Posted on 06/26/20 by Danielle Garan
With the global health crisis looming above our heads, almost every sector that can has gone remote. As precautionary measures against the virus continue to be implemented, even trials and hearings have gone digital and legal professionals are encouraged to work from home. The virus does not stop legal proceedings and the need for trial research continues.
Mock jury trials are traditionally done in person. Lawyers or legal consultants assemble what constitutes a “mock jury” into a focus group facility and they evaluate the potential reactions of these jurors to their arguments and evidence before an actual case goes to trial. This helps lawyers predict the issues that are going to drive the verdict; It allows the team to practice their trial presentation, fine-tune their arguments and delivery, and identify which messages are best received by the jurors. These traditional run-throughs cost thousands of dollars and involve meticulous coordination and preparation.
Because of the pandemic, a realistic alternative is to quickly adapt by moving mock jury trials online. Fortunately, facilitating an online mock jury trial is not that different from an in-person mock jury session and utilizes the same technical capabilities required by web-enabled focus groups.
Technical Solutions and Tools to Achieve A Successful Mock Jury Trial Online:
Web-Enabled Mock Jury Trials
This includes your large group presentation rooms and your smaller breakout deliberation rooms where mock jurors on their webcams are brought into the web room where you can present the evidence using Word documents, slide decks, or multimedia playback. These files are presented live within your web room according to your desired specifications after you have reviewed it all in a moderator training session. Robust features make it possible to effectively gauge the mock jurors' reactions once they are directed into online breakout rooms for group deliberations or after they complete a set of surveys for asynchronous presentations. You can then view the content through the streaming media files provided after the sessions.
Mock Jury Surveys
As the mock trial moves along, questionnaires play a crucial role in drawing opinion or feedback from the jurors. These surveys, if done properly, will provide rich insights into which arguments strengthen or weaken the case, so it’s necessary to utilize a service that allows you to modify your polls, questionnaires, or surveys depending on how you want your participants to see them. It would also be beneficial for you to have the option to either conduct surveys at any time during the presentation or deliberation web room or through an online community platform.
Project Curation Platform
After an online mock jury trial, it’s important to have an efficient platform for content curation, collaboration, and management where you can easily organize and edit audio or video presentations of evidence, arguments, and other multimedia assets from the mock jury sessions to better review, analyze, and present key findings later on.
Recruiting juries is not just a random summoning of individuals, rather a deliberate and systematic selection process where interview questions are logically designed to detect any biases that may prevent each one of them from making an impartial decision regarding the case based on the evidence presented. Recruited jurors should closely resemble an actual live jury in terms of ethnicity, social class, gender, age, etc.
Mock Trial Transcriptions and Translations
The role of translators and transcriptionists in court is very important. Expert translations ensure that the context is properly established and relayed accurately in the target language. You have to consider mock jury translation services that can cater a range of legal cases in almost every language. It would also pay to have affordable and high-quality voice-to-text mock jury transcriptions that are immediately available to lawyers, attorneys, and other legal professionals. Accurate legal transcriptions provide a way to keep track and highlight important parts of the proceedings, and can help professionals formulate questions later on. It makes it easier for legal practitioners to review their case studies and prepare their avenue of attack or defense.
With services like web-enabled mock trials, mock jury surveys and questionnaires, a systematic curation platform, a juror recruitment service, legal translations and a solid transcriptions service, attorneys and legal professionals can now easily practice their case arguments to get valuable insights from jurors and their responses to issues and cases. A robust provider that combines all of these capabilities will help trial consultants pinpoint defense strengths and vulnerabilities that may influence the upcoming jury trial. The result will be an insightful outcome to share with clients.
Sources: law360.com, whoi.edu, sisinternational.com, americanbar.com, newscientist.com, dialsmith.com