Change of Venue Surveys

Change of Venue Survey

A change of venue survey is a way to measure public awareness and prevailing attitudes about a case in a specific venue. A change of venue survey should be considered when any of these factors exist: (1) the matter being litigated has affected the entire community; (2) the community is tight-knit and well aware of the matter being litigated (e.g., small rural communities), or (3) the members of the community could be affected by the outcome of the matter being litigated.

Perhaps the best way to understand a change of venue survey is to think of it as a telephone version of a voir dire. Westlake Trial Consulting meets with the attorneys and develops questions designed to uncover biases and knowledge of the matter being litigated. Questioned designed to measure bias are the most critical and great care should be taken when developing those questions. The bias questions of a change of venue survey should be the same type of question that could lead to a strike for cause during voir dire.

The telephone survey conducted in the venue of the litigation is only part of the data collected.  Westlake Trial Consulting also administers the telephone survey in one or more other venues. At least one of the venues should be the venue where the attorneys would like to move the trial. If the amount of bias in the original venue is much greater than the amount of bias in the alternative venues, then the court has some motivation to change the venue.

Using the scientist-practitioner model, Westlake Trial Consulting conducts statistical analysis to demonstrate that differences in knowledge and biases among venues are due to true differences, i.e., statistically significant differences.  Westlake Trial Consulting is committed to using scientific techniques to give you the edge in all of your efforts by… Combining the art of law with the laws of science.