Jury Verdicts

Jury Verdicts in the United States

Case reporters systematically report decisions by higher courts, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, state supreme courts and appellate level decisions from state and federal courts. Individuals may also want the results of cases at the trial level or that are settled out of court. It is possible to locate the outcomes, but it can be more difficult due to the non-systematic reporting of these decisions.

Some distinctions must be made first. Jury verdicts are the results of general court trials. Juries primarily decide upon questions of fact submitted to them. The outcomes of jury verdicts are not reported in case reporters, unless the case is appealed and then only as part of the discussion of the history of the case. Settlements occur when an agreement takes place between two disputing parties. The related term “out-of-court settlement” refers to agreements that take place pending a suit but prior to referring it to a judge or jury. Cases which settle are not reported at all in case reporters, nor are settlements appealed.

JURY VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS are unofficially reported in a variety of locations. This variety can make hunting for a particular case frustrating. However, both print and online options exist. An advisory note: an increasing number of law firms and individual lawyers are reporting on their web sites their own successful verdicts and settlements. These links are not provided as these sites generally serve as thinly disguised advertisements.

PRINT RESOURCES

There are periodicals which report verdicts and settlements. Titles include O’Brien’s Evaluator for the most recent two years, and for years since 1981. O’Brien’s Evaluator is the annual cumulation of and index to Verdictum juris.

Tri-service weekly jury verdict reports for the most recent two years reports trials.

Verdicts and Settlements is a monthly insert in the Daily Journal. Print copies are available for the past two years. Previous years are found within the Daily Journal microfilm. Bi-annual indexes are found at the reference desk. Other legal newspapers publishing verdicts and settlement reports are The National Law Journal and The New York Law Journal. Large-circulation general newspapers, collected at most public libraries, such as the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, may publish articles on settlements, but these tend to be the notorious stories. These newspapers are indexed in the newspaper indexes also collected by the public libraries.

Verdicts and settlements may be found in law review articles, indexed by LegalTrac. A keyword search including either or both terms “verdict*” and “settlement*” should yield a large number of articles.

Finding Jury Verredicts

Nancy DeAngelis, in the chapter VII. Finding Practice Tools of ther book “Find It Free and Fast on the Net: Strategies for Legal Research on the Web.” (Eau Claire, WI: NBI, 2016), several sites that once provided jury verdict research for free now require a fee for access. (Id. at 76.) She did report that Kent Morlan, the editor and publisher of MoreLaw, continues to be willing to provide jury research for free (see below). She notes that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire compiles jury verdict reports that are available with PACER access. (Id. at 76.) Nancy DeAngelis also recommends searching Google Scholar for articles on jury verdicts or statistics about them.

FREE INTERNET RESOURCES

  • MoreLaw. Free, nationwide jury verdicts and settlements. Covers all states and the District of Columbia. The number of reports ranges in quantity for any given state. Verdicts and settlements from December 1996 to the present are collected by Kent Morlan by submissions from lawyers, newspaper reports and local courts. Records are sorted by location and date. Records may include date, case name and number, judge, court, plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys, description of case, settlement, and experts for both plaintiff(s) and defendant(s).
  • New York Jury Verdict Reporter. Law.com’s highlights of jury verdicts and settlements in New York. Updated weekly. Compiled from Moran VerdictSearch.

FOR-FEE INTERNET RESOURCES

Prices range among reports and annual subscriptions. However, some free information available in the form of highlights.

  • Bureau of National Affairs. BNA’s Web Service offers the full text of more than 30 current-notification publications through the Internet. A number of them include current verdicts and settlements within the covered field. Some titles which contain verdict and settlement reports are: Employment Discrimination Report, Product Safety & Liability Reporter, and Toxics Law Reporter.
  • Lawyers Weekly Publications. Collects trial reports in the national newspaper, Lawyers Weekly USA, and in state newspapers in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Rhode Island and Ohio. Searchable archives the full-text of the newspapers for varying time periods. Searching is free and yields newspaper headline and part of first paragraph. Full text of article is available for a fee that varies depending upon whether one is a subscriber or not.
  • The Blue Sheet: Verdict Search. Most of the information is the subscriber only, searchable online verdicts and settlements database. Covers Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
  • National Association of State Jury Verdict Publishers (NASJVP). Organization of roughly two dozen independent reporters responsible for 29 publications in the United States. A table and map of the U.S. show the jurisdictions covered. Sample articles and statistical analyses are offered.
  • Trials Digest. Source for California civil trial results. Useful materials include snippets of headline cases available for a fee by e-mail; review a county-by-county list of verdict types and amounts; or scan a list of experts for whom trial reports or deposition transcripts can be purchased.
  • Mealey’s Litigation Reports. Well-respected publisher of a number of targeted and expensive litigation reporters, covering such topics as asbestos, breast implants, lead paint, tobacco and toxic torts. The Hot News Section includes current articles from their alert services. Articles are not archived.
  • Moran Publishing Company. Home of The New York Jury Verdict Reporter. Includes Weekly Verdict Hightlights, Quick Injury Valuator.

Jury Verdicts: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Jury Verdicts. This part provides references, in relation to Jury Verdicts, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Jury Verdicts by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Jury Verdicts and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Jury Verdicts or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Jury Verdicts and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Jury Verdicts. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Jury Verdicts should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Jury Verdicts when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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