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Suffolk County Supreme Court Summary Jury Trial Program


A Summary Jury Trial (SJT) is a binding, one-day jury trial with relaxed rules of evidence similar to arbitration, except that a jury decides factual issues and renders a verdict as a jury would in a traditional trial. Summary Jury Trials have been used in federal district courts and by at least 17 courts in New York State. These trials have resolved a variety of commercial disputes, negligence and medical malpractice actions, product liability suits, and anti-trust and fraud cases.

In the Suffolk County, SJTs binding upon the parties. The parties may agree on the mode and method of presentation. For instance, if practical, and damages are agreed upon by the parties, the trial will determine liability only. However, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, trials will be divided into two parts, with damages immediately following the liability portion of the trial, in the course of one day.

In the absence of agreement of counsel and approved by the trial court, the Rules and Procedure of the Suffolk County Summary Jury Trial Part shall apply. Participation in a Summary Jury Trial in Suffolk County is voluntary.

Forms Available:
S.J.T. Information Sheet
S.J.T. Rules & Procedure
Stipulation & Order to Transfer (OmniForm)
Stipulation & Order to Transfer (PDF Format)


Benefits of the Summary Jury Trial (SJT)

  • Attorneys benefit because they need not invest the time required to conduct a traditional full trial, which could require 3 or more days of testimony.
  • Clients benefit because SJT’s give clients their day in court and, since binding SJT’s are not appealable, clients are afforded finality.
  • The Court benefits because SJT’s reduce court calendars and result in shorter periods for other cases to be scheduled for trial; limited judicial resources are more efficiently allocated.
  • Jurors benefit because serving on a SJT allows citizens to fulfill their jury service in one day.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
For more information about the Suffolk County Summary Jury Trial Part, please call 631-852-2334.