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UTEP Professor receives grant for study on the online jury’s efficiency

UTEP professor Dr. Krystia Reed was awarded $5,000 by UTEP’s University Research Institute to help fund Reed’s research in online and in-person juries.

A grant from the UTEP’s University Research Insititute was awarded to UTEP professor Krystia Reed. It will help complete a project in collaboration with Cornell University investigating how civil jurors make damage award decisions and comparing decisions of online juries to in-person juries. 

The $5,000 grant will help pay participants involved in the project. Reed’s investigation of online and in –person juries began in December 2020 and studies how to financially settle a dispute. This is determined by how much pain and suffering is involved, but iis claimed to be a complex determination due to how pain and suffering are assessed.  

The project’s goal is to test how attorney arguments influence the damage award decisions and helps researchers define a good damage award. It will benefit the general public because attorneys will guide juror decisions. 

We’re interested in concussions and ideas that are hard to assess. Sometimes it’s easy to determine how much money someone lost, such as a damaged car, but pain and suffering is way more difficult and there is no way of measuring that,” Reed said. “We are trying to identify what the right answer is without having the right answer.” 

Due to the pandemic, the in-person juries were canceled and instead held online. 

Remote practice of law is taking place in the form of Tele-law, using audio or video technology to allow individuals to access legal counsel according to Spada Law Group. 

“Before the pandemic there was a movement towards Telelaw and since the pandemic more people are trying to figure how to handle these jury systems when we can’t meet in person,” Reed said. 

According to Reed, the state of Texas has led the way in the world of Telelaw with one of the first online jury trials taking place in the Lone Star State 

While Reed said she does not have enough data on which method is more effective, she mentions that while some jurors felt more comfortable online, others felt there were negative effects from not being physically present in deliberations 

The project is worked on by 11 UTEP undergraduates and one graduate student. According to Reed, this research will benefit them for their careers. 

This project gives you training for Law School or other avenues,” Reed said. 

Prior to her current project, Reed was involved in a large study funded by the National Science Foundation that began in November 2019investigating a car accident and how much money it was required to pay someone who has a concussion on the basis terms of pain and suffering. 

Isaiah Ramirez may be reached at p[email protected]; @IsaiahRamirez1 on Twitter. 


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About the Contributor
Isaiah Ramirez
Isaiah Ramirez is a senior multimedia journalism major at the University of Texas at El Paso. Isaiah has worked for the university’s paper The Prospector since Spring 2018 and has held the position as a sports editor and is currently a reporter at the publication. During the fall semesters he also works as an on-air reporter for Football Friday Nights a weekly radio show showcasing local football games broadcasted by 600 ESPN El Paso. He covers local news as well as local and UTEP sporting events such as football, men’s and women’s basketball, and has covered the annual Hyundai Sun Bowl game and two-time NBA champion Danny Green’s basketball camp here in the Sun City.
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UTEP Professor receives grant for study on the online jury’s efficiency