Sometimes you want to test out more evidence and argument than can be done in a focus group. In that case, you probably want to use a mock trial.
A mock trial is the most helpful procedure for understanding how jurors will react to your case under trial conditions.
Unlike a focus group which can be conducted in one day, a mock trial may take up to two full work days to complete because of all the information mock jurors are exposed to:
- Jurors complete questionnaires that measure demographic and attitudinal factors.
- Attorneys conduct voir dire for the plaintiff and defense.
- Attorneys make plaintiff and defense openings.
- Trial consultants present deposition clips and other evidence taking care to balance plaintiff and defense evidence.
- Attorneys conduct plaintiff and defense closings.
- Mock jurors are divided into two or three groups for deliberations. We have several ways of assigning jurors to deliberation groups so attorneys can track their voir dire selections.
- After each of the groups reaches a verdict, the trial consultants and the attorneys debrief the mock jurors.
The amount of data generated by a mock trial is tremendous. Using statistical analyses appropriate for small group research, the professionals at Westlake Trial Consulting can address a variety of issues important for trial decisions and trial strategy including:
- The relationship between demographic factors and verdicts given by mock jurors.
- The relationship between attitudinal factors and the verdicts given by mock jurors.
- The relationship of plaintiff and defense voir dire questions and verdicts given by mock jurors.
- Credibility, appeal, and acceptance ratings of evidence, witnesses and attorneys by mock jurors.
- Identification of persuasive evidence, argument, and witnesses.
- Frequency of verdict outcomes favoring the plaintiff and the defendant.
In addition to providing important data and results, a mock trial is also an experience that can provide key stakeholders with “a feel” for the case:
- Attorneys who participate in the mock trial can get a feel for what it will be like make an opening statement and closing arguments.
- The attorney’s clients who observe the mock trial will develop a clearer sense of the range of responses jurors could have to the case.
- Attorneys and their clients will have an experiential basis on which they can base important decisions about mediation, trial strategy, and settlement negotiations.
Important cases warrant a mock trial. The results of the mock trial just might make the difference between disastrous and phenomenal results.