Juries and Verdicts
Throughout the history of the ICJ, many of our studies have provided crucial and otherwise unavailable information on civil jury behavior and verdicts
From its inception, the ICJ has conducted pioneering research on civil jury decision-making practices and on trends in civil jury verdicts. Since little information is systematically collected on the civil justice system, this work has provided policymakers with vital empirical data on basic questions.
A constant feature in the ICJ's research program has been our series of reports on trends in civil jury verdicts. To produce these reports, ICJ staff collect and code information on trials from accounts in state and regional jury verdict reporters. The result is a database of verdicts and their characteristics in key state and federal jurisdictions. In some courts our database contains trial information going back four decades. Once the data are assembled, we analyze them for trends in important area such as punitive damages, product liability trials, "bad faith" litigation, the "deep pocket" phenomenon, and claims against doctors, hospitals, and health plans.
The ICJ has also focused on the forces that control a jury's decision-making. Beyond the question of what juries are doing, we are also investigating why juries return the verdicts that they do by using psychological and sociological methodologies.
Capping Non-Economic Awards in Medical Malpractice Trials: California Jury Verdicts Under MICRA — 2004
A model for limits on trial awards and attorneys’ fees in medical malpractice cases is the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), a law enacted in California in 1975 in the hope of controlling soaring medical malpractice insurance premiums and ensuring the continuing availability of malpractice insurance. MICRA caps awards for non-economic losses at $250,000 and limits plaintiffs’ attorney fees. The authors examine the effects these limits have on both plaintiffs’ awards and defendants’ liabilities.
Past studies on civil juries have been hampered by lack of data on verdicts spanning a sufficiently long period. Average jury awards tend to be highly variable from year to year, making it difficult to distinguish trends over relatively short periods of time. The authors use the longest time series of data on jury verdicts ever assembled: 40 years of data on tort cases in San Francisco County, CA and Cook County, IL collected by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
Recent tort reform debates have been hindered by a lack of knowledge of how jurors assess damages. Two studies investigated whether jurors are able to appropriately compartmentalize compensatory and punitive damages.
Differential Treatment of Corporate Defendants by Juries: An Examination of the "Deep-Pockets" Hypothesis — 1997
Evidence that juries treat corporate defendants less favorably than individual defendants is often cited in support of the widely held view that juries are biased against wealthy "deep-pocket" defendants.
To provide an empirical basis for the ongoing debate about punitive damages, the authors drew on the ICJ's jury verdict database to conduct the first close analysis of trends and patterns in punitive awards for financial injuries.
This publication contains the written statement of Stephen Carroll delivered on June 24, 1997, to the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate.
This report is the executive summary of an Institute for Civil Justice analysis of trends and patterns in punitive damage awards in financial injury cases in selected jurisdictions during the period 1985 through 1994.
This report provides the technical details of an Institute for Civil Justice analysis of trends and patterns in punitive damage awards in financial injury cases in selected jurisdictions during the period 1985 through 1994.
Makes an empirical contribution to the policy debate over tort reform.
This report describes all civil jury verdicts reached from 1985 to 1994 in the state courts of general jurisdiction in 15 jurisdictions across the nation and identifies trends in these verdicts.
This article discusses the potential contribution to the policymaking process of systematic empirical research on the behavior of civil juries.
Is There a Deep-Pocket Bias in the Tort System? The Concern over Biases Against Deep-Pocket Defendants — 1993
There is a wide-spread perception that America's tort system is biased against so-called deep-pocket defendants. This paper summarizes what we know and don't know about deep-pocket biases.
Advocates the use of systematic empirical research on civil jury behavior as an important tool in the policymaking process. The author discusses the methods that have been used for studying jury behavior,...