If you’ve watched any show about lawyers, or been involved as a matter of public service, you are likely aware of a jury. A jury seems like a random collection of people who decide the ultimate fate of someone involved in a lawsuit. This is partly true, but there are also lots of misconceptions surrounding juries. This article provides a brief and simple overview of juries in civil cases in Virginia.
In civil cases in Virginia, juries are only allowed to preside over cases in Circuit Court. If a claim is within the GDC claim limit, the number of jurors is five. If the claim is within the Circuit Court claim limit, the number of jurors is seven. (Not sure what Circuit Court is? Check out our Filing a Lawsuit in State Court blog!). In Virginia, all citizens over the age of 18 who have lived in Virginia for one year, and in their respective county/city for six months, are eligible for jury duty.
Juries play an essential role in our legal system. Not only does every citizen have the Constitutional right to have their case heard by a jury, but juries afford parties with some level of fair decision-making. Instead of having one judge decide a case that will have a major impact on your life, you will have at least 5, maybe 7, or even more of your peers deciding your case. Additionally, Virginia law requires that jury verdicts be unanimous.
Right to a Jury?
As stated, each citizen has the Constitutional right to a trial by jury. However, this right can be waived if not properly requested. A party (usually by and through their attorney) must request a jury trial no later than 10 days following the last pleading sent between the parties.
Although there are some important rules to follow in securing the proper jury for a case, juries are critical to the legal system and reaching just outcomes.
Do you have a potential civil matter that needs to go to court? Might your case need to be heard in front of a jury? If so, we are here to help! Our attorneys handle litigation in the following areas:
- Business & Corporate Law
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Whether you are an individual or looking for litigation assistance for your business, our team is committed to seeing your matter through and fighting for the best resolution. Give us a call today!