Jury Trial Waivers Matter for Your Small Business
Everyone is familiar with the concept of “trial by jury.” In fact, the Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution codifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases. As a business owner, you have the ability to include a “Jury Trial Waiver” in the standard terms of your customer contract. In a jury trial waiver clause, the parties agree that if there is any litigation arising out of or relating to their agreement, each party waives its right to have a trial by jury.
As a business owner, why should you want a jury trial waiver clause in your contract? Because in a potential dispute, a judge would resolve all questions of law and fact. This is known as a “bench trial” instead of a “jury trial.” This could work to your advantage because:
• a jury of laypeople may not understand the complex issues that can be involved in litigation
• a bench trial is likely to produce a more predictable outcome than a jury trial
• a jury can be biased against the “bigger guy” and biased in favor of the “little guy”
• a jury trial takes longer and costs more than a bench trial because they require additional work
At Wyman Legal Solutions, we know there’s a right way and a wrong way to draft contracts for small business clients. Let us help protect your legal rights and cash flow. We can review your business contracts for a jury trial waiver or for any other important terms, provisions or clauses. Just reach out to us today and we’ll get started!