AMENDMENT 7 | TRIAL BY JURY IN CIVIL CASES
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
- December 15, 1791
"Jury trial waivers must be analyzed with "'exacting scrutiny,' indulging all reasonable presumptions against a finding of waiver." ...[A] court's discretion is very narrowly limited and must, wherever possible, be exercised to preserve jury trial."... Nonetheless, against this backdrop, "[a] party may validly waive its Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial so long as the waiver is knowingly and voluntary." "
- Kaplan v. Regions Bank, 2018 WL 3642576 (USFLMD 8/1/18);
"The foregoing sketch is meant to suggest what many of those who oppose the use of juries in civil trials seem to ignore. The founders of our Nation considered the right of trial by jury in civil cases an important bulwark against tyranny and corruption, a safeguard too precious to be left to the whim of the sovereign, or, it might be added, to that of the judiciary. Those who passionately advocated the right to a civil jury trial did not do so because they considered the jury a familiar procedural device that should be continued; the concerns for the institution of jury trial that led to the passages of the Declaration of Independence and to the Seventh Amendment were not animated by a belief that use of juries would lead to more efficient judicial administration. Trial by a jury of laymen, rather than by the sovereign's judges, was important to the founders because juries represent the layman's common sense, the "passionate elements in our nature," and thus keep the administration of law in accord with the wishes and feelings of the community. O. Holmes, Collected Legal Papers 237 (1920). Those who favored juries believed that a jury would reach a result that a judge either could not or would not reach."
- Parklane Hosiery v. Shore, 439 US 322 (1979)