Mock Trials & Focus Groups

Test drive your case.
See what matters to laypersons.
Learn what best and worst jurors have in common.

Mock Trials

A mock trial is the most efficient and reliable way to test out your case, learning in advance of trial the driving issues that can lead to either victory or disaster. There’s simply no substitute for the wisdom of lay persons who, both as individuals and as a group, pass judgment on every critical aspect of your case. This feedback is absolutely essential in managing the risks presented by litigation, and will prepare you and your client to make the best strategic decisions possible.

Wouldn't you like to know?

  • That a roomful of mock jurors, when presented with the videotaped testimony of an esteemed, Harvard-trained medical doctor, burst out laughing when he says “I don’t recall” for the umpteenth time.
  • That in a case where the expert witness cost more than the mock trial itself, the jurors found the expert's testimony irrelevant and incomprehensible.
  • That in a case where piles of documents helped the defendant’s case, they still lost before four, separate mock jury panels because of one internal memo describing the project lead as a “loose cannon with baggage".
  • That a case you thought was worthless is worth millions, or vice versa.
man asking when to use mock trials

When to Use Mock Trials

  • High-stakes: If the client and representing lawyer feel that they can easily move on after a negative outcome, then the stakes probably aren’t that high.
  • High-cost: In no other profession do people spend so much time and money on a single venture without first researching the likely pay-off. When it comes to complex litigation, this happens all the time. For these high-cost cases, financial risks can be reduced when a mock trial is included in the litigation budget.
  • Complex: When a case is a quagmire, lawyers often think a mock trial can’t do it justice. The fact is, these cases benefit the most. The mock trial format requires lawyers to tell their story concisely. Because research shows that jurors inevitably simplify complicated stories, it pays to know the simple answer well in advance of trial.
  • Difficult or unrealistic client: These are litigants who are convinced they are right, resist their lawyers' recommendations, cannot see how their behavior caused their legal troubles, and are insulted by the prospect of settling. For these clients, only a mock trial can open their eyes.

Voir Dire Strategy is Included: 

Many other trial consulting companies do their mock trials and focus groups without any analysis of which jurors were the best, or the worst, and why.  Instead, they offer that as a separate service.  All of our projects naturally include this information, so that your work product includes important correlations between jurors’ attitudes, experiences, and demographics, with how they voted in the mock trial.  If your case doesn’t settle, you have a workable voir dire strategy, knowing who to avoid and why, as well as what questions need to be asked.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are flexible, in-person brainstorming sessions where mock jurors can pass judgment on anything you throw their way. They provide the greatest benefit when jurors can view actual evidence, early enough in the litigation process so you can react to their feedback and make strategic changes.

mock trial focus group graphic

The Benefit of an Early Focus Group

Lawyers think that jurors' negative reactions come out of left field, but they don't.  An early focus group will tell you exactly where jurors' reactions are coming from. Knowing this information early on will place you and your client on the same page, allowing you to maximize your goals during Discovery and helping you to forge realistic goals and strategies, not just on the eve of trial, but at every stage of the litigation process.