An Unbeatable Combination: Mock Trials and Written Questionnaires

Carolyn Koch Jury Questionnaires, Mock Trials, Mock Trials/Focus Groups/Trial Strategy

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There have been numerous articles throughout the years about the importance of using a written questionnaire in white-collar criminal cases during jury selection. The various authors cover important issues including logistics and how to increase the chances of getting a judge to allow the use of a questionnaire. Never included in these articles, however, is any mention of the most critical aspect of using questionnaires effectively: using the results to identify the juror biases and attitudes that are most helpful and harmful to one’s client.

It is typically assumed that the moment juror biases are revealed, experienced lawyers will automatically know which biases they want to include or exclude from their jury. I have seen time and time again that it is never that obvious and, more often than not, lawyers will rely on untested assumptions to their detriment. For this reason, in a high-stakes white collar defense, while it is critically important to use written juror questionnaires, the…