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Texas Independence and the Right of Trial by Jury

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Happy Texas Independence Day! On March 2, 1836, 59 delegates signed the Texas Declaration of Independence because, among other reasons, the Mexican government had “failed and refused to secure, on a firm basis, the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.” Texas’s Declaration of Independence echoed a similar concern raised nearly 60 years before by the founders of the United States. On July 4, 1776, 56 U.S. delegates complained that the King of England had “depriv[ed] us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.” The value and importance of a jury trial was so great that these Texas and U.S. delegates were willing to risk their lives to ensure a right to a jury trial.

The right to a jury trial originated as a check on an all-powerful king. People recognized that a king with the power of a judge, jury, and executioner could, and often did, perpetuate injustices on people. By using a jury to decide factual issues in a trial, the people took a key power out of the king’s hands. So, while the king might still preside (or appoint a judge to preside) over a trial, the jury would determine the result of the trial.

The importance of the right to a jury trial continues today in all types of cases. However, its importance to personal injury and wrongful death cases cannot be understated. Often large, powerful companies are responsible for the injury and death of workers and contractors on the companies’ premises. Companies can use their vast resources to defend the claims brought against them by injured workers and contractors. A jury, however, stands as a bastion of justice that resists a company’s resources. A jury is not interested in the power of a king or of companies. Instead, a jury is interested only in truth.

Before founding Havens & Associates, we defended these large, powerful companies which gives us insight into their decision-making and approach to cases. Importantly, we also have experience trying cases to juries and defeating these companies. If you or a loved one have been hurt or injured, please contact me at 713-955-2215 or

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