The N.J. Law Journal reports:
The state Supreme Court has been asked to rethink its decision allowing judges to reduce jury verdicts based on their “feel of the case,” their own experience in court and comparisons with verdicts in other cases.
In a motion filed May 23, in He v. Miller, A-81-09, the plaintiff Ming Yu He seeks reconsideration of the Court’s May 12 ruling that comparing verdicts does not require identical facts: just facts similar enough to create an “understanding of where the edges of the wide range of acceptable are found and a careful articulation of why and how a particular verdict has so exceeded those bounds that it cannot stand.” He contends that comparisons with other verdicts are unconstitutional — usurping the right to trial by jury — and unworkable because each case is unique and there are many evidentiary variables.
Kudos to plaintiff’s lawyer for his motivation, drive, and compassion for his client. I find the original He opinion repulsive and shameful. Are we selling houses? There are no comparable’s in jury trials.
So now, jury trials can be converted to bench trials by the whim and caprice of a judge; with his biased feel-of-the-case. I guess if I was the judge, with my plaintiff’s background, I would have doubled the amount of the jury award.
Now our Supreme Court not only legislates, but has eliminated the role of the jury in a case; unless it matches the judge’s “feel.” Wasn’t there something in the Constitution about jury trials being inviolate? I guess not.