Fear, Trust, or Loathing? Juror Attitudes Toward Respirators in the Time of COVID-19

September 24th, 2020|

In jury selections that involve workplace respirator use (either directly or indirectly) in the presence of toxic dusts, a key voir dire question has always been whether a juror personally has used a disposable respirator and, more importantly, whether they believe it protected them. So, as COVID-19 first trained its eye on the U.S., we saw an early opportunity to understand how this new virus might influence jury eligibles’ use of and trust in masks and respirators for protection, whether against viral transmission or potentially toxic dusts. After all, for future toxic tort cases, it is crucial we understand how

How Do You Save or Rehabilitate Jurors in Voir Dire?

September 17th, 2020|

We’ve written a fair amount about the importance of getting jurors to reveal bias in voir dire and subsequently admit they can’t be fair, with the goal of maximizing cause challenges and removing your riskiest jurors from the panel. But equally important is saving the jurors who are likely to support your case. When it comes to voir dire, there are three skills necessary for reducing the likelihood of having your best jurors kicked for cause:  Hiding Your Keeps, Rehabilitating Jurors, and Defending a Cause Challenge. Hiding Your Keeps The first stage of preserving your good jurors is not to

“Let Patients Choose”: Jurors’ COVID-Era Opinions of the Pharmaceutical Industry – Part 2

September 3rd, 2020|

Medical care should be between a doctor and a patient. Pharmaceutical companies should not have a say in what medications we are allowed to take or what medications are available to us. It should be our choice. They are taking away the choice from patients and doctors. – a recent mock juror We hear it over and over in our mock trials: Having a choice. The ability to make an informed decision. Individuals experiencing an illness or injury enter a world that can feel out of their control. If there is no one directly responsible for their pain, they may transfer

Savior or Scoundrel? Jurors’ COVID-Era Opinions of the Pharmaceutical Industry – Part 1

August 27th, 2020|

In recent years, “Big Pharma” has become a boogeyman of sorts in both online and public discourse. From the anti-vaccination movement to the persistent rumors that the medical and/or pharmaceutical industry have developed a cure for cancer and are withholding it from the general public,1 conspiracy theories around the pharmaceutical industry reach into many aspects of our lives. Whether minor or extreme, such attitudes have carried over into how jurors view pharma-related litigation. Of course, public distrust has been aggravated by a series of high-profile bad actors and investigations into the practices of various pharmaceutical companies. For example, in September

How Hollywood Can Inspire Your Courtroom Presentations

August 20th, 2020|

Name the last movie you watched. Can you remember how many times there were edits? How many transitions? What kind? Most of us have watched movies our entire lives without really attending to their cuts and transitions – but our brains still do. It’s why a great editor can be as important to a film’s effectiveness as its director or star actor (even if they’re significantly less celebrated). In fact, the story goes that the original Star Wars was “saved,” or at least significantly aided, by those who edited it. Whether we’re actively thinking about them or not, transitions offer

Considering Online Jury Research? Here’s What You Need to Know

August 8th, 2020|

Though many mock trials and focus groups have been put on pause in hopes of safely resuming to business as usual, we’re finding that some jurisdictions won’t be suitable for in-person research for quite some time. Yet, trial dates loom – with some already fast approaching – and we’ve received several inquiries about online jury research options on the grounds that something may be better than nothing. Indeed, online jury research is a valid option that can provide worthwhile results; but before deciding to move your research to a virtual format, it’s important to be aware of its strengths

Meaningful Corporate Actions: Juror Attitudes Toward Corporations in the Time of COVID-19 – Part 2

August 4th, 2020|

As the COVID-19 outbreak progressed, the public eye focused in part on corporate actions: How were corporations responding to the weak economy? How were they treating employees who could no longer work in-person? Were they doing anything to help in the fight against the virus? Not only have news stories and social media posts concentrated on corporate actions, but there are many people actively keeping track of what companies have done – the good and the bad. In fact, Litigation Insights’ recent national survey of jury eligibles1 discovered that roughly 43% report they are keeping track of companies’ positive and

Concerning Corporations: Juror Attitudes Toward Corporations in the Time of COVID-19 – Part 1

July 28th, 2020|

I can understand why someone would come in predisposed against big corporations, because they are in the limelight more and more these days, with things like corruption from the higher-ups. I used to believe authority is always right. I trusted when I was younger – but I question everything now. In our mock trials, we’ve frequently heard mock jurors like the above question the motivations of corporate defendants. Now, in the midst of COVID-19, and the public looking for leadership in a crisis, corporations face even more scrutiny than usual. To track what jurors have heard in the media about

How Can My Corporate Representative Battle Jurors’ Decreased Trust in Big Business?

July 16th, 2020|

Every year, Dictionary.com chooses a word of the year based on the current cultural climate and increased searches on its website. In 2018, the website chose the word ‘misinformation,’ to highlight increasing concerns regarding the spread of misleading or false information in the public sphere. When coupled with public opinion polls, the prominence of this term highlights a trend both in the United States and globally: People are trusting others less. And this lack of trust extends into many facets of everyday life. Trust in government is down. Trust in media is down. And trust in business is down. According

Has COVID-19 Affected Jurors’ Trust in Government Agencies and Safety Standards? – Part 2

July 7th, 2020|

As discussed in Part 1, Litigation Insights’ national survey1 on the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed that jurors have significantly more positive views of individual federal agencies than the federal government as a whole. But do these attitudes apply for everyone? What personal factors influence these opinions? Part 2 of our investigation into COVID-19-era juror attitudes about government safety standards now seeks to analyze more deeply what affects the differences in jurors’ evaluations, along