• David Martin

No Jury Trial for My Long Term Disability Claim?

The 7th amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial, but not for a long-term disability claim governed by a law known as ERISA. Perhaps a jury trial would help people receive benefits that are due, but the courts have not permitted a jury trial right. And now Congress has not acted to change this. If you want some of the details as to how this came about, here it is: The 7th Circuit in Wardle v. Central States (1980) found there is no jury trial right under ERISA as the actions allowed were equitable in nature. Generally, the Constitution only protects legal claims and not equitable claims. Congress’ silence in the statute on the jury right underscored this status. Then the 5th Circuit in Calamia v. Spivey followed that reasoning, and thus, jury trials were eliminated in ERISA cases throughout the entire southeast.

After the 5th Circuit’s split, the 11th Circuit expressly adopted this reasoning in Chilton v. Savannah Foods (1987). So there it is… as of right now, ERISA Claims = No Jury Trial in Alabama, Mississippi and neighboring states.

If you’re curious about ERISA law, or need disability attorney services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our law firm.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

The Martin Law Group is dedicated to being your go-to ERISA attorneys and long term disability lawyers. Whether you are pursuing a long-term disability claim, life insurance benefits, or your pension or retirement benefits, we will meet with you face-to-face to discuss your claim at a location convenient for you. 


In an effort to make disability claims as easy as possible, we offer a free initial consultation. We often work with clients in Huntsville, Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, Dothan, Tuscaloosa, and Florence, in Alabama, as well as with clients in Columbus, Meridian, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and Gulfport, Mississippi, and surrounding areas.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Long term disability attorney
Long term disability lawyer alabama

Tuscaloosa Office

2117 Jack Warner Pkwy
Suite #1
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
Toll-Free: 800-284-9309
Local: 205-343-1771

Birmingham Office

The WSK Building
2323 2nd Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Toll-Free: 800-284-9309
Local: 205-343-1771
  • Long term disability lawyer
  • ERISA disability lawyer
  • Retirement benefits lawyer

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