Survey On The Decline Of The Civil Jury Trial (Time-Sensitive Request)

By Matthew Koski posted 05-16-2016 12:28 PM


Dear NELA Members:

The Civil Jury Project at the New York University School of Law currently is studying the causes and consequences of the pronounced decline in civil jury trials in both state and federal courts. As part of that effort, they have developed a survey that they would like NELA members to complete, and we have agreed to forward their request to the NELA membership. Please note the time-sensitive nature of the request, as the survey will remain open only through the end of May. A brief description of what The Civil Jury Project hopes to accomplish, and a link to the survey, is reproduced below in italics. Please feel free to respond to this posting, or contact me at, with any questions or concerns.

The Civil Jury Project at the New York University School of Law has, during its first six months, concluded that any effort to save the civil jury trial depends on cooperation of the public (which is unaware of the decline in trials), the judiciary (which recognizes the problem but needs encouragement and support to do something about it), and the trial bar (whose self-interest is most obvious).  We have been informally surveying judges (we now have over 150 Judicial Advisors) and former jurors, and now we are ready to seek initial input from the bar, which will be a crucial element in this undertaking.

The Civil Jury Project, through our Jury Consultant Advisors, is teaming up with the American Society of Trial Consultants to survey lawyers who try cases in state and federal courts around the country as to how their dockets have changed, what they perceive as the causes, and what they think can be done to improve jury trials.  We have prepared a questionnaire for the members of the National Employment Lawyers Association to complete by the end of May. 

The survey can be accessed at the following link:  

Once we have gathered the data, (less the names of any respondents), our Advisors will study and analyze it, hopefully generating conclusions that can be shared with the public.  We are also hopeful that this initial survey data can promote further research. 

Sincerely yours,

Professors Samuel Issacharoff, Catherine Sharkey and Steve Susman, Co-Directors