Gender on Trial: Women Plaintiffs, Lawyers, and Judges in State Civil Trials
Dumas, Tao L.
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With the research questions, 1) How do juries respond to female litigants? 2) Does having a woman attorney help or hurt women litigants? 3) Do men and women participate in different types of lawsuits? 4) Are gender effects amplified or mitigated by the presence of a female judge?, we collected 916 civil jury verdicts from 4 states (Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky). We coded for judge, attorney, and litigant gender. We also control for case issues and injuries as well as the lawyer’s law firm size and the size of the legal team. Our dependent variable is whether the plaintiff won. As a result. we find evidence that gender impacts all aspects of the civil litigation process. The data show that men and women participate in different types of cases and seek compensation for different injuries. Women are underrepresented among both attorney and judge populations in all four states. We also observe that women plaintiffs tend to hire women lawyers. However, preliminary analyses indicate that women attorneys are less likely to win their cases then their male counterparts.
Department of Psychology
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