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In Their Own Words: Four Reasons Why Some Jurors Are Willing to Treat a Corporation and an Individual Equally

follow yes no notsureAs shown in the chart, 66% of the 300 California residents and potential jurors that we surveyed said that they would have no problem with treating an individual and a corporation equally.

In an earlier post, we reported the reasons why jurors would not be willing to follow the court’s instruction to treat a corporation and an individual equally.  In this post, we report the reasons why they are willing to following this instruction.  We believe that it is important to look at the reasons why jurors are willing to follow this instruction because it provides plaintiffs’ attorneys language that can rehabilitate jurors who are hesitant to follow this instruction.

When asked to explain why they would be willing to treat a corporation and an individual equally, participants offered responses that emphasized respecting the court’s instructions, embracing their duty as a juror, ensuring fairness to both parties, and keeping themselves free of bias with an open mind.

Four reasons why jurors don’t have a problem with
treating a corporation and an individual equally

When we reviewed the comments from the participants who said they would have no problem treating a corporation and an individual as equal before the law, four themes emerged:

  1. Trust the Courts, Follow Instructions, and Obey the Law
  2. Offer Fairness to Both Sides
  3. Keep an Open Mind at the Outset of Trial
  4. Value Civil Service and Duty as a Juror

*In 2017, we conducted an online survey with 300 jury-eligible California residents to explore answers to questions about Corporate Personhood and Corporate Responsibility as ascribed by criminal and civil jury instructions. We analyzed the data to identify the relationship between agreement and understanding of corporate personhood jury instructions and other attitudinal measures. For more information on our survey methodology and results, email us at

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