Source of article 2's Company - Magnus Insights.
Melissa and I have attempted do two things consistently with the posts we write. First, we try to be tactful, and not insult anyone. Second, we strive to be timeless, not dating our posts by the topic. This post breaks the 2nd rule, but hopefully, not the first objective. The topic is what some have identified as a change in the global order that began with the campaign and election of our current president, Donald J. Trump. Though U.S. politics have been polarized to some degrees for many election cycles, there is no denying that the current level of polarization is unmatched in modern politics. And, it is more than politics, the “us and them” mindset is obvious in many aspects of life. People identify as red or blue, supporting either team D or team R. Families have been divided, broken. People refuse to be friends with people on the opposite “team” and some badger others with opposing viewpoints. The choice to read and accept news, depending on the source, has diminished. Fake news, or accusations of it, abound. Globally, countries are trying to adjust as if land masses are grinding together before an earthquake. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. But, it is in this environment that our clients, trial lawyers, do their work. And, this environment is creating new challenges to consider. I have had 2 clients raise this point with me in the last month. In both of these new cases, the attorney has hired Magnus, in part, because of a concern that the political climate may be an issue for them. They are concerned that their case will be judged differently, more harshly perhaps, by some people on the jury than it would have been prior to the caustic 2016 campaign and in the current political climate. One of these clients represents a plaintiff, the other, a defendant, so this is not concern just limited to just one side or the other. The question is whether politics have changed litigation, perceptions of the parties, and how people, that is, jurors, will relate to one another, the attorneys, the issues, and the parties. The polarization did not occur overnight, but certainly the tenor of things has escalated significantly in the last 2 years. The extreme perspectives of politicians has “trickled down” (more than anything else has). And, the fact that people are polarized is more evident in some venues than in others. Both of the clients who raised this question may be justified in their concerns. And, perhaps some cases may not be as “at risk” by this concern as others. But, when a case has issues that can be presented in ways that have a connection with a political issue, rhetoric, or theory, it is probably true that this issue alone may be reason enough to conduct mock jury research. Some of our clients may want to use the new world order to their advantage; some need to deflect it. But, the reality is that a new challenge has been added to the already challenging world of litigation.