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As a citizen of the United States you should be invited at least once or twice in your lifetime to serve as a juror. Trial by jury is a fundamental right set forth in the U.S. Constitution as well as all state constitutions. The reason the founding fathers felt trial by jury was so important was because they didn’t want the rich and powerful to control justice. If called to serve, it is important that you appear and make your voice heard.

Powerful insurance and business interests have spent millions of dollars over the past 20 years trying to influence jurors. They try to blame all of our economic woes on verdicts against their members. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been especially aggressive in trying to influence the outcome of civil trials. It is their hope that if they can cause fear in jurors (that insurance rates will go up, doctors will leave the practice, goods will cost more), they will not vote for justice, they will vote to exonerate the negligent party at the expense of the injured victims. They would prefer to protect a manufacturer of a faulty product that killed the user of that product than compensate their families.

Jurors hold the key to making products safer, doctors better, and vehicle drivers more careful. When serving as a juror, listen to the evidence and decide the case based on the law. Holding wrongdoers accountable is a noble idea but only action by juries can actually do it. There is change in the air. No longer will citizens sit back and let corporate America tell us how to think. When you see an attack on the civil justice system, it is an attack on you as a citizen. Don’t stand by and watch. Serve when called for jury duty and vote based on the evidence, not fear of phony threatened consequences. It is time for change and jury service is where we start. Take back the courts and justice from special interests.

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