Juror Climate Ominous For Corporate America

Compiled By Deborah Austin Jurors are angry at corporate America -- with distrust deepening even among traditional supporters -- suggests a recent juror survey by trial consulting firm DecisionQuest, Los Angeles, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), Washington, D.C. "It appears companies are going to have a more difficult time getting a fair day in court than in any other period in our nation's history," says DecisionQuest senior Vice President Arthur Patterson. More than 75% of white males surveyed -- typically big business' most-supportive demographic -- say they don't trust corporations. Overall, 63% of respondents say they've developed a lesser opinion of corporations during the past year. Eighty-five percent believe large corporations tend to hide information about product/waste-related dangers until forced to confess; 71% say managers/senior executives are more likely to lie on the witness stand than lower-level employees. And, jurors living in communities with significant corporate presence are more hostile than others toward "big business."

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