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NCJ Number: NCJ 199417     Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Jury-Aid Innovations on Juror Performance in Complex Civil Trials
Author(s): Lynne ForsterLee ; Irwin A. Horowitz
  Journal: Judicature  Volume:86  Issue:4  Dated:January-February 2003  Pages:184 to 190
Date Published: 01/2003
Page Count: 7
  Annotation: This article describes the methodology and findings of research designed to determine whether jury aids, such as note taking, pre-instruction, and increasing jury size, result in verdicts that conform to the evidence in civil trials.
Abstract: One component of the research was to present a 4-hour to 6-hour tape of a classic toxic tort trial to determine the ability of jurors to assign awards consistent with the injuries suffered by the plaintiffs. A second mock trial used in the research involved a videotape of a trial in which railroad workers claimed repetitive stress injuries. A third trial presented by videotape involved a medical malpractice case that presented evidence that the physician-defendant had followed the then-current standards of care, although the procedure resulted in a highly negative outcome for the attractive and sympathetic plaintiff. All of the research was conducted with six-person juries. Jurors were given pre-instruction that informed them of case-specific law prior to the presentation of the evidence. The jurors were also assigned to groups that had different provisions for note taking and the use of the notes in deliberations. Generally, the research found that jurors who were provided with certain cognitive aids rendered more legally appropriate decisions than those jurors who made decisions without these aids. The use of note taking and substantive pre-instruction provided cognitive assistance that facilitated the production of verdicts commensurate with the evidence presented at trial. Findings also suggest that increasing jury size should be considered as a means of enhancing jury performance, since greater juror diversity provides a more accurate and reliable reflection of the community's estimate of the worth of a claim. 2 figures and 17 notes
Main Term(s): Court reform
Index Term(s): Jury size changes ; Jury decisionmaking ; Civil proceedings ; Jury research ; Civil litigation
Publisher URL: 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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