It should be no surprise that civil trials with juries are on a downward trend. A recent Dallas Morning News article cites a number of factors from tort reform, the expense of trial, activist judges, binding arbitration, and the Texas Supreme Court.
The most surprising was the theory that Judges distrust juries and therefore would rather resolve the case themselves as opposed to letting a jury. Certainly there has been a rise in the granting of summary judgments according to the article, but I’m not sure that indicates a judicial distrust.
The reality is that for employers and business owners this is good news. Employers do not want their employment disputes being dealt with by juries in most cases for the simple fact that everyone has been an employee, but not everyone has been an employer. Certainly jury trials are a fundamental cornerstone of our judicial system, but that doesn’t mean they make sense for employers. As discussed here there are numerous ways to avoid juries from arbitration to jury trial waivers – consider them.