Thursday, May 14, 2009

What is going on with Juries these days???

In the last 6 months, our firm has obtained four multi-million dollar verdicts? For years, the jury system has been under attack, particularly in Alabama, by surrogates of mega corporations who claim that the jury system is out of control. For years, those attacks have been successful and juries have been reluctant to punish corporate wrongdoing.

Those trends seem to be changing. Recently, our firm conducted a focus group in a very conservative county. We represent several small businesses in that county whose insurance carrier denied their storm damage claims and effectively put them out of business. We conducted the focus group to gauge their thoughts on many issues, including punitive damages. We selected a conservative cross section, which included insurance agents and business owners. The results were striking.

Small town America is angry with corporate America. Small town America says corporate America is getting a bail out and small town America is not only getting left out, but forced to pick up the tab. One member of the panel spoke from the heart. He said frankly that in the past he was reluctant to award significant damages in a civil case for fear that the trickle-down effect would hurt his local community, but now he believes otherwise.

When we hear about the excesses of corporate pay, it is easy to see why small town America feels like they do today.

ThainImage by conorwithonen via Flickr

For more on excessive corporate pay and golden parachutes, see the attached article:

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