Jury Says that Terrorists Only 32% Responsible for First WTC Bombing:

In yet another ridiculous civil jury verdict, a New York jury held that the Port Authority of New York was 68% responsible for the (first) bombing of the World Trade Center, and the terrorist perpetrators of the bombing were only 32% responsible. To be blunt: the jurors blatantly disregarded the law (and common sense) to ensure that the PA would be found more than 51% responsible, and thus, under comparative negligence rules, would have to pay. [Helpfully, the plaintiffs' attorney told the Times that the PA should have been held 100% responsible!] In too many civil cases, juries serve as a completely lawless element that wreaks havoc with the rule of law; no wonder civil juries have been abolished just about [? I'm not sure they are routinely used anywhere at this point] everywhere but the U.S. Hat tip: Overlawyered.

UPDATE: This post seems to have struck a chord. For more formal (but relatively brief)thoughts on civil jury trials, see here (criticisms, comparisons to other countries, and suggested reforms) and here (discussing abusive opening statements and closing arguments). For the role of the jury trial in the breast implant fiasco, see 87 Calif. L. Rev. 457 (an earlier version may be found here).

My most recent paper discussing juries (though they don't play a central role in the paper) can be found here.