Professional Services Included
The following professional services are generally included for all Trial Simulation Projects:
Dr. Sherbel will first review and study various case documents, especially those that best illustrate the theories, arguments and salient evidence of the opposing Party.
- The Mock Trial Team will have a strategy meeting/teleconference, during which we will identify and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the respective Parties. Dr. Sherbel will make suggestions as to how jurors are likely to perceive the issues and key evidence.
- Prior the Mock Trial/Focus Group, Dr. Sherbel will provide an Opening Statement Rehearsal and Critique for the presenters of the both Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s cases-in-chief.
- Prior to the Mock Trial/Focus Group, each of the two (or more) presenters will perform (live in front of Dr. Sherbel or via video-recording) a first draft of their proposed Opening Statement. Dr. Sherbel studies these presentations, and then provides suggestions for the attorney’s consideration, as to how to make their Opening Statement more effective and persuasive. It is typical that (at least) some of these suggestions will be adopted and incorporated into the presentations at the Mock Trial.
- Kindly note that it is Dr. Sherbel’s policy to devote 51% of his time to assist the attorney who presents the case of the opposing Party. A “rosy scenario” must be avoided at the Mock Trial. Exposing the potential risk protects both the client and the law firm.
- Interestingly, our clients lose more than half of their Mock Trials. There is no Mock Trial more useful and important than one that you lose. Discovering and acknowledging the potential for an adverse result protects both the client, and the law firm. The risks are recognized, and the trial team can endeavor to ameliorate the identified weaknesses…, or settle the case if they can not do so.
- These Trial Simulations are typically held in the venue of the actual trial court (anywhere in the United States).
- We recruit a demographically representative and diverse pool of jurors for our Mock Trial. We never use the same juror twice.
- We will assist your staff with the preparation of the Forms of Verdict, jury instructions, survey forms and questionnaires, to be used at the Mock Trial.
- Key segments of the Mock Trials/Focus Groups are recorded for later study and evaluation.
Jury and Trial Strategy Consultants
Professional Services Included and Mock Trial Formats
Format of a Typical 1.5-Day Mock Trial [60% of our Projects]
- The same preparation services are included as were listed for the One-Day Trials.
- On the first day, our jurors observe:
- Opening Statements
- A review of the evidence (often including a viewing of excerpts from important video-depositions)
- Closing Arguments (with a Plaintiff Final Rebuttal)
- They will complete a Verdict Form as individuals, before they know the opinions of any of the other jurors. Importantly, after each question they write the specific reasons why each of them found as they did. [This is very important feedback.]
- On the second day, the jurors return for a half of a day for their deliberations.
- Following their deliberations, they will complete an Exit Questionnaire.
- Time allowing, the attorneys may have the opportunity to “debrief” the jurors about their final opinions and conclusions, which are also recorded.
- As aforementioned, I will create a Results Report, and perform a case-specific Jury Selection Analysis, which is empirically based on the information garnered from our Mock Trial jury pool.
Some cases are sufficiently complex that they require a three-day Mock Trial.
Often, a Focus Group is performed concurrently with a Mock Trial (which is highly cost-effective). Examples of this include:
- Having some of the Mock Trial jurors participate in a Focus Group (“Group Debriefing”) while others are deliberating.
- Having a subgroup of jurors view lengthy excerpts from the video-depositions of the key witnesses of all Parties. They would then assess the credibility of each witness and comment about the effectiveness of that deponent’s testimony.
- For those of our witnesses who are covered by the attorney-client privilege, we can invite them to participate in an unrehearsed cross-examination in front of the Mock Trial jurors. We then can ascertain the credibility of our witnesses, and can better prepare them for trial.
- At times, an alternate theory, or additional information (of which we are unsure of its admissibility) is shared with a sub-group of jurors.