Joseph Power Testifies in Support of Bill to Increase Juror Compensation
This week, Joseph A. Power, Jr., founding partner of Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., testified before the Illinois House of Representative and State Senate in Springfield in favor of a bill that would increase payment for jury service.
SB 3075 would change the rules and laws governing jury service throughout the State of Illinois. Specifically, the bill proposes a substantial increase in the payment for juror service from $17.20 per day to $25 for the first day and $50 for subsequent days.
In order to accomplish this proposed payment increase, the bill reduces the number of jurors in civil cases from 12 to 6. The amendment also requires the parties, and not the county or state, to pay for alternate jurors. The reduction in the number of jurors required to hear a civil case mirrors the practice of federal courts and that of many other states. As before, the smaller jury will still be required to reach a unanimous verdict.
"This is a fairness issue," said Power, "it's about valuing the important service that jurors are providing." As Power further explained, "38 of 50 states as well as the federal civil courts have had 6-person juries for years, and reducing the size of the jury is the best way to ensure we can compensate jurors properly without requiring additional budgeting from the State."
The Bill was sponsored by Illinois State Representative Kelly Burke in the House and Illinois State Senator John Mulroe in the Senate. The bill requires approval by the Governor before it becomes law.