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Civil Rights and Discrimination

Jury

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

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Keeping Cases From Black Juries: An Empirical Analysis Of How Race, Income Inequality, And Regional History Affect Tort Law, Donald G. Gifford, Brian Jones Jan 2016

Keeping Cases From Black Juries: An Empirical Analysis Of How Race, Income Inequality, And Regional History Affect Tort Law, Donald G. Gifford, Brian Jones

Faculty Scholarship

This Article presents an empirical analysis of how race, income inequality, the regional history of the South, and state politics affect the development of tort law. Beginning in the mid-1960s, most state appellate courts rejected doctrines such as contributory negligence that traditionally prevented plaintiffs’ cases from reaching the jury. We examine why some, mostly Southern states did not join this trend.

To enable cross-state comparisons, we design an innovative Jury Access Denial Index (JADI) that quantifies the extent to which each state’s tort doctrines enable judges to dismiss cases before they reach the jury. We then conduct a multivariate analysis …