Overcoming a Jury Bias in an Employment Discrimination Case
Getting a Jury Past First Impressions
Sometimes a legal team can tell that a jury is reaching the wrong conclusion – especially in a gender discrimination case. When a major bus transportation company and ten of its male supervisors called on Prince Lobel to defend them against claims of discrimination and retaliation by six female employees, we knew that first impressions could work against us.
The six plaintiffs contended, among other things, that they had received inferior equipment and been subjected to greater discipline than their male counterparts. Convincing a jury otherwise would not be easy.
Taking Over, Taking Charge
The case was already several years old when the company decided that the law firm they had originally hired was not the right fit. With the case now coming to trial, and facing possible compensatory damages and punitive damages – as well as attorney fees and costs – they felt a change in representation was called for. That was when we stepped in.
Under severe time pressure, our attorneys immediately took control. They analyzed the case and completed the depositions of several key witnesses and parties named in the action. They then set about developing a strategy that would convince a skeptical jury that there was, in fact, no discrimination.
Working to Change Minds
The trial took five weeks, during which time a great deal of “me too” evidence was presented by the plaintiff – evidence that needed to be meticulously refuted in our defense. Ultimately, despite its first impressions, the jury saw it our way. They returned a “take-nothing” verdict in favor of our client and the ten male supervisors. A most satisfying result.