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Civil Juries and Civil Justice: Psychological and Legal by Brian H. Bornstein, Richard L. Wiener, Robert Schopp, Steven

By Brian H. Bornstein, Richard L. Wiener, Robert Schopp, Steven L. Willborn

At final, this is an empirical quantity that addresses head-on the thorny factor of tort reform within the US. Ongoing coverage debates concerning tort reform have led either felony analysts and empirical researchers to reevaluate the civil jury’s function in dishing out civil justice. a few reform advocates have known as for elimination specific sorts of extra advanced situations from the jury’s purview; but a lot of the coverage debate has proceeded within the absence of knowledge on what the results of such reforms will be. In addressing those concerns, this significant paintings takes an empirical process, hoping on archival and experimental information. It stands on the leading edge of the controversy and offers info correct to either kingdom and nationwide civil justice systems.

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The formal trial begins with preliminary comments by the judge, including the fact that opening and closing statements by the lawyers are not evidence. The opening statements typically involve an outline of the basic contested issues in the case and forecasting about the expected evidence to be called. In the ideal model of the trial the plaintiff goes first and the defense follows at the completion of the plaintiff’s case. After direct testimony each witness is subject to cross-examination by the opposing lawyer.

Sometimes there are persons who may have played a role in the events leading to the negligence suit, but they are missing from the trial evidence because a defendant may settle before trial and not be called to testify. In one Arizona automobile case occurring at dusk there was a claim that a third party, a bicycle rider, caused the accident, but disappeared in the darkness. In a North Carolina case two parties had settled before trial and were not part of the trial evidence even though they were crucial players in the events leading to the alleged injury.

Civil Juries in Ecological Context 39 the plaintiff’s direct testimony was interrupted for most of the day so that a defense expert could testify; the plaintiff’s testimony resumed the next day where she had left off. In still another instance during the defense’s case an out-of-state plaintiff witness who had testified in person earlier in the trial was recalled and testified by telephone to clarify issues that arisen as a result of other testimony. Substantive Issues and Variation Across Trials Juries are instructed to decide the following: whether the defendant was negligent; whether the plaintiff was injured; whether the defendant’s negligence was a proximal cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and the amount, if any, due the plaintiff in compensatory damages.

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