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.

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.

Format of a Typical One-Day Mock Trial [40% of our Projects]

  • The number of jurors who participate can vary between ten and sixty.
  • The day will extend from 8:30 am till 5:30 pm, and will include:
  • Approximately 3.5 hours of attorney presentations

  • 1.5 hours for the written and verbal Voir Dire and for the various written questionnaires and surveys that will be administered to our jurors
  • 2.5 hours of deliberation
  • Prior to the deliberations, each juror will complete a Verdict Form as an individual, 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.]

  • Our jurors are divided into 2-4 deliberation groups.

  • We observe the deliberations live via closed-circuit TV or through a 2-way mirror. Additionally, they are recorded for later study.
  • Upon completion of their deliberations, the jurors will complete various Exit Questionnaires.

  • Time allowing, the attorneys may have the opportunity to “debrief” the jurors about their final opinions and conclusions.

  • Upon completion, all Mock Trial materials are collected, and our jurors are typically released by 5:30 pm. 

  • Dr. Sherbel will review all of the juror feedback and provide a written report to be discussed at a team round-table meeting. All attendees are invited to share their observations and suggestions.
  • A case-specific Jury Selection Analysis is often included.

  • Dozens of charts are prepared which correlate various juror characteristics [i.e. demographic characteristics, attitudes, life experiences, etc.] with their Pro-Plaintiff or Pro-Defendant orientation. These empirically derived Jury Selection parameters are included in the Results Report, and are usually discussed at the team round-table meeting.
  • Additionally, we typically include a couple of “Superior Jurors” who have some education and/or experiences that are pertinent to the issues of your case. These jurors would strongly impact the outcome of a deliberation, and it is essential to find out if these “Superior Jurors” will help you to win your case, or alternately, if their sophisticated insights would be harmful to your chances at trial.