Peer to Peer Magazine

Summer 15

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 52 of 87

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 54 BEST PRACTICES FEATURES group research. This research comprises a representative sample of mock jurors from the trial venue observing presentations given on behalf of the plaintiff and defendant(s) in the dispute. These presentations are adversarial, thematic and provide the strongest arguments and evidence for each side. Following the presentations, jurors are read jury instructions, separated into multiple deliberation groups, provided a verdict form and asked to render a verdict. The trial team can observe the deliberations through a one-way mirror or via closed- circuit television. ONLINE JURY RESEARCH It was only a matter of time until jury research studies like this would be conducted online, and today there are two basic methodologies for online research: • Online surveys • Live interactive groups Many online jury research providers use a survey approach. This consists of prerecorded presentations delivered to numerous online panelists who view the materials individually at their convenience, then answer a series of case-related questions. Results are based on responses to these questions. If you are looking to replicate the process that takes place in an in-person focus group, live online interactive groups are the way to go. These Web-based platforms convert the in-person process into an interactive online experience that enables attorneys, clients, jurors and consultants to participate from their respective offices and homes. Similar to an in-person focus group, mock jurors who are online observe adversarial presentations on behalf of the plaintiff and defendant(s) in the dispute. The attorneys (dressed as they would in court) give their presentations, which are streamed live via webcam onto the mock jurors' computer screens within a virtual courtroom environment. Jurors provide instant feedback throughout the session, similar to the in-person focus groups. The results and data are accessible to the trial team immediately after the mock jurors complete them. Jury research is a critical tool for determining juror perceptions and understanding jury decision-making in all types of litigation. When used correctly, it is probably the best indicator of insights that a client can find. It enables attorneys to determine case strengths and weaknesses, and to identify the most persuasive and compelling trial themes and strategies that reinforce positive case reactions, while also countering an adversary's arguments and evidence. For the client with much to gain or lose, jury research can tilt the decision scale from trial to settlement. IN-PERSON RESEARCH Jury research uses in-person focus groups, much like consumer product market testing evaluates things such as the next popular soda flavor. Just about every successful product that goes to market is tested and retested. Likewise, any potentially big-dollar case deserves at least one round of focus In-Person Versus Virtual Jury Research: Does It Make a Difference?

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