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Juries, Judges, and Punitive Damages: Empirical Analyses Using the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts 1992, 1996, and 2001 Data

33 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2006  

Michael Heise

Cornell Law School

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased)

Martin T. Wells

Cornell University - Law School

Paula Hannaford-Agor

National Center for State Courts

Neil LaFountain

National Center for State Courts

G. Thomas Munsterman

National Center for State Courts (NCSC)

Brian Ostrom

National Center for State Courts

Abstract

We analyze thousands of trials from a substantial fraction of the nation's most populous counties. Evidence across ten years and three major datasets suggests that: (1) juries and judges award punitive damages in approximately the same ratio to compensatory damages, (2) the level of punitive damages awards has not increased, and (3) juries' and judges' tendencies to award punitive damages differ in bodily injury and no-bodily-injury cases. Jury trials are associated with a greater rate of punitive damages awards in financial injury cases. Judge trials are associated with a greater rate of punitive damages awards in bodily injury cases.

Suggested Citation

Heise, Michael and Eisenberg, Theodore and Wells, Martin T. and Hannaford-Agor, Paula and LaFountain, Neil and Munsterman, G. Thomas and Ostrom, Brian, Juries, Judges, and Punitive Damages: Empirical Analyses Using the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts 1992, 1996, and 2001 Data. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 263-95, 2006; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912309 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.722421

Michael Heise (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

310 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
607-255-0069 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University, Law School (Deceased) ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Martin T. Wells

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-8801 (Phone)

Paula Hannaford-Agor

National Center for State Courts ( email )

300 Newport Ave.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

Neil LaFountain

National Center for State Courts ( email )

300 Newport Ave.
Research Division
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States
757-253-2000 (Phone)
757-220-0449 (Fax)

G. Thomas Munsterman

National Center for State Courts (NCSC) ( email )

300 Newport Ave.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States
(800) 616-6160 (Phone)
(757) 564-2108 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ncsconline.org/index.html

Brian Ostrom

National Center for State Courts ( email )

300 Newport Ave.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States
757-253-2000 (Phone)
757-220-0449 (Fax)

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