Jurors in a Post-Pandemic World: What Litigators Need to Know

A trial by jury has always been predicated on the availability of citizens to serve as jurors.  And while most U.S. citizens over the age of 18 are technically eligible, a variety of other considerations limit the pool from which actual jurors are selected.  Not least of which are individuals’ willingness and ability to serve.

To a certain degree, these factors can be tested and evaluated through the hardship qualification process of jury selection.  But what typically remains shrouded in uncertainty is this: How are those who are summoned for, and who show up to perform their civic duty, different from those who are called, but never appear?

In the past, investigating this mystery may have simply been an academic exercise.  Potentially interesting, but of no real moment. Today, it is crucial.  And Vinson’s latest survey of jury-eligible individuals attempts to shed light on this topic.

As we look toward a future in which the pandemic begins to recede, the economy begins to recover, and our system of justice resumes its functions, it is necessary to ask: What will the impact of the coronavirus be on a trial by jury?  How will it affect jurors’ attitudes and beliefs?  And most importantly, who will show up to serve – and what does that mean for litigators and their clients?

For preliminary answers to these questions, we invite you to download our recent research article: