B. Michael Dann


Jurors are not supposed to allow their personal attitudes about the law, including tort law, affect their decision. This Essay asserts, however, that jurors, acting as conscientious and impartial decision makers, in fact do have cognitive and emotional "stakes" in tort litigation, namely the trial process that they are subjected to, and in making fair and equitable decisions. Various "tort reform" proposals affect, for better or worse, jurors' abilities to understand the evidence and the law, apply the law to the facts, and do justice. The author, a former trial judge, and a self-confessed "jurorcentric" supporter of jury trial reforms, "rates" scores of current reform proposals according to their potential to improve or detract from the jurors' abilities to do their jobs. Special attention is paid to two specific proposals of "high salience" for juries. Policymakers are urged to take jurors' needs into account when considering changes in tort law and trial practice.

Included in

Law Commons