The Power of Jury Instructions: Evidence from EEOC Cases
28 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 27, 2019
Jury instructions are the last opportunity American litigants have to get input from the court as to their case’s strength. Thus, processes surrounding jury instructions are an opportunity for the parties to settle. But the ways jury instructions affect litigants are completely unstudied. I review 80 jury instructions documents from 30 EEOC enforcement actions between 1996 and 2006, and find some tentative evidence that a court’s preference for one party on instructions about the merits could lead to an outcome in that party’s favor. Where the court does not take a clear stance, the case may be likely to settle.
Keywords: Jury Instructions, Civil Procedure, Trial Courts, EEOC Litigation Project
JEL Classification: K41, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation