Jury and Trial Research
Mock Trials, Mock Arbitrations, Mock Evaluations
Law is the only field where actual research is rarely done.
Imagine a drug company releasing a drug without extensive research and experimentation? We know what happens don’t we? Imagine a bridge being built without the designs being tested and proven safe. Most likely your client’s field often uses research. Anytime a significant amount of money is involved, research is done.
EXCEPT IN LAW. BUT THAT IS CHANGING
“Research” is becoming the future of law. CLIENTS are demanding it. They are useing it. CLIENTS will ask how you tested your theories, your approaches, your witnesses and your material BEFORE trial. Clients always test their theories. Don’t you?
Mock trials, some sort of simulation and test of your trial or arbitration or hearing can be done for almost any budget. Some type of research can help test your case.
Mock trials by Litigation Psychology are often surprisingly inexpensive, a fraction of amounts charged by large national firms. Attorneys have said the USEFULNESS of Litigation Psychology was even greater.
Most common format for Mock trial:
One day presentation where an attorney presents the plaintiff side (state) and another attorney presents the defense side.
About 30 jury-like subjects listen to the case. They all receive individual verdict forms they fill out at the end of the presentations. After reaching an individual verdict they are then broken into three juries and each jury deliberates to a jury verdict. The deliberations are observed through one-way mirror or by video camera. The jurors are debriefed after they reach a verdict.
Often the most useful information is NOT what decision the mock jurors reach but rather HOW they got there. That’s where the real USEFUL INFORMATION lies. Jurors will often surprise you.
Depending on case and cost issues the number of jury subjects can vary. The number of assessment devices used throughout the day can vary. The degree of analysis can vary.
The type of presentations can also vary from where the attorneys present all evidence which will be presented to where actual live witnesses will be used, or video’s of witnesses will be used, or even actors representing witnesses live or taped.
There are many options available which would differ from case to case and according to budget. The budget can be small or large depending on case and the clients preferences.
Based on years of experience observing jury reactions to recurring issues, Dr. Illig is often able to provide insights into how jurors will react to issues in paricular cases. Although less useful than other kinds of jury research, its much better than no research.
We have never conducted trial research where important and case changing insights haven’t been discovered.
- Community Attitude Surveys and Change of Venue Studies can also be used where needed and appropriate.