The number of jury trials in Tennessee tort cases continues to decline, according to data released by the Tennessee Adminstrative Office of the Courts.
In the one year period ending June 30, 2011, there were only 222 jury trials in tort cases in Tennessee state courts. Ten years ago, the period ending June 30, 2002, there were 412 jury trials in tort cases. Looking at the ratio between cases filed and cases tried to a jury, jury trials are down over 50%.
Is this trend due to mediation? I doubt it. True, there are lots of mediations in tort cases today, but mediation has been around for more than 20 years and was a firmly entrenched part of tort practice in Tennessee well over 10 years ago.
No, there are other reasons for a decrease in jury trials. They will be explored in a future post.