For years the U.S. Chamber and other tort reform groups have clammored about the American civil justice system and the myriad of problems caused by having jurors decide cases. Corporate America has spent millions waging a public relations and political war to limit access to juries. They insist upon mandatory arbitration provisions in almost every consumer contract in today’s world — think cell phones, student loans, credit cards, etc… They fight endlessly to restrict state court laws, and make every legal manuever to strip away consumer rights to trial by jury.
Corporations even fund law professors (mainly at one particular law school, we all know who) to write papers about how, essentially, juries can’t be trusted. These academic *cough* shills write about how juries are whimsical, biased, and incapable of deciding complex issues.
Those of us who actually try cases to juries in the real world know different. The jury system works. Not always and not with perfection. But it works. And the jury system is absolutely better than any other alternative.
So today a jury of regular people considers the fate of two corporate giants, Apple and Samsung. Billions are on the line. Both sides have spent millions litigating the case. The animosity between the two sides is high drama, and rarely is a civil case more complex. NPR reported today that the jury verdict form alone is twenty pages long.
For me it’s a ironic that despite the gnashing of teeth that comes from corporate America about our jury system, when it comes down to a real, serious, bitter fight between corporate enemies, they seek redress from a jury. The same type of jury that the paid mouthpieces say are incapable of deciding complex or important issues.
It will be interesting to see what happens. I don’t know much about the case, but I’d bet the jury does a pretty good job deciding which way it should go.