Jurors are typically instructed not to include attorney fees when considering damage awards. Think they’re listening?
Nationwide data collected this year from our jury focus groups is telling: A whopping 76 percent say they would take lawyers’ fees into account when determining damage awards.
That tendency isn’t attributable to Americans’ love of ignoring judges, but rather our implicit belief in “fairness.” During focus group discussions, jurors tell us again and again they “know the lawyers are going to take 30 to 40 percent,” meaning if they believe the injured party requires $1 million to be adequately taken care of, lawyers taking 30 to 40 percent in fees doesn’t sound “fair.”
As you can imagine, this “juror math” can cause large verdicts to quickly grow larger.
Give us a call if you would like to know more about our research in this area. And don’t forget to pre-order Chris St. Hilaire’s new book 27 Powers of Persuasion available online now at major book retailers.