Gallagher & Associates Team

Gallagher & Associates Team

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jury Trial Waivers

These days waivers of jury trial are standard in certain contracts, especially in mortgages. What is a waiver of jury trial? It's a provision in a document that means you give up your Constitutional right to have your lawsuit decided by a jury. A waiver of jury trial does not mean you are not allowed to sue; rather, it means that if you do sue, and your case goes to trial, a judge rather than a jury will decide your case.

Are waivers of jury trial enforceable? The answer is usually yes. Courts generally deem that if you signed a contract containing a waiver of jury trial, you are held to be in agreement it, regardless of whether or not you even read the provision.

Of course, there are exceptions, but for the most part, courts will enforce a waiver provision. This means that if you are a signing a contract, first be sure to read it in its entirety. If possible, you should consult an attorney. You should also ask the party that drew up the contract to remove the waiver provision if you do not want to give up your right to have a trial in front of a jury should there be a dispute relating to the contract.

The bottom line is that a waiver of jury trial is usually upheld by courts, so if you don't want to give up your right to have a jury decide your lawsuit, please have that provision removed or be prepared to walk away from the deal.

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