This post written by: Leona Crowe, Legal Assistant to Sach Oliver
Our firm has begun to hold focus groups in the majority of our cases and also for outside law firms. My job in preparing for these focus groups is to prepare the documents that are used during and after the focus group. The documents consist of a confidential agreement that is signed by the mock jurors stating that they agree to keep any information disclosed confidential. Attached to this agreement is a questionnaire to ask the mock juror a few questions about their life experiences in and outside of the legal system. The rest of the documents are outlined below.
After introductions are made, the defense attorney and plaintiff’s attorney both present opening statements to the mock jury in the case, then the mock jurors are presented with a post-opening questionnaire to stop and fill out right then. Afterward, the attorneys continue to present their cases and the mock jurors are once again presented with a post-evidentiary questionnaire. After both attorneys have presented their closing statements, the mock jury is split into two groups to deliberate and issue their verdicts. Our firm video tapes these deliberations.
These focus groups have given excellent insight to our attorneys or to the outside attorney or law firm that has requested the mock trial. We had one firm that changed their approach completely after using our firm’s focus group program and won a very large verdict in their case.
Once the focus group is complete, my job is to put the questionnaires and hand written notes of the jurors in an organized binder along with a copy of the deliberations for the attorney or outside law firm. These also are excellent to keep in your library for reference in the future.