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Focus Groups

Focus groups function more like brainstorming sessions and jurors tell us what they think and what information is most important to them and why. These sessions are much more informal than mock trials and take much less time to prepare and facilitate. Jurors still hear case summaries, view critical pieces of evidence and respond to individual questionnaires and group discussions.

 

Focus groups can be easily done at any stage of the litigation process but to reap the greatest benefits, they should be done early on, before the first deposition is taken.

 

Advantages: The greatest advantage to an early focus group is that it will unearth problems that are lurking in your case - problems that will inevitably rear their ugly heads when it might be too late to fix them. Lawyers sometimes think that jurors' reactions come out of left field but they don't. Focus groups will tell you exactly where jurors' reactions are coming from, right from the getgo. Knowing this information early on will place you and your client on the same page, allowing you to maximize your goals during the Discovery process and helping you to forge realistic goals and strategies - not just on the eve of trial, but at every stage of the litigation process.

 

Using focus groups to prepare a written voir dire questionnaire: In every high profile case, written questionnaires are suggested to the court. However, questions and answers are of no use if you don’t understand the significance of jurors’ answers. We always conduct mock trials in a way so that we are prepared for jury selection. However, some clients don't have the time or desire to conduct a mock trial. In that case, a pre-trial focus group can be a quick and economical way to gain critical knowledge before jury selection.

 

For example, in a product liability suit, a written questionnaire (with no back-up research) might reveal a juror’s belief that the product in question is dangerous. Plaintiff’s attorneys might see that as a plus. But a focus group might reveal that jurors who believe the product is dangerous also believe that the user was at fault, for not recognizing obvious dangers. The point is, there is no strategic advantage to knowing a juror’s opinion if you don’t know whether that opinion will help or hurt your cause.

 

Mock Trials

A mock trial is the most efficient and reliable way to test drive a case. A mock trial will help reveal the strengths and weaknesses that unify a diverse group of jurors, no matter what their differences in background. Mock trials give you the advantage of seeing and hearing dozens of jurors deliberate the issues — a powerful edge in testing and refining the case strategy.

Mock trials help to reveal:

  • Which pieces of evidence are critical to jurors and why
  • The interplay of different legal issues and alternative legal theories, as well as the dominance of one issue over others
  • A realistic sense of case value and exposure
  • Jurors’ reactions to key witnesses
  • The likelihood of your client being able to win or lose after an actual trial

Unfortunately, not all cases can be settled. Even when this happens, your investment in a mock trial will provide valuable insights for jury selection. All of our projects are designed so we can discern connections between a mock juror's verdict and his or her particular background - demographics, attitudes and experiences. This information can be used during the actual jury selection, to shape voir dire questions and to help determine whether a prospective juror is apt to favor one side over the other.


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"I want to thank you for the outstanding work that you did. Your focus group was a great aid to us in determining our continuing strategy. Ultimately, this case is resolved and we have been informed that this has been the most successful resolution of a capital case to date, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in Connecticut. Thank you for helping us gain a true insight into this case."
Richard T. Meehan, Jr., Partner, Meehan, Meehan & Gavin


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For support on a pending case
or more information about our
services, call our attorneys
at 703-425-8611 or email at
ckoch@jurysolutions.com
For support on a pending case or more information about our services,
Call our attorneys at 703-425-8611
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