Poll Highlights


  • 41% of Americans are not confident that the civil law system is fair and just. Only 9% are very confident.
  • 83% say that the side with the most money for lawyers usually wins. This holds true for all demographic groups: Democrats, Republicans, Independents, liberals, conservatives. The range of agreement is high 70s to high 80s in percentages.
  • In one interesting counterintuitive response, 64% prefer jury trials to bench trials even though 48% feel juries make decisions based upon personal opinion rather than facts and the law. Sixty-nine percent feel that judges base their decisions on facts and the law rather than personal opinion.
  • Confidence in the courts is higher among liberals than conservatives.


  • In a suit pitting a corporation against an individual, 54% would favor individuals. Only 11% would favor corporations. And only 23% volunteer that they would be neutral!
  • Among the industries listed, 56-59% expressed a bias against insurance, oil/gas, financial, and pharmaceutical companies. The only significantly lower bias is toward tech companies (46%) and to a lesser extent, the automobile companies (52%). The lowest bias is toward small businesses in which opinion divides almost evenly between a small business 'located in your community' and an individual, 32% to 30%.
  • 52% said that a bad experience with a corporation could influence their verdict.
  • 66% of Democrats and 70% of liberals would favor an individual over a corporation. Only 43% of Republicans and conservatives would.
  • In a suit pitting a small business against a large corporation, 64% said theyíd be inclined to favor the smaller business.

Class Action

  • Thirty-eight percent of American adults, equivalent to 90 million people, have been invited to participate in class action lawsuits!
  • Most are not doing it for the money. Seventy percent of those joining a class action suit received a financial award with 73% of them calling it 'insignificant'. Motivation may lie in the fact that 65% of all Americans think class action suits make corporations more responsible since they also feel that the suits unfairly enrich plaintiff attorneys (59%). About half say they joined merely to send a message.
  • Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, and independents are all in the 60-65% range in thinking that class actions unfairly enrich plaintiff attorneys.

Jury Service

  • 75% of Americans see jury service as a civic duty rather than a burden although only 27% have personally served on a jury.
  • 81% of former jurors say the experience was a positive one.