Transparency in the Courtroom: Attending Civil Trials
Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Jun 16, 2015 in Community Involvement
The sheer number of medical recalls and the length of pending trials reminds us that there are a myriad of ways that injured persons and their families can remain engaged in the process, while waiting for their turn to get justice.
Injured individuals who have been harmed by DePuy hip or knee replacement devices or transvaginal mesh products all across the country have sued the corporations responsible for their injuries.
These types of cases however, take a long time to complete. While individuals are waiting for their day in court, Stewart Bell, PLLC encourages plaintiffs to attend the trials of other plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries.
By attending jury trials of other similarly affected and injured patients, West Virginia residents can promote transparency, show solidarity and reinforce the need for justice in these types of cases.
"In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved
The Seventh Amendment & Public Trials
The right to a trial in civil cases is enshrined in the Seventh Amendment. In large part, the amendment is a product of the desire to avoid the practice of secret legal proceedings that were prominent in English courtrooms.
One of the most powerful acts of democratic citizenship in the judicial branch is to attend and view trials and show support to plaintiffs who are attempting to get justice for themselves and their families.
Though there are some exceptions when it comes to criminal trials involving government prosecutions where classified information is revealed, the vast majority of trials are open to the public.
Just remember, if you attend a jury trial follow the rules of etiquette. A trial is a formal affair, and attendees should:
- Dress professionally
- Avoid bringing food and drinks
- Follow specific courtroom protocol when judges are announced by standing..etc.
Above all, demonstrate respect for the process and get a window into a unique form of American justice.
From all of us at Stewart Bell, PLLC, we encourage you to attend a civil trial, especially if it is an issue that impacts a loved one.