The role of juries in adjudicating cases has long been the subject of consternation and debate by those in the legal system. In civil jury trials, the jury acts as the fact-finder and must determine the proper level of liability (and where applicable, damages) to assign the defendant. Much psychological research has focused on how to craft trial procedures to assist juries with this complex task. For example, providing juries with both preliminary and final jury instructions has been found to improve decision-making processes and trial outcomes by giving jurors a cognitive framework to assess the evidence presented at trial. Other studies have observed that simplifying jury instructions, as well as allowing jurors to take notes and ask questions, can improve both juror comprehension and satisfaction. But how do jurors come to a verdict once they are sent to deliberate?
Jessica Griffith is an associate in the Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on a wide range of complex civil and commercial litigation matters, including intellectual property, trade secret, false advertising, and unfair competition. Jessica has represented clients across a variety of industries in all phases of litigation in both state and federal courts. Most recently, Jessica served as a trial team member in a month-long jury trial in a nine-figure trade secret misappropriation case.
Jessica earned her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was an Associate Editor of the UCLA Law Review and a Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and Technology. She also served as a legal writing advisor to first-year students and on the board of the Intellectual Property Law Association. While at UCLA, Jessica interned for an administrative judge at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Bucking a legal trend in Europe, the United States Copyright Office recently recommended against adopting additional copyright-like protections for news publishers that would require online news aggregators to pay publishers for news content shared on their platforms. In a report published on June 30, 2022, the Office found such protections to be unnecessary in light of copyright protections currently held by publishers in connection with their works, and noted that any change to U.S. copyright law that would increase publishers’ ability to block or seek compensation for the use of their works by news aggregators would “necessarily avoid or narrow limitations on copyright that have critical policy and Constitutional dimensions.” Instead, the Office suggested that funding challenges faced by publishers would be better solved through other legal means, such as changes to competition law or tax policy.
In a significant recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a $66 million judgment against L’Oreal USA, Inc. for patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation asserted by Olaplex, Inc. The case arose as a result of L’Oreal and Olaplex entering into negotiations regarding a potential acquisition, pursuant to which Olaplex shared with L’Oreal its confidential information, including asserted trade secrets. L’Oreal subsequently walked away from the deal and launched competing products of its own. Though the parties’ negotiations were governed by a non-disclosure agreement, the Federal Circuit found Olaplex failed to prove that either its asserted trade secrets were actually trade secrets, or that L’Oreal had misappropriated them.