Traditional Mock Juror Research
There are times when you may want to use a focus group or mock trial for your jury research rather than online research. Focus groups and mock trials allow comprehension of the case from the point of view of the prospective juror. The “focus” for a group of mock jurors can be the issues, facts, demonstrative evidence, witness testimony or any other aspect of the presentation of the case. Attorneys become much better prepared to match their presentation to the jury in a manner that acknowledges and adapts to the ways in which jurors perceive the content and context of the case.
Whether in preparation for settlement or for trial, litigation strategy is driven forward through the strength and power of the attorney's thematic communications. Skills that involve the behavioral science of communication can ultimately make or break each case.
I help the trial team conceptualize the case through theories, themes, headlines, verbal/visual anchors and semantic nuance that will resonate with the jury's moral philosophy and psychology of decision making.
The case theme should not leave the jury wondering. It must represent a consistent and compelling explanation of the fact pattern.
Challenging Witness Preparation
Empower the person who must deliver the critical message for your case.
Witness preparation for testimony, whether during deposition or trial, can be critical to an attorney’s case. However, behavioral or emotional presentation problems can undermine witness authenticity, credibility, like-ability and effectiveness. From having worked one-on-one with psychotherapy clients for twenty years prior to my career as trial consultant, I apply a behavior change program that produces excellent results in correcting problem behaviors that interfere with witness presentation.
Voir Dire Strategy
Questioning jurors effectively is a special skill unique from all other attorney communications.
Voir dire presents a golden opportunity to communicate with the venire before trial. Unfortunately, many attorneys approach the voir dire phase of trial with faulty assumptions, poor preparation or ineffective execution.
After I discuss overall case strategy and tactics with the attorney, juror profiles and questions for effective selection and de-selection of prospective jurors are systematically developed. Based upon scores of mock juror research projects and in-court experience with hundreds of jurors, I help the attorney create supplemental written juror questionnaires and voir dire questions that are tailored to fit the case.
I have developed an extremely effective methodology of communication skills unique to the struck system (Donahue approach). This powerful method has helped many attorneys win before trial.
In court, I become part of the trial team in tracking the voir dire process and rating prospective jurors. I provide input that will be helpful in generating cause challenges, exposing juror biases, and consolidating the venire to support case theory and themes. Prioritization of peremptory strikes often presents a critical chess game that the trial team must win. Many cases boil down to the vote of a single juror. It is vitally import that the attorney understand how each juror's experiences, biases and leadership abilities can potentially impact the outcome of a case.