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Abstract

Research has established that pre-trial publicity increases potential jurors’ awareness to factors that may or may not become evidence at trial. The purpose of the present study was to examine how variations in prior notification of a civil settlement would influence juror decision-making. A sample of jury eligible students (N = 123) read one of three news summaries in which the settlement amount ($14.75M v. $4.25M v. $800,000 v. Control) and prior notification (3 Day v. 3 Week Delay) were manipulated. Results indicated that similar to pre-trial publicity, jurors utilized prior information as a basis for determining award. In addition, participants who experienced a 3-day delay were significantly more likely to award a greater amount in compensatory damages compared to those who experienced a 3-week delay.



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