The right to trial by jury and concerns about Illinois’ new six-person jury law

October 5, 2015
Michael Resis, Britta Sahlstrom
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Illinois, the six-person civil jury law creates an anomaly whereby the smallest claims may be tried by a jury of 12, yet the largest claims are not. Supreme Court Rule 285 provides that upon a jury demand, a small claim “shall be [tried by] 6 jurors unless either party demands 12.” As a result, the smallest claims may be heard by a larger, more diverse body of jurors, while parties to the largest claims are afforded none of the same benefits and protections. Effective June 1 of this year, Illinois law provides that “[a]ll [civil] jury cases shall be tried by a jury of 6.” 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(b)

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