Everyone knows that we have a constitutional right to a jury trial for criminal proceedings. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent right to a jury trial for civil cases. Louisiana has very specific laws in place that govern what a private business must do in order to secure a jury for their civil lawsuit. If you anticipate litigation on the horizon for your company, and you want to hold the trial before a jury, here is what you need to know.
Why choose a jury trial?
There are advantages and disadvantages associated with a jury trial for civil litigation. If you know that litigation is imminent, it’s a good idea to consult your company’s attorney to analyze your situation and determine whether it would be more advantageous in your case just to hold the trail before a judge, or if it’s worth it to request a jury trial.
If your case relies heavily on complex and technical facts or on obscure points of law that the average person would have trouble understanding, it might be better to opt for a bench trial and bring your case only to a judge. If you think that your position would garner sympathy from a jury, or that you stand the best chance of winning by presenting your case to a group of average people in your community, then a jury trial is best.
Cash jury bonds
The Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure lays out the procedure for requesting a jury trial. You will have to ask your company’s attorney to draft and file with the court a pleading requesting a jury trial. Your attorney will have to file this no later than sixty days before the trial is set to begin.
Along with the request, your company will have to submit a bond to cover the costs of a jury trial. The court will fix the amount of this bond and inform you as to how much you owe before the trial starts.
At one point or another, nearly every company has to face litigation. Knowing how Louisiana law works in regard to juries for civil trials can help you to strategize, in order to maximize your chances of success.