The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) has created an important new resource for the American public to learn about their right to trial by jury and the importance of the civil justice system. In July, ABOTA launched SaveOurJuries.org, a comprehensive and interactive website featuring information about the civil jury system, as provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The site will provide resources and information about current issues affecting the jury system, history and the value of the right to trial by jury. Mark P. Robinson, Jr., National President of ABOTA, says:
Save Our Juries has been designed to go directly to the American public. ABOTA members are passionate about this project, which is consistent with the very reason why ABOTA was founded … to preserve our civil jury system.
Under the tagline “Save Our Juries: It’s Your Constitutional Right,” the site features information about the history and meaning behind the creation of the 7th Amendment, which “ensures that citizens’ civil cases can be heard and decided upon by a jury of their peers. The jury trial provides a forum for all the facts to be presented, evaluated impartially and judged according to the law.” Many people in the U.S. take this right for granted, but it is actually being whittled away by such movements as binding arbitration agreements and the so-called “tort reform” movement. ABOTA warns “Americans are losing a key right without realizing it.”
The site features “Stories of Justice,” which includes information about newsworthy jury verdicts and their impact; opinion pieces from citizens, lawyers, politicians and leaders in the jury trial system; and examples of notable cases that illustrate the significance of our Seventh Amendment right. Visitors to the site can stay informed about the latest issues impacting access to justice through the courts, and find out how they can get involved.
The website also features a blog where visitors may comment on stories relevant to civil justice, access related articles and become a part of the discussion. Those interested in the topic also can follow Save Our Juries on social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ through links on the website.
ABOTA urges website visitors to “Take Action!” saying, “Americans must stand to protect their rights to a jury trial. Without your help, corporations, lobbyists and Congress may change your fundamental right to a trial by jury.” I encourage our readers to visit the site at www.saveourjuries.org.
Sources: ABOTA, saveourjuries.org
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