By Dr. Shelley Spiecker:
Here in America, we could be said to have a love/hate relationship with energy. We love the energy itself, at least when it is plentiful and cheap. But we often hate the process of developing it, and by extension, those who do the developing. With the current election season drawing on populist themes, and with gas prices still high, big oil can end up being as distrusted as big government. Based on the tenor of today's public discussions, you may believe that anti-energy industry bias runs rampant in public perception. However, those of us who assist energy companies in litigation know anti-industry bias ebbs and flows. Various segments of the population also have dramatically different takes on the industry.
In a 2011 post, I identified four key factors that work to an energy defendant’s favor in the courtroom: the economic downturn, corporate desensitization, the influence of legal reasoning over ethical determination, and the interjection of personal responsibility. Those four factors are still in play today. Based on a recent Persuasion Strategies national survey, this post examines an additional factor, the role of demographics and juror experience, that can provide an even greater advantage to today’s energy defendant.