Focus Groups for Case Preparation
Written by T. Ryan Langley on February 2nd 2017.
One of the greatest tools in the trial lawyer’s arsenal is utilization of focus groups. The sample groups of people help us plan for how the jury may react to an upcoming case.
Every case an attorney takes on is unique. While we may be familiar with the topic or experienced with the subject matter, we know that people (juries) will react in different ways to every single case. So we need to do work in advance to best predict how a jury will view each individual case.
Presenting the facts to an impartial group of people, known as a focus group, generates responses as close as we will ever get to sitting in a jury room. Since most juries are comprised of citizens from all walks of life—ranging in age, gender, race, economics, and more—we at Hodge & Langley Law Firm select for our focus groups people who we purposely vet to gain as broad a look as possible on how the particular case might be perceived.
The parties are usually introduced to the case through pictures. This is followed by the story of what happened. Many times, snippets of information are presented then inquired about to see what resonates and what does not. If it is a medical-legal case, for example, pertinent records, deposition testimony, and pictures reflecting the injury are part of what is viewed by the focus group.
We generally ask focus group members to do two jobs. The first is to be a journalist and write a headline for the facts presented. This helps provide a theme of the case for us. The second job is to be a juror and help Hodge & Langley with considerations for liability and damages. This means naming who, if anyone, is at fault and if so, how much a particular case is worth. Many times, jury instructions are given to see if legal concepts are understood or confused.
All of the above helps prepare your attorneys at Hodge & Langley Law Firm to present the strongest case possible on your behalf. This is one of the many ways our firm strives to be on the cutting edge of legal techniques and strategy for your case.
If you have a potential case you'd like to discuss with our attorneys, contact Hodge & Langley Law Firm to schedule your free initial consultation.
Image of jurors used via Creative Commons license from Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Posted in About our Law Firm