So, you’ve made the time, effort, and budget commitment to conduct a mock jury exercise to test your case before trial. In my opinion and in the opinion of almost every litigator I’ve worked with, all this time and effort is generally well spent. But if you fail to get the right feedback from your mock jurors, you’ve wasted your time and resources.
What is that “right” feedback and how do you get it? Your jury consultant should lead the way in this regard (ours has a Ph.D. in psychology and over 30 years’ experience), but the feedback you’re looking for relates primarily to whether the jurors felt they understood your case, accepted your “story,” and trusted your theme – and WHY. If they did and the evidence made sense to them in relation to each of these aspects of your presentation, you’ve likely got a winner, all things being equal.
An important aspect of your case and how it was presented to the mock jurors is your demonstrative evidence and litigation graphics. These will likewise play a key role in your actual trial and its success. It’s important to test the graphics you intend to use or are considering using at trial with your mock jurors. These graphics will have been carefully, professionally designed to track your mock “clopening” (a contraction of opening and closing) argument and should highlight the important themes, storylines, evidence, and expected testimony of your case. Here are seven essential questions you must ask your mock jurors about your litigation graphics:
1. Why Did The Jury Reach The Outcome It Reached?
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