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Jury box Jury box

From February 24 to Sept. 13, 2020, more than 6,723 COVID-19-related complaints were filed in federal court. These cases allege claims directly related to the health crisis (i.e., class action lawsuits filed against sellers of event or airfare tickets for canceled events and flights, class action lawsuits by students against universities for breach of contractual obligation by failing to provide on-campus classes and the educational experience for which students had paid, and business interruption insurance claims). As trials resume, defendants need to be aware of the potential biases prospective jurors may have against those accused of coronavirus-related wrongdoing. Dubin Research & Consulting (DRC) studied the attitudes of jury-eligible citizens towards COVID-19-related litigation by anonymously surveying 420 citizens residing in the counties that comprise the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The study sample matched the collective demographic characteristics of jury-eligible citizens of those districts. While DRC found that defendants are likely to be met with widespread juror bias, there are ways to anticipate the characteristics of jurors that have the potential to be especially harmful.

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