Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1723358
 


 



The Impact of Jury Instructions on the Fusion of Liability and Compensatory Damages


Roselle Wissler


Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Michael J. Saks


Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Katie Rector


University of Iowa - Department of Psychology

2001

Law & Human Behavior, Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 125, 2001

Abstract:     
This empirical study examined whether special jury instructions or the bifurcation of liability and compensation decisions would counter the tendency for evidence concerning the defendant’s liability to affect damages awards. Mock jurors made liability and award decisions in response to a case description in which the level of defendant responsibility for the plaintiff’s injuries and the type or timing of damages instructions were systematically varied. Instructions not to discount awards for uncertainty about the defendant’s fault and instructions not to increase awards to punish the defendant’s carelessness reduced the impact of the defendant’s conduct on awards, while bifurcation did not. Additional findings suggest, at least in the context of the present study, that discounting may be a somewhat more potent process than surcharging. Possible explanations for these effects are discussed.

Keywords: juror decision making, jury instructions, damages

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: December 12, 2010 ; Last revised: December 16, 2010

Suggested Citation

Wissler, Roselle and Saks, Michael J. and Rector, Katie, The Impact of Jury Instructions on the Fusion of Liability and Compensatory Damages (2001). Law & Human Behavior, Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 125, 2001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1723358

Contact Information

Roselle Wissler (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
Michael J. Saks
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
Katie Rector
University of Iowa - Department of Psychology
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
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