Plaintiffs brought a shareholders derivative suit against Defendants, seeking damages and a jury trial.
A party is entitled to a jury trial, under the Seventh Amendment, when the nature of the issue is legal relief.
Stockholders (Plaintiffs) sued directors of the company (Defendants) in a shareholders derivative suit. Alleging the Defendants had violated federal laws, Plaintiffs sought damages and requested a jury trial.
Are plaintiffs in a shareholders derivative suit entitled to a jury trial?
Yes, the Plaintiffs are entitled to a jury trial.
The Court determined that a shareholders derivative suit is both a matter of equitable relief and legal relief on part of the stockholders and the company. Historically, corporations were entitled to a jury under the Seventh Amendment when bringing legal relief claims. Because matters of legal relief and equitable relief are combined in courts today, stockholders are granted entitlement to a jury trial in these mixed claims because they are bringing the suit on behalf of the corporation.