Lightfoot’s Lee Hollis and Zach Martin Publish Law360 Article on Millennial Jurors
December 12, 2017
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (December 12, 2017) — Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC partner Lee M. Hollis and associate Zachary P. Martin have published an article with Law360 on the topic of millennial jurors. Titled “6 Things You Need to Know about Millennial Jurors,” the article examines how the era in which millennials grew up influences how they may behave as jurors.
“Every year, millennials make up a larger portion of jury pools throughout the country. Currently, millennials are the largest living generation and comprise one-third of jurors,” write Hollis and Martin. “While it is impossible to generalize a group so large and diverse, millennials’ upbringing, access to technology and worldview all have implications for trials when they serve as jurors.”
The article notes that millennials are the best-educated generation (in terms of percentage with four-year college degrees) in American history. Referring to a 2014 Pew Research report, the authors also mention that millennials are less connected with traditional institutions, and have more progressive and inclusive social views when compared to older/other generations.
At the same time, note Hollis and Martin, millennials typically possess a seemingly peculiar combination of optimism for the future and extreme distrust for others.
“Interestingly, this distrust seems to be reserved for individuals, as millennials were actually more likely than prior generations to have a favorable view of government, and about as likely as those in other generations to have a favorable view of big business.”
All of these influences combine, say Hollis and Martin, to create tendencies in millennial jurors that litigators must be aware of as they plan trial strategy. They identify six in the article:
- Millennials are safety-conscious
- Millennials value personal responsibility
- Millennials are accustomed to job-hopping
- Millennials have a short attention span
- Millennials are comfortable with technology
- Millennials don’t respect experts
“To counter these tendencies, trial lawyers should be mindful of these generational differences when crafting a case that will be presented to millennial jurors,” write Hollis and Martin.