Jury demands for civil lawsuits

A question arose from one of my law students regarding jury demands in a civil litigation setting. (In criminal trials, juries must be unanimous in their pronouncements of “guilty.“) In a civil setting, it is different. A jury may consist of six or 12 individuals and does not need to be unanimous in issuing a verdict. Rather, they must have a significant majority in order to issue a verdict: five out of six, or 10 out of 12.  RCW 4.44.380.

Civil Rule 38 provides that if a jury demand does not specify the number of injuries, it will be a six-member jury. Thus, you must specifically state that you would like 12 members of the jury in your jury demand, otherwise the default number is six.  Civil Rule 48 also allows for stipulation regarding a jury, which allows a certain degree of flexibility between the parties in order to arrange their own jury preference:

The parties may stipulate that the jury shall consist of any number less than 12 or that a verdict or a filing of a stated majority of the jurors shall be taken as the verdict or finding of the jury.

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