I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
Two recent matters, both involving construction disputes, highlight a significant difference between bench and jury trials. During a scheduling conference in the first matter, the judge emphasized that prior to his appointment to the bench, he was an accomplished construction litigator and could conduct a bench trial in less than half the time necessary to complete a jury trial. While the parties anticipated a three-week jury trial, the judge suggested four days to complete a bench trial. Both sides agreed on the spot. Given the short duration, the court’s calendar accommodated setting trial in less than six months.