Maryland Increases Jury Demand Threshold
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Nov 03, 2010 in Personal Injury
Voters in Maryland overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure yesterday that amends the Maryland constitution to make it so that a defendant only has a right to a jury trial if more than $15,000.00 in controversy. The measure will help to unclog the Circuit Court system.
The increase in the jury demand threshold was necessary because insurance companies would often demand a jury trial when injured parties filed a lawsuit in District Court asking for a bench trial. This would make it so that the injured party would have to go through expensive discovery including depositions and medical examinations in order to get to trial.
Increasing the jury demand threshold from $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 will prevent insurance companies such as State Farm and Allstate from using this tactic. It will save judicial resources, and it will also make it so that jurors do not have to spend basically two days sitting through a Circuit Court trial deciding whether an injured person deserves $10,000.00 or $15,000.00 for their injuries. Apparently Louisiana has the highest jury demand threshold at $50,000.00. The constitutional amendment was supported by the Maryland Association for Justice, and we worked really hard to get this legislation through the General Assembly during the 2010 legislative session when I was the president of the Maryland Trial Lawyers.
For more information on this ballot initiative, click here.