Federal Civil Jury Trials at Risk in Budget Impasse

The ABA Journal reported that Chief Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia told a Judicial Conference meeting at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, that unless a federal budget impasse is resolved by Congress, all federal civil jury trials may have to be eliminated in 2013.

Judge Sentelle is the chairman of the executive committee for the Judicial Conference. The committee is making contingency plans to deal with a possible need for $500 million in cost-cutting next year, as the judicial system’s share of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts due to take effect next year, absent a new budget agreement.