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29 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 19 (2005-2006)
Are Jurors Equipped to Decide the Outcome of Complex Cases

handle is hein.journals/amjtrad29 and id is 31 raw text is: Are Jurors Equipped to Decide
the Outcome of Complex Cases?
Richard C. Waitest
David A. Gilest*
This Article examines the controversy relating to jury competency to
decide trials with complex subject matter and the attempts by courts to
address the issue. The authors discuss the effects oftrial complexity upon
juror decision making from a psychological point of view, as well as the
effects of innovations such as giving jurors more of the same tools that
trial judges and arbitrators now enjoy. The authors explore powerful
ways for trial lawyers to help jurors understand complicated subject
matter and complex situations in the cases they will decide.
I. Introduction
One of the pillars of American democracy is the right of citizens,
whether individual or corporate, to have common law disputes tried
before ajury. The Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
provides that
[i]n Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty
dollars, the right oftrial byjury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by ajury,
shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law.'
t J.D. (1982), University ofHouston Law Center; Ph.D. (2000), Walden University.
Dr. Waites is a board certified civil trial attorney and full-time trial psychologist who
conducts jury research in specific cases and advises trial attorneys and corporate counsel
counsels with trial attorneys and corporate. He is a member ofthe American Bar Associ-
ation, American Psychological Association, and the American Society of Trial Con-
sultants. He has received a professional AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Dr.
Waites has studied and worked with judges and jurors in the courtroom for more than
twenty-five years.
tt Ph.D. (1980), University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Giles is a member of the
American Society ofTrial Consultants and has studied human performance and decision
making among athletes, aviators, and courtroom decision makers for more than twenty-
five years.
1U.S. CONST. amend. VII.

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