The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has granted Attorney Tamara Packard‘s client Carl Schoh a new trial, after a Green County judge erroneously ordered that an employee’s wage claim case be tried by a jury. The jury trial was ordered at the defendant New Glarus Brewing Company’s request, made after attorneys for both parties had waived their clients’ rights to a jury. The trial court granted the request based on the fact that defense counsel had failed to timely ask his client about whether it wanted to demand a jury. The Court of Appeals found that “it was not reasonably prudent” for defense counsel to waive his client’s right to a jury without consulting with his client. It therefore ruled that the trial court could not excuse this neglect and allow the defendant to make a belated jury request. The Court of Appeals went on to find that the trial judge’s error was not harmless. The Court reasoned that “common sense and experience tell us that judges and juries frequently view cases differently,” and therefore granted Schoh a new trial. May 2012.
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