Using Focus Groups To Prepare Your Case


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Presentation slides from conference on how to effectively use focus groups in trial preparation.

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Using Focus Groups To Prepare Your Case

  1. 1. Beth Klein, J.D. Carrie R. Frank, J.D., M.S.S.W. Beth Klein, P.C 1909 26 th Street, Suite 1C Boulder, Co 80302 303-448-8884 © Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>Juror bias is real and can be critical </li></ul><ul><li>You have limited time to reach the jury – you need to educate not confuse </li></ul><ul><li>The lawyers’ version of the case might not resonate with jurors </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups help you understand and deal with biases </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations and politicians have used them for years – why haven’t you? </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  3. 3. <ul><li>Basic to complex cases and invaluable in all cases </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the best time & resources you can spend </li></ul><ul><li>It’s risky to try your case “blind” </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups should become a routine part of your practice </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  4. 4. <ul><li>Educate </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare </li></ul><ul><li>Organize </li></ul><ul><li>Learn </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  5. 5. <ul><li>Development of new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Discard bad ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Test drive exhibits </li></ul><ul><li>Create themes </li></ul><ul><li>Identify biases </li></ul><ul><li>Identify issues </li></ul><ul><li>Identify reasons </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  6. 6. <ul><li>Concept focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted concept focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Key piece of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Witness screening </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibit screening </li></ul><ul><li>Structured focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Split </li></ul><ul><li>Mock trial </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted juror focus groups </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  7. 7. <ul><li>Before you accept a case </li></ul><ul><li>While discovery is pending </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing experts and exhibits </li></ul><ul><li>Close to trial </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  8. 8. <ul><li>Be neutral </li></ul><ul><li>If anything, favor the opposite side </li></ul><ul><li>You should not “win” or do great in the early groups – concept or structured </li></ul><ul><li>Use confidentiality agreements & questionnaires </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that recruiting methods, location and participants can affect your results </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of your own biases (a good reason not to run your own group) </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  9. 9. <ul><li>Trial consultants have a variety of backgrounds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different focus groups get different information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gain psychological perspective into your case </li></ul><ul><li>Arriving at themes, sub-themes and sequencing of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Developing and interpreting questionnaire results </li></ul><ul><li>Crafting voir dire and/or SJQ questions </li></ul><ul><li>Assisting in jury selection </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  10. 10. <ul><li>Case assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Developing focus group protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Conducting focus groups and interpreting results </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain feedback from focus group video review </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain input into opening/closing, exhibits, trial strategy, etc. </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008
  11. 11. <ul><li>How sequencing makes a difference </li></ul><ul><li>How to develop your trial story and other trial components </li></ul><ul><li>The credibility of exhibits, witnesses, experts, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>How themes and analogies are useful and can be persuasive </li></ul><ul><li>That not all issues are critical – especially technical issues and not all expert theories are critical or helpful </li></ul><ul><li>Learn your key evidence </li></ul><ul><li>What are non-issues and should be eliminated </li></ul><ul><li>How to rename key words and phrases, eliminate jargon and speak so you are understood </li></ul>© Carrie R. Frank - March 2008