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Mock trials are conducted in the following format:


1.   A neutral presentation of the basic fact of the case;

2.   Presentation of Plaintiff’s case;

3.   The participants fill out individual questionnaires;

4.   Presentation of Defendant’s case;

5.   The participants fill out individual questionnaires;

6.   The participants are split up into smaller groups to deliberate and fill out group verdict forms;

7.   The participants fill out individual exit questionnaires where we can ask additional questions that may not have been previously addressed. 


The questionnaire filled out after presentation of the Plaintiff’s case and presentation of the Defendant’s case is the same questionnaire.  The reason being that, by using the same questionnaire asking the same questions, we can see how the participants’ opinions change after each presentation.  For example, one of the questions we ask the participants is, on a scale of 1 to 10, how strong is Plaintiff’s case. If participants rate the strength of Plaintiff’s case as a 9 after the Plaintiff’s presentation and a 4 after Defendant’s presentation, we know exactly the effect that the defense arguments had on the participants. 


The “exit questionnaire” filled out by participants at the end of the day allows us to test anything desired about a case.  During the presentation and deliberation portion of the mock trial, we do not guide the participants or tell them what to discuss or focus on.  The reason for this is that part of the benefit of the mock trial process is seeing what the participants focus on and discuss on their own.  But that means that they may not talk about some specific topics of interest.  The exit questionnaire solves that problem.  The exit questionnaire is tailored to ask participants about specific issues of interest in a case, that they may not have discussed on their own, so we can make sure to gather feedback on any and all topics of interest.  Conducting the mock trial in this manner allows us to have the best of both worlds.  On the one hand, we get to see what participants focus on when left on their own, and then, on the other hand, we can gather additional information on specific topics of interest via the tailored questionnaires.  This process maximizes the amount of information we can gather about your case.


We do all of the presenting during the mock trial. 


In the weeks leading up to the mock trial, we work with you to draft scripts outlining the arguments that will be made for both sides so that the presentation perfectly tracks the actual arguments in the case. 


The reason for this is twofold.


First, and most important, is to remove "presenter bias."  Presenter bias occurs when there are multiple presenters (typically one for the plaintiff and one for the defendant) and participants like or dislike one presenter over the other and, as a result of that like or dislike, they make a response that is based on that like or dislike.  Presenter bias can strongly effect how participants react to facts and arguments presented.  Generally, participants, like jurors at a trial, are more favorable to presenters they like and oppose presenters they don’t like. 


When a focus group is conducted with multiple presenters, there is no way of guaranteeing that the results of the mock trial are based on the facts and arguments in the case as opposed to presenter bias.  That uncertainty makes the results unreliable.  And unreliable results cannot be used to predict what will happen during the actual trial.  When we do all the presenting, we remove presenter bias and assure the results are reliable and will accurately predict what will happen at an actual trial.


Second, we want to maximize the amount of information you learn during the day.  And the best way to do that is to allow you to watch the entire process as an observer.  Being an observer allows you to concentrate on watching participants reactions.  Also, watching the process as an observer puts you in a similar position to the jury.  Changing your perspective and putting you in this position will give you new insights about your case and regularly leads to breakthroughs.

For questions or additional information about Mock Trial Focus Groups, contact us.

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