Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sue the B**##@*S!: Jury Selection

Part 2: The Jury (It’s Not a Jury of Your Peers)

By Chris Kilgore

In the first part of this series, we noted the particular challenge of trying a complex or technical case before a jury.  This is an important consideration because, even though trial may not be the end game, litigation matters can sometimes take on a life of their own.

The phrase “jury of your peers” arises from the Magna Carta (1215).  At the time, it meant persons who actually knew the parties, the facts, or had the duty to discover the facts.  The concept of the jury trial as it was understood by the Founding Fathers was intended as another check on government power.  While the jury may work well in that role, the advent of tort litigation around the turn of the 20th Century and cases of ever increasing complexity has put new strains on the efficacy of the jury system.