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Big Win: IL Supreme Court Kills Trial Lawyer-Backed Law That Cut Jury Size
Posted on: 9/29/2016


Last week, by a 5-0 margin, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a trial lawyer-backed law that cut the size of civil juries from 12 members to six.

ISMS applauds the ruling, which protects one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed to every Illinois citizen.

Research has demonstrated that smaller juries have less diversity, are less deliberative and tend to deliver higher-than-average awards. Trial lawyers reportedly pressed for the change, and the measure was signed into law during the final days of Governor Quinn's administration.

Throughout its history, ISMS has consistently fought against mandatory jury size reduction in all civil cases. ISMS strongly opposed this legislation when it was being considered, and actively supported legal and legislative remedies to restore the constitutional right to a 12-person jury.

As our president, Dr. Thomas Anderson, put it, “Delegates to both the 1870 and 1970 Illinois Constitutional Conventions considered the merit of six-person juries and purposefully deemed them inappropriate for Illinois. If that’s not an indication of constitutional intent, we don’t know what else could be.”

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