Waiver of the Right
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Waiver of the Right.—Parties may enter into a stipulation waiving a jury and submitting the case to the court upon an agreed statement of facts, even without any legislative provision for waiver.23 Prior to adoption of the Federal Rules, Congress had, “by statute, provided for the trial of issues of fact in civil cases by the court without the intervention of a jury, only when the parties waive their right to a jury by a stipulation in writing.”24 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, any party may make a timely demand for a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing, and failure so to serve a demand constitutes a waiver of the right.25 However, a waiver is not to be implied from a request for a directed verdict.26
23 Henderson’s Distilled Spirits, 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 44, 53 (1872); Rogers v. United States, 141 U.S. 548, 554 (1891); Parsons v. Armor, 28 U.S. (3 Pet.) 413 (1830); Campbell v. Boyreau, 62 U.S. (21 How.) 223 (1859).
24 Baylis v. Travellers’ Ins. Co., 113 U.S. 316, 321 (1885). The provision did not preclude other kinds of waivers, Duignan v. United States, 274 U.S. 195, 198 (1927), though every reasonable presumption was indulged against a waiver. Hodges v. Easton, 106 U.S. 408, 412 (1883).
25 Fed. R. Civ. P. 38.
26 Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Kennedy, 301 U.S. 389 (1937); Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a).