Focus Groups

Focus groups are designed to elicit information from a large number of people who demographically match the jury pool from which actual jurors will be drawn. A focus group differs from a mock trial in that the focus group does not test the depth of a case. In focus groups, we seek to determine juror’s reactions (both visceral and cerebral) to the causes of action, the defenses and the themes. As a general rule, witnesses are not presented in this format. Focus groups are remarkably helpful if they are done in stages throughout the course of litigation preparation. Many clients want to conduct a focus group prior to taking depositions in order to find out what jurors perceive as the hot-button issues are in the case, as well as, obtain jurors’ reactions to the various case theories. Focus groups that are conducted during the development of a case (after many of the pertinent facts have been flushed out but before discovery is cut off), are very beneficial in making sure that lawyers are still on point. Finally, we have used focus groups to obtain feedback on lawyers, witnesses and the order of witnesses (if presented), and even which lawyer should examine (or cross-examine) which witness. The cost of a focus group is virtually identical to that of a mock trial.