Jessica M. Karmasek Jun. 6, 2013, 2:30pm

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) -- Technology companies that are pitted against individuals as litigants in civil cases would face less juror bias than the other five business sectors measured in a recent survey by DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar.

According to a national poll by DRI, less than half -- 46 percent -- of all respondents said they would tend to favor the individual over the technology company in such litigation.

There was no statistically significant difference between male and female responses, according to the survey results.

The other business sectors measured had substantially larger percentages who would favor the individual over the corporation: 56 percent in a case involving a pharmaceutical company; 59 percent in a case involving an insurance company; 52 percent in a case involving an automobile manufacturer; 57 percent in a case involving a financial services company; and 58 percent in a case involving an oil or gas company.

The survey also found that in the case of a suit involving an individual and a technology company, only 22 percent said they would be neutral.

"The results of our poll show two things," DRI Executive Director John R. Kouris said in a statement Wednesday. "The fact that only 22 percent would approach their responsibilities as a juror in a neutral manner means that we have a bit of public education to do on the role of a juror in the administration of justice.

"Second, while some of the demographic responses are expected, others are surprising."

DRI said the only demographic to show a majority would be potentially biased against the technology company in litigation was the age group of 18-29, the age group probably most versed in technology products.

In that age category, 52 percent said they would favor the individual as opposed to, for instance, only 42 percent in the 65 and older age category.

The survey found that college grads -- 36 percent -- and upper income respondents -- 34 percent -- showed the greatest disinclination to discriminate against technology companies.

The poll, conducted by DRI's Center for Law and Public Policy, was the first of what will become a DRI annual national opinion poll on the civil justice system.

DRI represents more than 20,000 defense attorneys, commercial trial attorneys and corporate counsel.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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