The Jury Bookshelf

The following book listing contains the seminal works for any jury management bookshelf. The books that have call number after the author name(s), are available in the National Center for State Courts Library. These books are available for loan by contacting Joan Cochet, the NCSC librarian at jcochet@ncsc.org or 757-259-1826.

American Juries: The Verdict
Neil Vidmar and Valerie P. Hans (2007); KF8972 .V53 2007

American Juries: The Verdict reviews fifty years of empirical research on civil and criminal juries. The authors place the jury system in its historical and contemporary context, giving stories behind important trials while providing fact-based answers to critical questions. The book concludes with the verdict that despite occasional problems and controversial decisions, the American jury system is fair and democratic and should remain a part of the judicial process.

The American Jury
Harry Kalven, Jr. and Hans Zeisel (1993)

The American Jury was a landmark publication resulting from years of jury research conducted by the University of Chicago. The researchers analyzed the discrepancies between judge and jury decision making. Drawing from 3576 jury trial reports from courts all over the United States, the study offers a general theory of jury decision making.

Business on Trial: The Civil Jury and Corporate Responsibility
Valerie P. Hans (2000); KF8972 .H267 2000

In this book, the author attempts to analyze the validity of the common perception that jury verdicts are influenced more by prejudice against business, sympathy for the plaintiffs, and a belief in the “deep pockets” of corporations than the corporation’s negligence.

Hans draws on interviews with civil jurors, experiments with mock jurors, and public opinion polling to explore how jurors should determine whether a business should be held responsible for an injury. She concludes that there are only occasional instances of anti-business prejudice and that while juries do treat businesses different than individuals, this is because the public has higher expectations of corporations and more rigorous standards for their conduct.

Determining Damages: The Psychology of Jury Awards
Edie Greene and Brian H. Bornstein (2003); KF8972 .Z9 G74 2003

Determining Damages provides an empirical analysis of the process of jury decision making. The authors discuss both the reasoning processes that jurors use to determine what they believe are just rewards and the factors that influence damage assessment, such as the identity of the plaintiff, defendant, and jurors, and the severity and nature of the injury. The analysis suggests that the jury system itself may be responsible for more unfounded and unpredictable decisions than the juror’s ability to be fair and reasonable. The book finishes with a discussion of whether the jury system should be reformed.

The Jury and Democracy: How Jury Deliberation Promotes Civic Engagement and Political Participation
Gastil, Deess, Weiser, and Simmons (2010); JK1764 .J87 2010

This book provides compelling research-based evidence supporting the view that jury service promotes civic and political engagement. The authors used in-depth interviews, thousands of juror surveys, and court and voting records to show that serving on a jury can trigger changes in how citizens view themselves, their peers, and their government. Jury service also causes permanent shifts in media use, political action, and community involvement. In short, The Jury and Democracy shows how jury service can change a citizen from a passive spectator into an active political participant.

Jury Decision Making: The State of the Science
Dennis J. Devine (2012)

This book is essentially a very well written annotated bibliography of the best empirical research on jury decision making that’s been published in the last 50 years.  The author not only summarizes an extensive literature on juror and jury decision making in a very readable way, but he has also done all the hard work of eliminating studies that employed improper data collection and analytical methods, to ensure that the summaries reflect the most credible research available. 

Jury Ethics: Juror Conduct and Jury Dynamics
John Kleinig and James P. Levine, editors (2006); KF8980 .A5 J87 2006

Jury Ethics provides a collection of essays from leading scholars reflecting on ethical issues surrounding the jury system. Do citizens have a duty to serve as jurors? Would a juror seek to purposefully nullify a result simply to express disapproval of the law? Is it acceptable for jurors to engage in after hours research? Questions surrounding juror dynamics and juror conduct are examined.

Legal Blame: How Jurors Think and Talk About Accidents
Neal Feigenson (2001)

This book explains how jurors comprehend, interpret, and assign the rules of legal blame. Feigenson’s thesis is that jurors try to achieve what he calls “total justice.” In their decision making, they try to square all accounts between parties, to consider all the information they deem relevant, to reach a decision that is fair and right as a whole, and to feel right emotionally about their decision.

Legal Language
Peter M. Tiersma (1999); K213 .T54 1999

This book aims to provide a comprehensive description of legal English. Tiersma illustrates the history of legal language, explaining where it came from, why and how lawyers continue to use it, and why it doesn’t have to be an integral feature of our legal system.

