An Insured's Right to Jury Trial
Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, Vol. 41, p. 235, 2010
6 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2010 Last revised: 6 Sep 2010
Date Written: July 19, 2010
The courts and commentators are split over whether a defendant may demand a jury trial over a counterclaim for breach of a marine insurance policy. Some maintain that if the insurer labels its claim as a maritime claim that the entire case must be tried by the judge. The Fourth Circuit has said that the insurer's declaratory judgment action entitles the defendant to a jury trial even if it does not counterclaim. The author suggests that both positions are wrong. The insurer has the right to control how its claim will be handled but not how the entire case will proceed. A jury may try the counterclaim if there is diversity jurisdiction.
Keywords: Maritime, Admiralty, Insurance, Jury
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