Directed Focus Group Discussion
The purpose of a Directed Focus Group Discussion is to obtain an early assessment of the issues in a case. This is done while discovery is ongoing to pinpoint areas that are most relevant to jurors. This protocol can also be used closer to trial to refine factual and thematic messages.
A group of surrogate jurors are selected from the trial venue. The jurors begin the exercise by filling out a detailed questionnaire capturing demographic information as well as determining relevant predispositions. The moderator introduces the jurors to the case with a short summary. A member of the trial team then presents the plaintiff’s case. Following this presentation, another member of the trial team presents the defense position. Jurors answer a short questionnaire after the presentations to gauge their private reactions to the issues.
After they complete their questionnaires, the jurors split into focus groups. JuryScope moderators lead the groups through a discussion of their reactions to the issues. This session provides additional input into why certain issues are important to a jury. It allows the introduction of "what if" facts, data, or graphics to see if and how they influence the jury.
Deliberation Group Research
The purpose of a Deliberation Group Study is to test and refine trial strategies and themes. The goals of the research are:
A group of surrogate jurors are selected from the trial venue. The surrogate jurors undergo voir dire and answer a questionnaire designed to measure their attitudes and experiences prior to receiving specific case information.
The surrogate jurors view an argumentative presentation of the case facts from the plaintiff’s perspective. A questionnaire is administered to evaluate the persuasiveness of the plaintiff's “story.” The surrogate jurors then view the defendant’s presentation of the facts and another questionnaire is administered.
The surrogate jurors can be shown videos of witnesses the trial team wishes to test. Following each witness video, a questionnaire is administered to evaluate the jurors’ impressions of the witness.
The surrogate jurors are then divided into two groups, given an abbreviated set of jury instructions and verdict questions and instructed to deliberate to a unanimous verdict. After deliberations, a JuryScope principal leads each group in a detailed discussion to delve further into the reasons for the jurors’ verdict.
Strategy Assessment Research
Strategy Assessment Research is appropriate in cases with a limited number of issues or to fine-tune preparations once a case is almost ready for trial. It is a format frequently used to test an opening statement.Methodology
A group of participants fills out a proposed jury questionnaire and views case presentations. Often these presentations duplicate what the trial team expects from opening statements. The presentations are done live and can be supported by key demonstrative evidence as they would be in the actual trial. After the case presentations, the groups are instructed to deliberate to verdict using a modified verdict form and jury instructions.
Juror Profiling Research
The purpose of large sample juror profiling research is to obtain empirically-based, statistically-valid juror profiles.
This type of work is appropriate in very complex cases where the stakes are extremely high and the client desires more statistical certainty about case risks and juror types before trial. This program is run after initial group studies have been conducted.
Jury selection can be one of the most unpredictable parts of a trial. JuryScope’s principals have selected hundreds of juries throughout the US, providing our clients with an unmatched level of expertise.
Jury selection assistance includes development of a jury questionnaire, analyzing juror responses to a questionnaire and in-court assistance.
JuryScope maintains a database of jury questionnaires that have been successfully used in many cases, both in state and federal court. We can design a questionnaire specifically for your case, utilizing this database. We can analyze jurors’ responses to a jury questionnaire quickly and effectively, under the individual circumstances of each case. JuryScope will provide in-court assistance during voir dire and jury selection, regardless of whether a questionnaire has been utilized.
Post Trial Juror Interviews
Once a trial has concluded, and a verdict has been reached, there may still be additional work to be done. Often the attorneys have unanswered questions that they would like posed to the jury. Or perhaps a post-trial motion is appropriate, and juror conduct or rationale are important to such a motion.
In those venues where the court allows, JuryScope has years of experience locating, contacting and interviewing jurors following trial. JuryScope will develop a phone questionnaire unique to each case, that is concise and comprehensive.
Telephone surveys can be used for a variety of reasons, including:
JuryScope has years of experience working with witnesses and preparing them to testify at trial. If the trial team has a problem witness, a nervous witness, or an important witness, JuryScope can work with that individual, in conjunction with the trial team, to provide him or her with the skills necessary to provide thematic, concise and effective testimony.
In cooperation with its graphic affiliates, JuryScope coordinates effective graphic presentations for the courtroom. Our affiliates are some of the most prominent in their field and can meet the specific needs of our clients.
General Litigation Assistance
If there is insufficient time to conduct jury research, or if the trial team is looking for an experienced and yet fresh set of eyes and ears to assist with trial preparation, such assistance can be provided at any point in the litigation process. General litigation assistance can include:
Opening Observation Study
The purpose of an Opening Observation Study is to supplement the information from a deliberation group research and/or provide on its own information as to how representative jurors responded to the actual opening statements in trial. The trial team can then use this information to identify what trial themes came across to the jurors and what issues would need to be emphasized or explained during the course of the trial.
After the actual jury has been impaneled, a small group of shadow jurors are instructed on the task, and the moderator brings the jurors to the courthouse. The jurors are not told which side they represent and are instructed not to talk to anyone at the courthouse. The observing jurors will then listen to all of the opening statements, taking notes if they wish. Following the opening statements, the jurors will meet with the moderator for a debriefing session, capturing their thoughts and reactions to the opening statements.
Mock Arbitration Focus Group
The purpose of a Mock Arbitration Focus Group is to obtain a picture of how an arbitration could conclude. By using multiple arbitrators with varying backgrounds, the trial team and client will have a better understanding of key points heading into an arbitration. These issues could include, among others: what points are most important to the arbitrator, how the different background of the arbitrators could affect their outcome and how the arbitrators would reach a decision. A Mock Arbitration is useful for evaluating the selection of an arbitrator, whether arbitration is appropriate in this matter and most importantly, how to best present this matter to an arbitrator to make that person understand our client's side of the case.