By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., of Hanlon Niemann, a Monmouth County New Jersey Probate Dispute Attorney, Law Firm
Is it better to have a judge decide a probate dispute or a jury? Here are some considerations: First of all, most NJ probate cases go to a chancery court judge with no option for a jury, none. Where the facts of the case involve subtle legal distinctions and the cause of action permits a jury trial, a judge will better appreciate the law that a jury might neglect, therefore a judge is the better choice.
The same holds true where the legal issue in the case is based on technical arguments requiring the type of legal distinctions that only a judge is likely to understand.
It is often said that a bench trial with a judge only is often less complicated, less formal and less time consuming than jury trials. It’s true. I’ve tried many cases before both a judge and jury and I prefer a judge in many types of cases.
Advantages to a jury trial instead of a judge:
Some lawyers think that a jury will be more sympathetic to all the parties than a judge. I don’t always agree.
Unlike judges, jurors do not see hundreds of similar probate cases in any given year and/or may be more sensitive to the particular circumstances of a defendant’s case than a judge might be. But again, jury trials in probate cases are very rare, virtually non-existent.
Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey probate dispute matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.