NJP Celebrates 40 Years

Find Out Why We Believe Every Case Outcome Matters
Slider

NJP Litigation Consulting offers valuable insight and strategic thinking to improve our clients’ persuasive abilities. We thoroughly examine, evaluate, de-construct and reconstruct each case to deliver valuable insights on the fact finder’s perspective.

We help you see your blind spots and understand how decision makers will receive your message.

We wrote the book on trial consulting, but we didn’t stop there. For more than 35 years, we’ve pioneered the latest ideas, methods and research to assist clients in achieving their goals.

Our reputation is built on trust. You can depend on us to deliver the knowledge, research and recommendations that are critical to your case.

We help you see your blind spots and understand how decision makers will receive your message.
We wrote the book on trial consulting, but we didn’t stop there. For more than 35 years, we’ve pioneered the latest ideas, methods and research to assist clients in achieving their goals.
Our reputation is built on trust. You can depend on us to deliver the knowledge, research and recommendations that are critical to your case.
 
  • 07.08.2020

    SCCTLA Covid-19 and Juries Webinar

    Carol Bauss will be discussing findings from a recent survey conducted by NJP Litigation Consulting/West in a webinar to be held July 23, at 12:00 PM Pacific Time. Topics will include findings from the survey, including prospective jurors' willingness to serve on a jury and pay attention to a case, who will and will not show up for jury duty during this crisis, and how the current economy might affect damage awards. To participate Click Here to Join

    For further information see scctla.org




  • 07.02.2020

    ATTITUDES REGARDING DAMAGES:

    Respondents Were Evenly Split About Whether The Economy Would Influence Damages

    As jury researchers grapple with how Covid-19 will shape juror behavior and attitudes, one important question is how the pandemic and resulting downturn in the economy will affect damage awards. In times of national crisis, attorneys are worried jurors will push damages down. In our survey, we found nearly half of the survey respondents were inclined to keep emotional distress damages low, but we also found that another group of respondents would increase damage awards because of current economic conditions. It is always important to remember that jurors rarely act as a universal block but come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences that shape their attitudes. There is no single answer to how Covid-19 will impact damage awards, but we did see some trends.

    The respondents were almost evenly split over whether the current economic problems would influence the amount of money they would award an injured person: 49% said it would influence the amount, 51% said it would not.

    More Than Two-Thirds Would Increase Damages

    Slightly more than two-thirds (68%) of those who said the economy would influence their damage awards would increase the amount. The wide-spread fallout from the economy coming to a standstill may be driving this desire to increase damages. Millions of people lost jobs, lost businesses, and took pay cuts. Many people who never had to rely on safety nets cannot feed their families and pay for housing. The economic suffering is catastrophic. Some people may feel more empathetic to those who are hurting now and have a better understanding of what it means to navigate a world without a job, access to healthcare, and with dim prospects for the future. They recognize that people who have been injured need more economic assistance when times are tough.

    Anger at corporations may also fuel the desire to increase damages. Our survey assumed an individual plaintiff suing a corporation. Corporations have been criticized for failing to protect their employees’ and customers’ health during this pandemic by flouting safety rules to make a profit. Corporate executives continued to collect exorbitant salaries and bonuses while the workforce was slashed, and employees were left jobless. Some respondents may feel that in this economic climate, a corporation is in a better financial position to pay for the care of an injured party.  

    Nearly One-Third Would Decrease Damages

    Thirty-two percent said the current economic problems would influence their damage awards and cause them to decrease the amount. Those who were more likely to decrease the amount were,

    There was no meaningful difference between men and women.

     Those respondents who said they would decrease damages may be more likely to keep damages down even in a non-Covid world and may feel like in times of economic uncertainty it is best to limit compensation. They may be thinking that with the economy down, everyone has to make do with less money. They may also have been affected economically and feel less inclined to compensate others when their financial situation has significantly declined. 

    Concern about the current economy causes some to decrease awards more than others

    Latinx 35%
    Asian  35%
    White    32%
    Black  19%
    18-30 years 29%
    31-50 years 32%
    51 and older 35%
    Republicans 41%
    Democrats 29%
    Had/suspect  had Covid 54%
    Did not have Covid 30%

    Looking more carefully at gender, race, and age, we find white males and Latinx males over 50, and Asian males under 50 were more likely to decrease damages.

    The current economy will influence damage awards and will decrease damages.

      Under 50 years 50 and over
    White males 26% 67%
    White females 23% 36%
    Black males 20% 0
    Black females 8% 25%
    Latinx males 22% 50%
    Latinx females 43% 0
    Asian males 63% 20%
    Asian females 29% 29%

    Less Than Half the Respondents Would Limit Emotional Distress Damages 

    Respondents were asked specifically about limiting compensation for emotional distress, and less than half of the respondents, 43%, agreed that, With everything that is going on in the country now, a company that made a defective product which badly hurt someone should have to only pay for medical costs and lost wages, and very little, if anything for emotional distress and suffering. Those who were more likely to limit compensation for emotional distress and suffering were,

    • Latinx
      • Men
      • Respondents under 30
      • Republicans
      • Those who generally favored corporations over the individual in a dispute
      • Someone in the household lost a job because of Covid-19

    Latinx and younger people have been especially hard hit economically by this pandemic, and their economic woes may explain why they are reluctant to compensate plaintiffs beyond economic damages. Someone who is in a household where someone lost a job because of Covid-19 is in the same position, and their economic adversity may make it difficult for them to compensate others for suffering when they are suffering as well.  

