We gathered data from a few of our recent Alameda County (CA) jury selections to compile helpful information about the most commonly-used statistics, like age and education. In a separate post, we cover these same jurors’ key opinions of lawsuits and damages awards.
The majority of our Alameda County jurors fall between the ages of 30 and 59 years old. It’s important to remember that the final, seated jurors won’t likely have this exact age profile. The median age of your juror will depend on the type of case and length of trial. In some cases, the seated jury skews older because it tends to be easier for retirees to serve than other, typically younger, jurors.
Almost 60% of our Alameda County jurors are married, contributing to a higher rate of married jurors seated to decide a case. First of all, there’s more of them. Second, jurors who come from households with two incomes might be better able to serve than jurors who are single, separated, divorced, or widowed.
43.8% (39.3% + 4.5%) of the jurors who showed up to these jury selections have a bachelor’s degree and another 25.4% hold a graduate degree, meaning 69.2% of our jurors had at least a bachelor’s degree. That percentage is markedly higher than the most recent census statistics for Alameda County. Specifically, the 2013-2017 estimations lists 25.7% of county residents as having a bachelor’s degree and 19% with a graduate degree.
The location of the courthouse is likely the cause of these education statistic disparities. Jurors described in this post reported to the Alameda County courthouse in Downtown Oakland. Jurors who report to the courthouses in Hayward, Fremont, and San Leandro might have differing levels of education.
Prior Jury Service
We found that about 22.7% of the jurors summoned to the courthouse had served on at least one jury in their lifetime. For context, we examined statistics for state courts in California. We found that 2.1% of trials in 2017 were jury trials. The other 97.9% were bench trials. We would probably have had more jurors with prior service if the rate of jury trials was not so low.