Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 24, 2011
Wendy Parker posted her article, “Juries, Race, and Gender: A Story of Today’s Inequality” (Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 46, pp. 209-240, 2011), on SSRN. Here’s the abstracst.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 was supposed to be a victory for employment discrimination plaintiffs – a dramatic expansion of their rights. Twenty years later, however, we are told that the news for employment discrimination plaintiffs has gone “from bad to worse.” This essay, a reflection on the twenty-year history of the 1991 Act, explores how just how bad it is. In doing so, this essay discovers some optimistic news (but not much): Plaintiffs today are more likely to win at trial than before the 1991 Act. This is likely because of the 1991 Act’s expanded right to a jury trial. Yet, this is not a story of optimism – or equality – for all plaintiffs. The essay’s original study of 102 jury trials reveals that some plaintiffs do much worse than other plaintiffs. African Americans and Latinos claiming race discrimination, for example, have the lowest jury win rates. Many who study jury behavior would have predicted this outcome. From this, the essay argues that the evidence is strong that the status quo is not race neutral, and neither are juries.
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Posted in Abstracts, Distribution, Law | Tagged: gender, inequality, juries, jury, race, racism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 29, 2008
Ellen Bublick’s fasinating article, “Upside Down? Terrorists, Proprietors and Responsibility for Criminal Harm in the Post-9/11 Tort-Reform World,” (forthcoming Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review) is now available for downloading on SSRN. Here’s the abstract.
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In the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case a New York jury was asked to apportion liability among all potentially responsible actors. The jury apportioned responsibility for the devastation as follows – terrorists 32%, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 68%. The Port Authority was twice as responsible for the devastation as were the terrorists themselves. Public bewilderment, even outrage, over the jury’s verdict has been palpable. But what if the jurors’ verdict was correct?
In this article, Professor Bublick argues that the problem with the World Trade Center apportionment is not the particular jury verdict, but rather the tort-reform-produced state apportionment law that, in a minority of jurisdictions including New York, asks juries to divide responsibility between these negligent and intentional tortfeasors. Consequently, the paper argues that courts should avoid all or at least certain intentional-negligent responsibility comparisons. However, the paper then discusses courts’ second-best position – to uphold all jury apportionments, even those that assign greater, or perhaps far greater, responsibility to negligent than intentional parties.
Posted in Abstracts, Law | Tagged: intentional tortfeasors, juries, liability apportionment, negligent tortfeasors, Torts | Leave a Comment »