    Republicans and those who favored corporations tend to want to limit non-economic damages generally, and this pandemic has not changed that worldview.

    Agree should pay very little if anything for emotional distress and suffering

    Latinx 51%
    White 45%
    Asian  41%
    Black 37%
    18-30 years 57%
    31-50 years 47%
    51 and older 31%
    Men 50%
    Women 38%
    Republicans 58%
    Democrats  40%
    • 63% of those who favored corporations in a dispute agreed to pay very little if anything for emotional distress compared to only 41% of those who favored the individual.
    • 54% of those who lost a job because of Covid-19 agreed compared to 40% who did not.
    • Whereas only 35% of those with Covid or suspected they had Covid agreed (compared to 44% who did not have Covid). Although those respondents who had Covid-19 were more likely to decrease damages if they thought the current economy would influence their award, they may be more sensitive to emotional distress and suffering, having experienced a major illness recently.

    When asked about specific amounts of damages, respondents chose among responses ranging from 0 to more than $2 million. 73% who agreed the defendant should pay very little if anything for emotional distress said $250,000 or less.  43% said less than $100,000. The respondents were not given a case scenario or exposed to any monetary anchors, so the amount is less important than the fact that nearly three-quarters of the respondents chose amounts at the lower end of the monetary scale.

    Attitudes About Corporations

    • 73% agreed During the Covid-19 pandemic, too many corporations put profit over the safety of their workers
      • Not surprisingly, those who favored individuals in a dispute were more likely to agree strongly with this statement (favored individuals, 29%; and favored corporations, 19%);
      • While those who favored corporations were more likely to disagree strongly (favored corporations, 17%, and favored individuals, 4%).
      • Those whose income declined because of Covid-19 were also more likely to agree strongly (31%) than those whose income did not decline (25%).

    Attitudes About Mask Regulations

    • 72% disagreed that Local governments requiring people to wear face masks in public is government overreach.  Those who thought it was government overreach tended to favor corporations and be Republican.
      • Those who favored corps (29%) were more likely to agree strongly than those who favored individuals (10%)
      • 46% of Republicans agreed, while only 23% of Democrats agreed.


    Attitudes About Social Distancing

    • 84% think Americans should continue social distancing even if it means damage to the economy, with 86% of those who favored the individual agreeing, compared to only 69% of those favored corporations. 
    • In contrast, 16% think to stimulate the economy we should relax social distancing.
      • 31% of those who favored corporations agreed, compared to 14% who favored the individual. 
      • 35% of Republicans agreed compared to 9% of Democrats.
      • And those who lost a job (20%) were more likely to agree than those who did not (15%). 

    For more information, contact:

    NJP LITIGATION CONSULTING/West

    NJP.com           510-832-2583

    CBauss@njp.com or LHeaney@njp.com    

  • 06.26.2020

    COVID 19 and Jury Service

    COVID-19 and JURY SERVICE

    NJP LITIGATION CONSULTING/WEST Survey Findings June 2020

    NJP Litigation Consulting/West conducted an survey June 12-18, 2020, of more than 400 jury eligible residents of Los Angeles and six Bay Area counties (Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Contra Costa) concerning jury service and COVID-19. The survey was conducted online using the Qualtrics platform.

    208 respondents were residents of Los Angeles County, 211 were residents of the six Bay Area counties.  All respondents were jury eligible. The sample was diverse: aged 18 to 60 plus, slightly more women than men, with a mix of race, education, political party, and political orientation.

    Notably, the survey was in the field after many shelter-at-home orders were modified and in the midst of ongoing demonstrations and national attention focused on Black Lives Matter, police abuse, and the death of George Floyd.

    The take-aways from the survey are that a majority do not feel they can take on the responsibility of being a juror now and give a trial their full attention, nor are they willing to participate in deliberations which go on for longer than one day. It will be difficult to select juries throughout 2020 which are diverse and represent a cross section of the public without imposing undue hardship.

    • Importantly, more than 50% of those surveyed would find it difficult to give a trial their full attention because of their current circumstances.
    • More than 50% would not be willing to participate in jury deliberations that last longer than one day.
    • Nearly half of all respondents (46%) suffered household income losses due to the pandemic.
    • 31% of people of color, as compared to 23% of whites, experienced a job loss in their household.
    • Women, more than men, are unwilling to serve on trials this year.
    • More than two-thirds of those unwilling to serve this year say they are afraid to be in a large group and risk exposure to COVID-19.
    • Young people (18-30) were particularly hard hit by the pandemic: over 40% suffered a loss of household income; especially young African American women (77%).
    • Latinx men 31 and older were hard hit by income loss, especially those 51 and older (67% ), along with a narrow band of white men aged 31-50 (58%).
    • HOWEVER, over 80% of all respondents say it is more important to continue social distancing even if it means continued damage to the economy.

