Screening jurors is a delicate process that involves myriad factors. A trait that makes a juror sympathetic to one plaintiff may very well count against another plaintiff. One fairly consistent trait is economic background. Quite simply, wealthy jurors tend to favor defendants, while low-earning jurors tend to favor plaintiffs. Need specifics? The accompanying chart, based on cases reported to VerdictSearch in California, Florida, New York and Texas, shows that plaintiffs generally have the best chance of winning when their case is heard by jurors from areas in which the average annual per capita income is less than $20,000 (red bars on the accompanying chart). Conversely, defendants fare best in those rarified areas in which the average annual per capita income exceeds $30,000 (green bars). California, where things are nearly even across the board, is the only outlier.
HOW TO: This study requires nothing more than the VerdictSearch search platform and an easily obtainable list of per capita income by county. Google will provide the list in two clicks. Once on the search platform, select your state, select the counties, then select Verdict-Plaintiff or Verdict-Defendant to see the total number of plaintiff and defense verdicts for those counties.
DEEPER DRILL: You can also calculate win/loss trends in a single county. But rather than a broad win/loss result, filter by plaintiff’s age and/or gender, to see how juries react to different demographics.