Journal regarding the disappearance of civil jury trials in the state of Michigan. The author determined that 40,635 civil cases were resolved in Michigan Circuit Courts in 2017. Of those nearly 41,000 cases, only 258 cases, or 0.6%, were tried before a jury who rendered a verdict. The decline in civil jury trials is leading to a decline in experienced trial attorneys who are willing and able to take cases to trial.
As noted by the author, Abraham Lincoln was thought to have tried more than 1,000 jury cases in his career. Thomas Jefferson quipped: "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." And John Adams is quoted as stating that "representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty." Civil jury trials are a constitutional right and often the only way for an injured or wronged individual to enforce his or her rights.
Grant Parsons and Kathryn Walker regularly take between two and five cases to trial every year. We believe that the only way to hold insurance companies, big employers, and municipalities accountable is to prepare for trial and be willing to present every case to a jury. It is this preparation and the expectation that we try the case that results in more favorable settlements for our clients. And, when no settlement can be reached, we are experienced trial attorneys who can advocate for you in the courtroom.
Download the full article from the Bar Journal here: How "Trial Lawyer" Became an Oxymoron.