Modern Jury Dynamics: The Generation X and Y Factors

Modern Jury Dynamics: The Generation X and Y Factors

By John J. Delany III, David M. Governo, and Mary Noffsinger

This article was originally published in the January 2013 issue of For The Defense, the official publication of the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

Generational differences dramatically impact jury dynamics. In reaching a verdict, a jury will decide whether a defendant deviated from a "norm" (statute, duty, contract, standard of care, etc.) and whether said deviation caused plaintiff's damages/harm. A jury compensates a plaintiff by placing him or her (to the extent possible with money) back to the pre-suit norm (pre-injury, illness or death), or pre-damaged condition. As beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, what constitutes "a norm" is in the eye of the jury. Knowing the "norm" of your jury is crucial in being able to sell your power themes to a jury and positively influence the verdict.

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