Online Mock Trials

Traditional research in a modern format

Online Mock Trials can be accomplished in a one or two-day time-frame and typically involve openings statements, full presentations of the plaintiff and defense cases with live or taped witnesses, closing arguments, and jury deliberations, all accomplished through an online videoconferencing platform. We take periodic measurements at various points during the day to track juror moment-to-moment reactions to witnesses, evidence, arguments, and to evaluate which issues in the individual presentations influence the jurors’ ultimate verdicts in the case.

This “dry run” of the case is designed to test what is effective and what needs further refinement or clarification. The results enable the trial team to conceive of and articulate the case from the jurors’ perspective, using their words, themes, sequence and story of the issues in the case. We also conduct a statistical analysis of this data to determine characteristics for final jury profiling and selection strategy.

At the end of project, we analyze and provide a report on the results. We concentrate our analysis and recommendations on the following areas:

  • Initial attitudes, standards, and expectations jurors bring to the case before they hear any evidence.

  • How they systematically assemble their version of events by combining, dismissing, re- ordering, and prioritizing the evidence.

  • What counterfactual or extra-legal explanations jurors bring to their interpretation of the case, i.e., emotional reactions, publicity or media stories, personal, friends’ and family experiences, and responses to witness demeanor.

  • The best themes, framing concepts, story sequences, and visual images to create the most compelling version of the case.

  • Defining the fundamental strengths, weaknesses, and confusion in the case. How to refine the educational modules or mini-tutorials to overcome the bias and remaining confusion.

  • How the jury interprets or ignores the legal instructions and verdict questions.

  • How the jury uses their version of the case to create a decision map to answer the verdict questions.

  • How the jury negotiates the final verdict and damages questions. What specific factors increase, decrease, or eliminate damages.

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