Before heading into trial, you want to remove as many unknown variables as possible. Knowing all you can about your jury, who will ultimately decide the case, is crucial to successful trial strategy. Lawyers know they only have one chance to make their case at trial, and their client’s welfare is at stake.
Modern jurors have different expectations about evidence and witness testimony than in the past; often due to access to courtroom dramas which do not always reflect reality. Understanding these misperceptions can help you to tailor your courtroom strategy accordingly. Knowing how jurors think can help you to choose the most effective way to express your legal arguments.
Focus groups are one reliable way to gain insight into your potential jury members. During a session, a number of individuals will respond to various elements of your case. You get firsthand experience with how your client’s peers will rule given their evaluation of the evidence. With this feedback, you can develop and hone your trial strategy to better serve your client.
You can hold an in-person or an online focus group. While an in-person focus group puts you in the same room as mock jurors, an online session permits two-way communication over an interactive online platform. For budget-conscious attorneys, an online focus group results in actionable, relevant case feedback at a lower price point than an in-person session.
The Importance of Trial Prep with Online Focus Groups
Online focus groups give you the opportunity to present your case live, in a simulated courtroom environment. Jurors provide feedback to your arguments in real time, while interacting with the focus group moderators through the use of advanced technology. The simulation is not unlike how your actual trial will proceed, with the mock jurors responding to your witness questioning and summations just like in an in-person environment.
With an online focus group, you receive the demographic information of each mock juror, along with their judgment on your case. You can therefore use these responses to prepare for an actual trial. Because the simulation is conducted online, it is a cost-effective alternative to an in-person focus group.
JuryConfirm 2.0 and Online Focus Groups
Conducting an online focus group with JuryConfirm 2.0 offers several opportunities for strategic feedback. Avatars are used to represent live jurors, so lawyers can direct their oral arguments appropriately. A total of 40 jurors per session, divided into four deliberation groups, present their rulings and collaborate to form an opinion of your case. Moderators provide guidance to jurors and help distill the most relevant information from them in order to help you develop your case strategy.
JuryConfirm 2.0 offers many tools for lawyers to make use of the instant feedback from the virtual jury. Those tools include online polling, moderated break-out deliberation rooms, jury profiles and case analysis. The high level of detail not only provides effective insight into potential jury response, but also tools to identify strong and weak areas of the argument.
Before choosing whether you want an in-person or online focus group, have a look at Magna’s work on jury consulting. The Ultimate Guide to Jury Consulting is a good starting point as you build your trial strategy. When you’re ready to learn more about how JuryConfirm 2.0 can give you insight into the juror thought process, contact us for a consultation.