There Is A Cognitive Science Behind Big Jury Verdicts

Law360 (March 30, 2018, 4:17 PM EDT) -- Every year, we see reports of shockingly large jury awards — awards of eight, nine and perhaps 10 figures. In some cases, the trial lawyers, especially the defense team, see the amounts as having little rational basis in the facts. And sometimes appellate courts agree.

Experts in human decision-making, including Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, have suggested that jury awards are unpredictable because jurors have difficulty translating their beliefs about harm into a monetary value, especially when jurors must map those awards onto an unbounded magnitude scale.[1] Anyone who has watched mock jurors deliberate in a high-value case has probably seen jurors struggle...

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