May 18, 2022
The Decline of the Civil Jury Trial: Implications for Trial Practice
Newsweek reports the decline of the civil jury trial over the past few decades. Professor Valerie Hans at Cornell Law School and her colleagues at Southwestern Law School and the Center for Constitutional Litigation suggest possible reasons including: the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure’s discouragement against jury trials, and Supreme Court’s approval for dispositive motions. In addition, the American Bar Association argues civil damage caps and the rise of mandatory arbitration as factors to the decline. From this trend, there are several implications noteworthy for trial practice; the pressure to settle a case and the backlog of cases (due to the pandemic) that may require such cases to be resolved without a jury.
September 9, 2021
Valerie Hans Co-Authors White Paper on Reviving the Civil Jury
May 14, 2021
How Justice Amy Coney Barrett Is Already Changing the Supreme Court
During a panel at the Northern District of California’s virtual conference, Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Melissa Murray of NYU School of Law outlined how the justice’s presence has shifted the high court’s institutional dynamics.
February 17, 2021
California's Shifting Relationship with the Supreme Court
CJRI Chair and Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky discusses what Californians can expect from the Supreme Court with the New York Times.
February 12, 2021
Erwin Chemerinsky, What Mitch McConnell Got Right
May 22, 2020
Legal Experts See Tough Road for Jury Trials While Pandemic Rages
Courthouse News Service reports on the new ways that courts are preserving jury trials. In Collin County, Texas, a first-of-its-kind civil jury trial was held over video conference. At the digital courthouse, a one-day affair took place where jurors heard arguments and rendered a non-binding verdict. In San Francisco, U.S. District Judge William Alsup has attempted to restart a criminal trial twice, the latter by social distancing jurors and implementing clear face shields for participants. On both occasions, reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic forced the courthouse to close. As the pandemic continues to take unexpected turns, Robert Clifford, a commercial litigation attorney, envisions a shift toward meditation. However, even with a rise in video bench trials and online mediation, one should not expect jury trials to disappear. As Valerie Hans, law professor at Cornell University, states, “If we do move ahead with jury trials, and we lose a lot of if we don’t, we’re going to have to be creative about hybrids.”
March 26, 2020
Coping with a Pandemic: Berkeley Law's Erwin Chemerinsky
Law 360 reports on reflections on adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic from Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley School of Law at the University of California. Dean Chemerinsky notes that although the law school had to rapidly transition to entirely virtual instruction, the transition was notably smooth, garnering students’ praise for their professors’ efforts. Though the faculty has been active in proposing best practices for distance learning, Dean Chemerinsky says that online instruction is no substitute for on-campus interaction. It is one of the reasons why, in conjunction with a concern for the health and safety of students and faculty, that Dean Chemerinsky decided to shift all grading to Credit/No Credit for the Spring 2020 semester.
May 5, 2019
5.1B People Lack Access to Justice, Landmark Report Finds
Law 360 reports on an international Task Force for Justice report that states 5.1 billion people worldwide lack meaningful access to justice. The report also found that 4.5 billion people are blocked from legal protections. Countries could also lose up to 3% of their gross domestic product due to the cost of unequal access to justice. The Justice for All report lays out a plan that focuses on "reaching the furthest behind first" and using people-centered data and evidence to steer reform.
January 9, 2019
Argument Analysis: The familiar Yet Fresh Debate in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt
November 15, 2018
December 30, 2016
Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Aid UC Irvine Think Tank (PDF)
May 18, 2016
Litigation Financier Bentham IMF Pledges $300,000 for Civil Justice Research Institute (PDF)
May 12, 2016
New Civil Justice Institute Gets Cash
April 28, 2016
UCI Law launches Civil Justice Research Institute With $1 Million Support From Outside Contributions (PDF)
April 27, 2016
UCI Law Launches Civil Justice Research Institute
April 27, 2016
Law School Starts Civil Justice Institute
Joanna Schwartz of UCLA Law wins CJRI’s “Best Article Prize”
The Berkeley Civil Justice Research Initiative is pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s Berkeley Civil Justice Research Initiative’s Best article prize, is Joanna Schwartz of UCLA Law for “Qualified Immunity’s Boldest Lie.” The prize recognizes an important scholarly contribution to access to justice in the preceding year. Professor Schwartz’s article combines heroic data collection efforts with a deep and thoughtful analysis of the implicit (and often incorrect) empirical assumptions at the foundation of the qualified immunity doctrine in the United States, which shields police officers and others, from liability for constitutional violations in many instances.