Illinois Governor Signs Amendment To Jury Law

On December 19, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed an amendment (Public Act 098-1132), that changes the scope of jury law in this state. First, the new law, which takes effect on June 1, 2015, increases juror pay to $25 for the first day and $50 per day for any after that a juror serves. Second, the amendment decreases the size of a jury from 12 to 6.

These new laws have been getting mixed reviews from the media, including an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, completely denouncing the new law. The editorial basically states that the new law is a ploy by Plaintiff”s attorneys to curry favor with its jury. I take exception to the Tribune’s take on the new law. Serving as a juror is a tough burden the court system puts on its citizens. Jurors sacrifice their time away from their families, their jobs and money to serve. A minimal bump in payment for their time served is not asking too much to reimburse people for their sacrifice to the community.

I think it is unclear right now what all of the effects will be with a 6 person jury will have over a 12 person jury.  One thing is certain, a juries will be picked much more quickly, which will shorten the length of trials. And most likely juries will deliberate for less time because there are fewer voices in the room. All of these appear to be positives.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.