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UIdaho Law

Civil Procedure

2016

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Deconstructing Juryless Fact-Finding In Civil Cases, Shaakirrah R. Sanders Jan 2016

Deconstructing Juryless Fact-Finding In Civil Cases, Shaakirrah R. Sanders

Articles

In many states, legislatures have mandated juryless fact-finding in common law– based civil cases by imposing compensatory damage caps that effectively lessen the jury’s traditional and historic role as injury valuator. The primary purpose of most caps was to reign in “excessive” civil jury verdicts, which allegedly caused “skyrocketing” medical malpractice insurance premiums and litigation costs. But no legislatively imposed cap is triggered by a preliminary finding of excessiveness. Trial judges have no authority to determine whether application of a cap is just or fair to the (often) severely injured plaintiff. Despite a shared interpretive methodology with regards to ...