March 2, 2017
On February 28th, President Donald Trump gave an amazing speech to the American people, during a joint session of Congress. While everyone gives the speech the good marks it deserves, there was one disturbing part of the speech.
President Trump called for tort reform, which means the demise of the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Most Americans can identify only a few of the Amendments of the Bill of Rights. Most know the First, Second and famously the Fifth Amendment and the right to remain silent. Most people could not even tell you what the Third Amendment is (not being required to quarter troops in homes, except in cases of war) and the Seventh Amendment (the right to a civil jury trial).
The right to a jury trial is probably the most important right given to us in the Constitution. How do we know this? It is the only right specifically mentioned in two of the amendments to the Constitution. The right to a jury trial in a criminal case is granted in the Sixth Amendment and the right to a jury trial in a civil case is guaranteed in the Seventh Amendment.
Unfortunately, President Trump has bought into the myth of the frivolous lawsuit. Frivolous lawsuits are a fable made up by the Chamber of Commerce and big insurance, which want to deny citizens their day in court. Lawyers don’t file frivolous lawsuits because they don’t make money from them. Lawyers can and sometimes are sanctioned for filing a lawsuit that is deemed to be frivolous.