    COVID-19 IMPACT GENERALLY

    Experience with the Virus:

    • 5% of the sample strongly suspect they have had COVID-19.
    • 18% believe a family member or close friend had COVID-19.

    Lost jobs and income:

    • 27% have a household member that lost a job because of the pandemic.

    Job loss was higher among younger respondents:

                   Lost a job because of pandemic
    18-30 years 43%
    31-50 years 27%
    51 and older 17%
    • 46% reported household income declined due to the pandemic.

    Income loss was greater among younger respondents:

                   Household income declined
    18-30 years 54%
    31-50 years 47%
    51 and older 40%

    Income loss was highest among young women (age 18-30):

                   Household income declined for 18-30
    African American Women 77%
    Asian Women 67%
    White  Women 60%
    Latinx  Women 54%

                                                 Latinx men age 31 and older lost income:

                   Household income declined
    31-50 years 57%
    51 and older 67%

    And a narrow band of white men:

    • 58% of those age 31-50 reported lost income.

    Concern About COVID-19 and Precautions Taken

    Concern about Covid-19:

    • Respondents were asked, On a scale from 1 to 10, how concerned are you that you may get Covid-19?       58% rated their concern 7 or higher.

    Masks:

    • 73% say they always wear a mask when around people not in their immediate household.

    Social Distancing

    • 69% say they always practice social distancing of 6 feet or more from people not in their household.                             

    ISSUES REGARDING JURY SERVICE

    Jury Service Now:

    • 58% said because of the current circumstances it would be too difficult to serve on a jury now and give trial their full attention.
                   Too difficult to serve and give trial full attention
    Latinx 64%
    White 58%
    Asian  58%
    Black 46%

    Deliberations:

    • 58% of respondents also said they would NOT be willing to participate in jury deliberations that lasted more than one day.
                                  Would not participate in deliberations that last more than one day
    Latinx 62%
    White 58%
    Asian 57%
    Black 49%

    Trials this summer:

    • 48% of men and 57% of women say they would not be willing to serve on a trial between June and August.

                                                                NOT willing to serve between June and August: 

      Under 50 years 50 and over
    White males 40% 69%
    White females 57% 55%
    Black males 46% 50%
    Black females 44% 63%
    Latinx males 54% 33%
    Latinx females 52% 80%
    Asian males 44% 39%
    Asian females 68% 53%

    Trials this fall:

    • Respondents indicated a slight increase in their willingness to serve as jurors later in the year. However, 43% of men and 52% of women say they would not be willing to serve on a trial between September and the end of 2020.

    NOT willing to serve September through end of 2020:

      Under 50 years 50 and over
    White males 40% 50%
    White females 57% 51%
    Black males 46% 50%
    Black females 48% 50%
    Latinx males 46% 33%
    Latinx females 44% 60%
    Asian males 44% 39%
    Asian females 56% 53%

    Not surprisingly health and financial concerns are the leading reasons.

    Of those unwilling to serve on juries between June and August:

    • 70% are afraid to be in a large group and risk exposure to COVID-19.
    • 22% have financial problems due to the pandemic that would make service a hardship.

    Of those unwilling to serve on a trial between September and the end of 2020:

    • 64% would be afraid to be in a large group and risk exposure to COVID-19.
    • 21% have financial problems due to the pandemic that would make jury service a hardship.

    Health Concerns are More Important than the Economic Impact

    • 84% believe Americans should continue to social distance for as long as needed to curb the spread of COVID-19, even if it means continued damage to the economy.
    • 73% agreed during the pandemic too many corporations put profit over the safety of their workers.
    • 72% disagreed that local governments requiring people to wear face masks in public is government overreach.

    How COVID-19 Impacts Inequality in the United States

    • Of those surveyed, 68% agree strongly, or somewhat that COVID-19 is increasing inequality in the US, with strong differences in opinions between African Americans and all others:

    COVID-19 increased inequality in US

      Agree strongly Agree Somewhat
    White 23% 43%
    African American 40% 33%
    Latinx 27% 38%
    Asian 23% 46%

    For more information contact:

    NJP LITIGATION CONSULTING/West

    NJP.com           510-832-2583

    LHeaney@njp.com   or   CBauss@njp.com

  • 05.18.2020

    COVID-19

    NJP continues to be your partner in all trial preparation including REMOTE Jury Research, Case Strategy and Witness Preparation.

  • 10.19.2019

    Preparing for Trial

    Carol Bauss will present on Developing and Delivering Opening Statements and Closing Arguments at Bridgeport’s Preparing for Trial Seminar. October 25, 2019 from 9:00 – 1:30 at AMA Conference Center
    55 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103. For more info and to register: https://bridgeportce.com/bridge2017/live-events

NJP West
510-832-2583
NJP Midwest
612-338-2244
NJP East & South
973-216-6703
© 2015 Copyright NJP Litigation Consulting | Site Map | Website by PRIMARYTHEORY