The Founding Documents – Lecture Led by Clark Beim-Esche, Howard Bay



A Civil Jury Trial – Protected under the Seventh Amendment

Civil Jury Trial pic

Civil Jury Trial

Donald L. Koch is a respected St. Louis financial services executive who presides over Koch Asset Management. Also head of the Koch Charitable Foundation, Donald L. Koch sponsors a variety of community events with a focus on educating high school and college students on the United States’ founding documents, such as the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights added a number of basic laws to the Constitution and addressed citizen concerns regarding the protection of basic liberties and states’ rights from federal incursion. The Seventh Amendment set in place a system of jury trials for civil court cases. While mandated only for federal courts, nearly every state has set a system of jury trials in place. It was considered an essential safeguard by leaders who previously had no recourse to such trials under British rule.

The United States is unique in the jury trial legal tradition, which stands in contrast to Continental systems and those prevalent in Asia and Latin America. This approach relies on a codified standard providing legal guidance, rather than judge-focused, precedence-based decisional law. Even in the United Kingdom and its colonies, the requirement for civil jury trials is largely a thing of the past.

Within the United States, civil trial jury maintains its central role. While fewer than 1 percent of lawsuits are settled by jury, this option plays an important role in protecting the integrity of court decisions.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Childhood Home in Manhattan

Theodore Roosevelt pic

Theodore Roosevelt

As president of Koch Asset Management, Donald L. Koch leads a financial services firm focused on community financial institutions. Donald L. Koch also guides the Koch Charitable Foundation, which facilitates presentations on America’s founding documents and the executive leaders who have shaped American history. A recent Koch Charitable Foundation talk was by Clark Beim-Esche, author of Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell, a book about the childhood homes of past presidents.

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States and a pivotal figure in American politics at the turn of the 20th century, grew up on East 20th Street in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. The well-to-do area, anchored by Union Square Park, provided a stimulating environment for young Roosevelt in the 1860s.

Often sick as a child, Teddy took advantage of an outdoor gym at his home and committed to the rigors of a “strenuous life.” This helped prepare him for command of the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry, and later, for the US Presidency.

Unfortunately, by the time the historic property of the Roosevelt family was purchased by a patriotic organization, its neo-Gothic brownstone had been torn down. The house was rebuilt, however, and the home’s interior was decorated by the late president’s wife and sisters, based on memories of how the home had looked during the Roosevelt sisters’ childhood. Today, the reconstructed home is open to the public and features rooms decorated with period furnishings, including many original pieces passed down by the Roosevelt family.