Mock Trials and Focus Groups

Understanding How the Fact Finder Reaches a Decision

Mock Trials and Focus Groups make up the majority of qualitative jury research done in the Jury Trial Consulting field. Mock Trials typically include attorney presentations to a large group separated into different mock juries for deliberations. Focus groups get groups of representative, jury-eligible participants to react to and discuss evidence, arguments, themes, witnesses, and demonstrative exhibits. Focus groups are led by researchers that often read scripts and facilitate discussion. Tsongas clients can view Mock Trial and Focus Group deliberations and discussions in a closed-circuit room or remotely. Questionnaire data is captured digitally and displayed visually and interactively for Tsongas clients.

Mock Trial Jury Research

A mock trial is an abbreviated version of a real trial – usually conducted one day. Mock jurors are brought together in a large group to observe attorneys present each side of a legal case - plaintiff and defense in civil cases, or prosecution and defense in criminal cases. A presentation of the facts, issues, testimony, and evidence is given to support each party’s side of the case. After the presentations, mock jurors break into groups, or "juries," and each jury deliberates separately to a verdict. Following the jury deliberations, a facilitator leads the jury through
an  interview to explore issues that affected the verdict and to learn about other information of interest.

Focus Group Research

Focus groups are conducted to explore issues related to a particular legal issue or case. A group of people who are demographically representative of a specific trial venue is assembled to provide feedback on a specific set of topics, often divided into multiple discussion segments. Feedback is given in surveys and interviews. During the interviews, a researcher, referred to as the Facilitator, leads the participants through a focused discussion exploring related issues, arguments, themes, evidence, and/or witness testimony.

Work product

Digital copy of case presentations, jury deliberations, and post-verdict interviews
Comprehensive written analysis or closed-circuit work product
Expert recommendations for strategy refinement, evidence, and argument presentation
Summary of mock juror profiles, including social/demographic, experiential, and attitudinal information

Role of counsel

Counsel prepares plaintiff and defense summary defense presentations and, with the assistance of Tsongas Litigation, records them on video or prepares to present to them live. Counsel prepares draft verdict form, jury instruction, and exhibit books. Closed-circuit viewing allows counsel and clients to view deliberations in real time, and participate in the interview session by submitting questions through the facilitator. After the mock jurors are dismissed, counsel and the research team participate in an interactive, high-energy, post-research strategy session.