Early Focus Groups
- Some law firms will perform a preliminary Focus Group before they will take a case where part (or all) of their fee will be contingent upon the result.
- At times, attorneys must “elect a remedy” for their early filings (which is more likely for contract disputes and commercial litigation). An early Focus Group can help you select your theories.
- Where you have the option of filing your case in different courts or states, early Focus Groups can help you to select the most favorable venue, where the local venire or the laws that apply can significantly increase your chance of obtaining a positive result.
- Early Focus Groups are often performed to give direction to your discovery. Key themes are identified. The insights gained lets you know not only what your experts, clients and witnesses need to cover, but also what to extract from opposing experts and fact witnesses during discovery.
After the Case has Developed:
- Identify the potential for, and extent of monetary damages to aid in identifying your risk, and consequently, your settlement position. [This is the most common use of a Mock Trial/Focus Group. Additionally, if we are defeated in our own trial simulation, we know that we must be realistic with our settlement expectations.]
- Some state courts mandate a formal “Mediation/Case Evaluation” for all civil litigation. Consequently, (i.e. in Michigan as well as some other states) Mock Trials are often performed during the 28-day period following Mediation/Case Evaluation, so that the attorney and client can better decide whether or not they should accept the settlement suggested by this panel, or to continue to trial (risking sanctions).
- Mock Trials are often performed prior to Facilitation.
- Sharing the results of your Mock Trial with the Facilitator (in private and only when the results are favorable) usually has the effect of moving the Facilitator toward your position as he/she sees that your settlement position is stronger, more firmly held, and that you are not merely posturing [which we all know is often the case].
- For your corporate clients, there are often multiple layers of authority needed to settle a case. Mock Trials give all of these layers a “handle” upon which they can agree, thus avoiding the second-guessing that often ensues.
When is it beneficial to perform a Trial Simulation, Mock Trial or Focus Group?
Jury and Trial Strategy Consultants