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Reasons for the Disappearing Jury Trial: Perspectives from Attorneys and Judges

December 2020

From the Louisiana Law Review:

All court observers agree that the modern era has brought a dramatic decline in jury trials, both civil and criminal. The explanations for that decline are far more ambiguous, in part because commentators offer so many possible explanations. To evaluate these sources of decline and to assess what changes might slow down or reverse the disappearance of the American jury trial, we conducted a national survey of attorneys and judges. The survey was designed to investigate how legal professionals who have firsthand experience with the decisions that lead to or away from jury trials explain the reduction in jury trials in recent years. This Article describes the results from this national survey of 1,460 legal professionals, both attorneys and judges.