In a Jones Act case, do you have the right to a judge or jury trial? Can you have your maritime case heard by a judge instead of a jury? What is your right to a jury in a maritime Jones Act case?
0:05 Do you have the right to a jury or a judge in your maritime or Jones Act case? Well, the answer is not real simple, but I’m going to explain as best I can for you.
0:15 When you’re in federal court and you file a maritime and a Jones Act case, actually the plaintiff party, the injured Jones Act seaman, the person filing the suit, gets the right alone whether the judge or the jury is going to hear those cases.
0:30 So, if you’re an injured seaman and you file suit in federal court, chances are you alone are going to get to decide whether you have a jury or whether the judge alone tries your case.
0:40 When you’re in state court, it’s a different rule. In the state court, especially Louisiana, most of the time the company also has a right to a jury. So when you’re in state court as an injured seaman, you do not always control whether a judge or jury hears your case. That rule applies when you file a Jones Act and a maritime law case.
1:02 Very often whether the judge or the jury decides your case can be a critical decision that you make in your Jones Act case. Call us if you have any questions about your options on where to file suit, whether you should try your case to a judge or a jury, or any other questions about your rights, choices, options under maritime law.
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