Medic al Malpractice and the American Jury
Neil Vidmar (1995); KF2905.3 .V53 1995

In Medical Malpractice and the American Jury, Neil Vidmar uses a basis of empirical data to analyze the fairness of jury decisions in medical malpractice litigation. He repudiates the view that jurors are inherently biased against doctors by comparing actual jury decisions with neutral physicians’ ratings of whether negligence occurred. He also finds that juries do award damages proportional to the seriousness of the injury and economic loss. This book goes beyond common misperceptions of medical malpractice litigation and finds a system that is fair, impartial, and intelligent.

Scientific Jury Selection
Joel D. Lieberman and Bruce D. Sales (2007); KF8979 .L54 2007

Scientific Jury Selection provides a thorough review of common techniques used to select jurors and a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of these techniques. Examples of techniques evaluated are the voir dire process, community surveys, and the influence of demographic factors. This book is meant to provide psychologists with an understanding of current research in trial consulting and to help attorneys decide when to hire trial consultants.

A Theory of the Trial
Robert P. Burns (2001)

This book offers a depiction of the process of a trial, beginning with the lawyers’ opening statements and continuing through the succession of witnesses. The heart of Burns’ investigation of the trial revolves around the point in the trial in which the jurors find a sense of what is the right thing to do. Burns strives to know how this happens, drawing on careful descriptions of what trial lawyers do, the rules governing their actions, interpretations of actual trial material, social science findings, and a broad philosophical and political appreciation of the trial as a unique vehicle of American self-government.

A Trial by Jury
D. Graham Burnett (2001); KF9680 .B87 2001

A Trial by Jury follows the account of the author, D. Graham Burnett’s, experience as a juror in a murder trial in Manhattan. Burnett, appointed jury foreman, must make sense of the evidence and lead the jury’s deliberations to a verdict. This book offers a compelling courtroom drama and an intimate portrait of a fractious jury, while also personally confronting the issues of personal responsibility and civic duty, law and justice, and the dynamics of power and authority between twelve equal people.

Verdict According to Conscience
Thomas Andrew Green (1988)

Verdict According to Conscience is a unified, interpretive history of the English trial jury from its inception to the eve of the Victorian reforms of the criminal code. Bringing together legal and social history, Thomas Green provides new perspectives on the character of English culture and on Anglo-American concepts of justice and government. In doing so, he raises essential questions about the moral balance among individual cases, general rules, and the preservation of society.

Verdict: Assessing the Civil Jury System
Robert E. Litan, editor (1993); KF8972 .A5 V47 1993

This book looks at the workings of the civil jury system in both the federal and state courts throughout the United States. It provides a collection of papers presented at a conference in June 1992 by leading scholars, attorneys, and judges examining whether the jury system is in need of modification or reform. While the authors present competing views of the objectives of the civil jury system, all agree that the jury still has and will continue to have an important role in the American system of civil justice.

We, the Jury
Jeffrey Abramson (2000); KF8972 .A727 2000

This book provides an eloquent defense of the American jury system. The author discusses historical and contemporary court cases that exemplify or nullify a democratic model of consensus through deliberation. He also examines the new mandatory cross-section representation for juries, scientific jury selection, legitimization of state power through juries, and a common justice above social divisions. Reform proposals are also presented; the author advocates mandatory unanimous verdicts and revising the impartial criteria for juror selection.

Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Constitutional Action
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson (2013); KF8972 .F47 2013

In the book, the author recognizes all of the usual reasons for respecting jurors – how they serve in spite of personal inconvenience and occasionally great hardship with ridiculously little compensation and decide cases, some of which are extremely complex, others involving heart-wrenching testimony, and some that are just boring beyond belief.  But Ferguson’s main thesis is that when people serve as trial jurors, they actually embody the core values articulated in our Constitution – due process, equal protection, liberty, accountability, fairness, protection for dissenting voices, deliberation, and the common good – in a way unlike any other form of civic participation.

World Jury Systems
Edited by Neil Vidmar (2000)K2292 .W67 2000

This book provides in depth coverage of the history and the current state of the jury systems of the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. The book also contains chapters on the civil jury system in Canada and the United States, the newly revived jury systems of Spain and Russia, and reviving the jury system in Japan. Each chapter contains essays by specialist authors on the role of the jury.