Will I Have To Go To Trial?
Every client wants to know if they will have to go to trial and the short answer is - it depends. The jury trial is a sacred constitutional right that all citizens share. However, a jury trial presents unique risks that every client must appreciate before embarking on that journey. A client may have no choice but to go to trial, and we are all lucky to live in a country that affords us the opportunity if need be. A jury is made up of regular people who may have no idea what to do in order to make the right decision in your case. The law is confusing to most people, but yet the jury must learn, comprehend, and then apply the law in a very short amount of time. Sometimes jurors get it wrong and the client’s claim suffers. There is no way to predict what decision a jury will make in a case. No matter what, the choice to go to trial or not belongs to the client.
In addition to the risks associated with how jury members make decisions in a case is the fact that there are rules of evidence in place that act like a filter for what information the jury can hear and see in order to make their decision. Almost all clients think they can talk about what an insurance company has or hasn’t done in their case, which may not be true. In fact, in most cases where insurance plays a part, no talk of insurance whatsoever can be made in front of the jury. So in considering whether or not the risk is outweighed by the potential benefit, all clients must fully appreciate the rules that control what can and cannot be said to a jury. A jury trial is not the place to show and tell any and everything you want.