The Performance of the American Civil Jury: An Empirical Perspective

In order to provide a context for evaluating the specific claims made about juries,
I begin with a profile of the incidence of civil jury trials and the types of cases
that juries are asked to decide. The most visible part of the debate in recent
years has centered on juries in the tort system, but we must keep in mind that juries
are also used to decide other disputes, including business to business disputes such
as antitrust litigation, breaches of contract and trademark violations. In fact,
criticism of the competence of juries to decide complex antitrust matters preceded
the more visible public debate about juries in the tort system by a number of years.
Note also that the right to jury trial has been extended to cases involving civil
rights, bankruptcy, civil penalties, and breach of duty.