7th Amendment Benefits Both Plaintiff & Defendent
The Constitution is the bedrock of our American society. Not a day goes by without many of us benefiting from one or more of the sacred amendments to our constitution, such as the freedoms of speech or religion, or the right to bear arms. At Meyers Evans Lupetin & Unatin, we are privileged to work every day to advance an important right granted to each of us under the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Section 6 of the Constitution of Pennsyvlania – the right to a jury trial.
Those who wrote the laws at the foundation of our society intended access to a trial by jury for all. But does the right to a jury trial guarantee equality and justice for all who come before a jury? Let’s face it. Often, people who file lawsuits claiming money damages are at a disadvantage compared to the party facing and defending the claims. It is difficult to understand why we, the people who make up the juries that decide cases across America, tend to second guess those who are simply exercising their constitutional rights. Perhaps we are all born skeptics. Like jurors with the evidence presented in a courtroom, in our daily interactions we constantly judge each other’s credibility. We make decisions about who to believe, who we like or dislike, and who deserves our time, money, or moral support, over and over again.
So yes, jurors, like us all, are often skeptical of those who bring civil lawsuits. But this skepticism should not mean we cherish the seventh amendment any more or less than our other impenetrable rights. It doesn’t mean jurors, by and large, don’t do their best to remain fair and impartial. Fortunately, in most courts across the United States of America, the parties are given a full opportunity to choose a fair and impartial jury. Sometimes, cases are actually decided by a truly fair and impartial jury. Still, other times jurors reach decisions under the deep-rooted influence of bias or pre-existing beliefs. The process is not perfect. Yet for the most part, the judges, attorneys, court staff, and others who run the judicial process do they best they can to preserve the sanctity of the 7th amendment, for the sake of justice.
As citizens of this great country, we should never back-down from exercising our 7th Amendment rights for fear of being second-guessed, or the object of bias. As your advocates, we will speak the truth on your behalf and do whatever possible to stamp out doubt when you exercise your constitutional rights for what you believe in.