Summary of Business on Trial

The Civil Jury & Corporate Responsibility

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Business on Trial book summary
The Robin Hood Jury: Fact or Fiction?


7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Valerie P. Hans has written a thorough, carefully designed study of jury behavior in civil trials. While presenting information cautiously and academically, she thoroughly explodes several common myths about civil juries and makes a powerful (if understated) case for the preservation of the civil jury system. She begins with surveys and quotes, preferring to let her data speak for itself, until she draws final conclusions and points out areas for further scholarship. Hans does not over-generalize, but the book is often repetitive, in part because some of the studies and issues overlap. Even so, the information is trimmed to a manageable length. This is not an entertaining read, but getAbstract finds the information and interviews clear, useful and accessible. This is a particularly helpful book for law students and professors, litigators, reporters covering the courts, corporate legal departments and anyone involved in civil litigation, especially if you have a voice in selecting a jury.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How contemporary juries really view businesses
  • Why, with injury cases, jurors are suspicious of plaintiffs and their attorneys; and
  • How the myth of the “‘take from the rich and give to the poor’ jury” has been disproved.


Lawsuits against Businesses
Lawsuits against business have become more frequent in United States courts. These lawsuits, especially product liability cases, can have enormous impact. They have fueled a debate about the soundness and future of the civil jury system.

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About the Author

Valerie P. Hans is a professor in the department of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.

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