Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in 1997 that civil jury trials were headed to extinction.
In 2012, there were fewer than 1,200 civil jury trials in state district courts in Texas. That’s only a 1 percent decline from 2011, but a 64 percent decline from 1997, when there were 3,369 jury trials.
The federal courts in Texas have seen an equally significant decline. U.S. district court judges conducted 360 civil jury trials in 1997 but only 135 last year.