Jury Research: The ROI of Mock Trials and Focus Groups
Jury research, particularly mock trials and focus groups, provide a wealth of information and is a powerful tool for case evaluation and trial preparation. Focus groups and mock trials allow trial attorneys to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of their case, as well as pinpoint a variety of potential issues, such as material that the jurors did not understand or what exhibits are most effective. Jury research has the potential to produce valuable data to drive critical decisions in settlement negotiations and trial strategy, resulting in better financial outcomes. Skipping jury research is tantamount to walking into a trial blind.
Courtroom Sciences understands that early jury research is critical for achieving superior litigation outcomes and needs to be done in a scientifically sound manner. Our data-centric approach to research strategies provides invaluable information that helps the litigation team make informed decisions about the case.
What is the purpose of conducting jury research?
Trial attorneys use jury research to assess likely outcomes and inform their trial strategy. Focus groups and mock trials allow defense attorneys to test the elements of your client's case early on, how they are likely to be viewed by a jury, and to predict liability and potential range of damages scientifically. Jury research is an opportunity to identify potential problems with the case and develop strategies and solutions to resolve those problems before the trial begins.
Why Should I Invest in a Focus Group or Mock Trial?
The purpose of jury research, whether a focus group or mock trial, is to acquire valid data and insights that help the legal team with decision-making and remove conjecture and opinion from that process. Although very few cases are going to trial, with the trial rate in the United States at less than 3%, this statistic should not deter organizations from investing in mock trials. Since most cases will settle, defense attorneys must have real data to make settlement decisions.
Investing time and dollars into jury research has demonstrated that guessing is far more expensive than research. One of the reasons there is such a large swing between the assumed value of a case and the actual value is because many times, case valuations are calculated using gut instinct, 'similar cases,' and jury verdicts and settlements obtained from online databases. However, each case has its specific aspects that are rarely duplicated, and unscientific methods are inferior to a science-based approach that uses empirical data.
● What is the perception of the people that live in the venue about this kind of case?
● What is the dollar amount that they place on the damages?
● Will they be overly sympathetic to the plaintiff?
● How much will sympathy and anger play into their decision-making?
● What evidence, arguments, and witnesses could better persuade the actual jurors?
● Are we using the best graphics and demonstratives to tell our story, so jurors understand?
Focus groups and mock trials can provide defense attorneys with a clearer view of the case, improving the likelihood that cases settle for what they are actually worth versus what the historical data (or intuition) suggests they are worth.
Hire a Jury Consultant Early in the Litigation Process
It is most beneficial to engage a jury consultant as early in the litigation process as possible. When litigation psychologists are involved before the discovery phase, clients have a better idea of the pieces of evidence that jurors find compelling. They may learn that they should attempt to elicit a piece of information from a witness they would never have considered.
Defense attorneys can then test the elements of your client's case, the litigants, evidence, themes, and witnesses, to gauge their effectiveness and know how they are likely to be viewed by a jury. Early jury research produces invaluable information that helps attorneys make informed decisions about the case, providing valuable data to drive critical decisions in settlement negotiations and trial strategy, resulting in better financial outcomes.
Selecting the Right Jury Consultant
Ph.D.-level litigation research and psychology professionals deliver the appropriate and most predictive research programs. When it comes to jury research, a jury consultant is responsible for predicting human behavior by collecting data, analyzing data, and building predictive models on how jurors will react to a case on liability and damages. They not only assess things like cognition, emotion, and behavior, but they must also possess the skills to modify those things.
This requires someone with a scientific background that's specially trained to get accurate answers in that area. Criteria for selecting a jury consultant should include thoroughly investigating their credentials, experience, references, and research methodology.
Courtroom Sciences knows jury research is necessary to prepare any case for trial. Our Ph.D.-level litigation research and psychology professionals deliver the most predictive jury research programs, generating scientifically valid estimates of litigation risk and exposure for deriving settlement strategies and decisions. Speak with one of our experts to get started.
● Jury research provides a wealth of information and is a powerful tool for case evaluation and trial preparation.
● Since most cases will settle, defense attorneys must have real data to make settlement decisions.
● Early jury research produces invaluable information that helps attorneys make informed decisions about the case, resulting in better financial outcomes.
● Courtroom Sciences' Ph.D.-level litigation research and psychology professionals deliver the most predictive jury research programs.
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