Ryan Baker Quoted in Law.com About Impact of Fewer Jury Trials And Appeals

Partner Ryan Baker, speaking to the Law.com on April 19, 2024, about the impact of fewer federal jury trials and appeals, said, “If there is not a robust pipeline of decisions going up and coming down where the appellate courts are providing guidance to trial judges, then the consequence is often times a lot of wasted time.”

In recent decades there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of federal jury trials and for its Friday Roundup Law.com spoke to Baker and other prominent trial attorneys. Baker noted that if a large majority of cases are resolved outside of jury trials, appellate courts may not get a chance to weigh in on evolving issues.

Additionally, Baker said there may be less guidance for trial attorneys when crafting jury instructions. In 2023, Baker experienced this when he won a major trade secrets case when a federal jury voted unanimously 8-0 in his favor. In that victory, as he told Law.com, the case law was thin on some nuanced legal questions that arose when preparing jury instructions. To find answers to guidance on some of these issues, Baker and his team had to look to other circuit and district courts for guidance. According to Baker, “our system depends on evolving precedent, which is most powerfully and clearly articulated by the appellate courts, including the Supreme Court; this precedent can be of particular significance when it comes to jury instructions and other issues related to jury trials.”

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