Damage Anchors on Real Juries

31 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2011  

Shari Seidman Diamond

Northwestern University, School of Law & American Bar Foundation

Mary R. Rose

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Sociology

Beth Murphy

American Bar Foundation

John B. Meixner

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law; Northwestern University - Department of Psychology

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Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

Experiments reveal anchoring as a powerful force, even when participants see the anchor as irrelevant. Here, we examine the reactions of real deliberating jurors to attorney damage requests and concessions in 31 cases involving 33 plaintiffs in which the jury awarded damages. Jurors were critical consumers of attorney suggestions. They reacted more negatively to, and were less influenced by, plaintiff ad damnums for pain and suffering than to damage requests in categories grounded in more objective evidence. Deliberations revealed that jurors often perceive plaintiff ad damnums not only as irrelevant, but also as outrageous, impressions reflected in their verdicts. These findings suggest that extreme plaintiff ad damnums, including those without grounding in quantitative evidence from trial, may not exert substantial undue influence.

Suggested Citation

Diamond, Shari Seidman and Rose, Mary R. and Murphy, Beth and Meixner, John B., Damage Anchors on Real Juries (December 2011). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 8, pp. 148-178, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1963632 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-1461.2011.01232.x

Shari Seidman Diamond (Contact Author)

Northwestern University, School of Law & American Bar Foundation ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2040 (Phone)

Mary R. Rose

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Sociology ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-232-6336 (Phone)

Beth Murphy

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

John B. Meixner

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Northwestern University - Department of Psychology

Evanston, IL
United States

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