Community Attitude Survey

A Community Attitude Survey, which is administered telephonically to at least 400 jury-eligible residents randomly selected from the trial venue, is typically conducted for one of two reasons, both of which require a large sample to obtain reliable and valid results. First, if a case is high-profile, a community attitude survey is a useful mechanism for assessing the degree of eligible jurors’ pre-existing knowledge about the case as well as how opinionated and/or biased they are about the matter. Second, despite the fact that jurors’ life experiences and case specific attitudes are the best predictors of their biases, this data is rarely available in many jurisdictions where there is highly restrictive voir dire. A community attitude survey provides a scientific means of developing a profile of desirable and undesirable jurors based on socio-demographic criteria that would be available in those jurisdictions with high-restrictive voir dire. It does this by empirically examining how these socio-demographic criteria relate to life experiences and case specific attitudes in the community.