WASHINGTON – In a case that raises the question of whether judges, rather than juries, can constitutionally decide factors that could trigger an increase in the minimum sentence, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed reluctant to shake up a sentencing scheme that Congress and the courts have relied upon for more than a decade.
Lawyers care about an expert’s credentials, how the expert’s opinions support their case, and the expert’s ability to withstand cross-examination. Experts care about their reputation and how to balance objectivity with assisting their client’s case. Jurors just want to figure out what the heck is going on.
WASHINGTON – The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court considered on Monday whether a judge-imposed fine against a company convicted of environmental violations violated the Fifth and Sixth Amendments because it wasn’t determined by a jury.
All litigants on both sides of the aisle have been squeezed by the exponential complexity of litigation and the accompanying time and expense of discovery and trial. But while this strain causes some parties to settle cases rather than deal with prolonged trial dates, there will always be a place for parties to have their matters resolved by a representative cross-section of the community, and some additional but seldom used remedies are available for those parties who do not want to wait for the courts.
Letters from jurors expressing their doubts about the defendant’s guilt and describing irregularities during deliberations were not sufficient to warrant a reversal of the defendant’s conviction, the Illinois Appellate Court has ruled.
A taxpayer does not have the right to a jury trial in an action for a refund of state income taxes, the California Supreme Court has ruled in reversing an appellate decision.
Plaintiffs were not entitled to a jury trial on a claim that their former employer violated federal notice requirements for plant closures, the 6th Circuit has ruled in affirming judgment.
After deliberating just a few hours, a California jury declined to award the two children of billionaire Donald Bren any retroactive child support.
California lawmakers have unanimously approved a bill that allows civil litigants to opt for trials with time limits and smaller juries.
A defendant claiming a Double Jeopardy violation is not entitled to federal habeas relief where a state court’s application of federal law was not unreasonable.
U.S. Supreme Court. Renico v. Lett, No. 09-338. May 3, 2010. Lawyers USA No. 993-1856.