RECENT NEWS

By on September 3rd, 2019

Why You Should Consider a Jury Consultant

Litigators leave nothing to chance, juries included. While most trial lawyers feel comfortable selecting and working with a jury, a jury consultant is an invaluable addition to your trial team. Magna jury consultants work hand in hand with your trial team to plan, refine, and retool arguments, evidence, and visual communication strategies in order to strengthen your case with the jury.

Theme Development Consulting

Mock trials offer trial lawyers a unique opportunity to hone, narrow, and focus their case around certain critical elements. If mock trial juries consistently reach unfavorable outcomes, it is a clear indication that a trial attorney may want to take a different approach. In many ways, mock trials function as a “reality check” for litigators: they allow the trial team to see how well their arguments will perform in front of a jury.

In-person focus groups, for example, help trial teams to discover witness themes and plan case strategy. Focus groups allow litigators to explore the world of pre-existing opinions, judgments, and beliefs that juries may hold.

A service like Magna’s JuryConfirm 2.0 offers instant feedback, online polling, and other useful features that allow clients to make the most out of their online focus group.

Visual Communication Consulting

Words carry far more weight when supported by clear and powerful visual aids. A mock trial acts as a proving ground for trial graphics, visual presentations, and electronic media. If a team’s graphics receive negative feedback from the mock jurors, they may want to consider abandoning their current approach — after all, precisely-timed visuals are part and parcel of modern trial practices.

Whether it’s large-format boards, on-site graphics support, or strategic visual planning, visual communication is of the utmost importance.

Independence Evaluation Consulting

Trials are lengthy affairs. Days, weeks, and months of dealing with the same material can limit a trial lawyer’s personal perspective. In many cases, a fresh pair of eyes provides the outside frame of reference that a team needs. Combined with a mock trial to gauge the “real world” impact of a trial team’s strategy, a jury consultant is an invaluable addition to any trial team.

Voir Dire and Jury Selection Consulting

Voir dire is a pre-trial process wherein attorneys examine jurors and present their initial impressions. This process is used to determine the fairness of jurors and allow the attorneys to solicit relevant information from the jury.

Your Magna jury consultant helps your trial team plan and execute their voir dire strategy. These consultants may devise a set of questions aimed at drawing out potentially hostile jurors for disqualification. For example, in a case where drug abuse is an issue, a jury consultant may pivot toward discussing drug addiction. If a juror demonstrates a clear bias regarding drug addiction, the attorney may issue a challenge for cause.

Perhaps most importantly, jury consultants perform extensive research and may even assemble individual juror profiles to better predict a juror’s behavior. The voir dire process gives jury consultants the time and information to analyze a juror’s response to questions. If the consultant feels that a particular juror is unlikely to be favorable toward the team’s case, he may recommend dismissal.

Shadow Jury Consulting

Shadow juries are surrogate juries, paid to participate in a mock trial and provide honest feedback. Shadow jurors will experience the same arguments, presentations, and evidence as the real jury — with one exception. Periodically throughout the mock trial, the shadow jury will provide feedback regarding the arguments and evidence presented by the trial teams.

Shadow Jury Methodology

Together with your Magna jury consultant, a trial team may recruit a set of shadow jurors to act as a “shadow jury.” These jurors match—as closely as possible—to the actual jurors selected to serve in the trial. The shadow jurors will experience the same arguments and evidence as the real jury. During this process, your jury consultant will analyze, explore, and work with the jury to understand their thought process.

The primary goal here is to elicit relevant feedback from shadow jurors who, having been matched to their real-life counterparts, are in a unique position to offer practical feedback.

Shadow Jury Analysis and Reporting

Analysis and reporting are where shadow juries shine. Each day, your Magna jury consultant will sit down with the surrogate jurors and conduct exploratory analysis. For example, your jury consultant will inquire about overall case strength, witness performance, and gauge reactions to central arguments. This information allows your Magna jury consultant to work hand in hand with the trial team to rework your presentation, overhaul arguments, and recommend changes to your strategic approach. 

Jury Consultant: A Valuable Addition

Winning a case is a matter of winning the jury. A Magna jury consultant provides your trial team with the necessary jury research, feedback, and guidance to ensure your case is as strong as possible. Whether it’s helping with jury profiling, focus groups, voir dire strategy, or analysis and reporting, Magna’s team of experienced jury consultants put you directly in the mind of the jury.

If you’d like more information on how to create litigation graphics, check out our Guide to Creating Bulletproof Trial Graphics. Contact us for more information or to schedule a deposition.

Ultimate Guide to Jury Consulting