As a lawyer, you have a particular way of processing facts and legal information. You’re probably highly logical, objective, and detailed. However, this is NOT the way ordinary people process information, including the members of your jury.
Just as successful corporations test their advertising campaigns before introducing products to the marketplace, successful legal teams should test their case presentation before introducing it to a jury. It’s vital that they “buy” what you’re trying to “sell.”
Focus Groups give you a unique and powerful tool for getting inside the heads of the people in the jury pool. Properly conducted focus groups can reveal …
- How jurors might react to your case.
- The biases and assumptions that get in the way.
- What facts are confusing or troubling.
- Which themes best resonate with ordinary people.
- How you can improve your exhibits.
- The issues people find unclear or complex.
- Hidden weaknesses in your narrative.
- Catch phrases that connect (If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!)
- Evidence that seals the deal.
More than anything, Focus Groups are not about predicting the outcome of a case. They won’t necessarily show you what will happen. Rather, they show you what “could” happen and help you avoid unwelcome surprises during the actual trial.