Annual Meeting

Don’t delay civil trials for fiscal reasons, ABA House declares

The ABA took a stand opposing the suspension or delay of the fundamental right to a civil jury trial in the face of difficult fiscal circumstances.

The ABA House of Delegates on Monday adopted a one-sentence measure, Resolution 105A (PDF), opposing such courses of action. Tight budgets have led courts to look for ways to save money, ranging from shortened workweeks to furloughing employees to even suspending jury trials.

Suspension of civil jury trials have been found in the past to violate the Seventh Amendment.

“It cannot be sacrificed just because of fiscal concerns,” Robert S. Peck told the House of Delegates. He is with the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, which sponsored the proposal, and the founder and president of the Center for Constitutional Litigation in Washington, D.C,

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