Earlier this week, I posted on a $4M verdict in federal court in a retaliation case, Tucker v. Journal Register Co.

But did you ever wonder what the verdict form actually looks like? In other words, when the jurors fill out the form and then hand it to the judge, what does that verdict form contain and what sorts of questions are the jurors really being asked about?

I was able to download the verdict form for the case and it can be accessed here.  This is the actual verdict form that the jurors are provided when they go back to deliberations and the only document they need to fill out to make their decision.   As you will see, the verdict form lumps the damages together for both claims that were raised, but addresses the underlying legal claims separately. 

Even more illuminating, however, is the instructions that the judge provided to the jury before their deliberations (available here) .   Despite cases running several years, the instructions on the case will be boiled down to judge a few instructions specific to the claims.  It’s worth remembering when a lawsuit starts that the questions that the jury will consider are not as complex as we sometimes perceive the law to be.

And if the answers to the questions that the jurors will be asked aren’t clear to the employer at the start of the case, the answers are not likely to change all that much through litigation. 

Photo Courtesy Library of Congress – c.1910, first all-woman jury in Los Angeles