Case Fact and Issue Study
A Case Fact and Issue Study is similar to a focus group, in that it does not involve attorney participation and utilizes a written script crafted by an FLC consultant from attorney-provided information (i.e. key pleadings, depositions, responses to discovery requests, fact statements given by the opposition, etc.). However, rather than a discussion, each mock juror will independently read the script; the information is provided in a piecemeal fashion, with mock jurors responding to a series of questions after each block of information. This format allows us to ascertain what jurors do not understand, what is important to them, what makes them suspicious, what they believe, what their feelings are about the information, etc. Critical case documents, or portions thereof, are also reviewed in order to obtain jurors’ reaction to them in the context of the other information they have been provided. Again, participants will be asked to identify what they do not understand and what, if anything, is significant to them about the documents.
Following the case study, we will make recommendations regarding theme development, demonstrative aids, witnesses, discovery, case presentation, settlement, and other issue-specific aspects of your case that can aid your trial strategy and preparation.
Case fact and issue studies are typically best used in the early stages of litigation (i.e., before discovery and expert witness designation deadlines) when you are developing your theme and are unsure of the various way facts, issues, exhibits, and witnesses may be perceived. Additionally, when deadlines are approaching and attorney time is at a premium (i.e. you have waited to the last minute to do your jury research before your trial date and the lawyers don’t have the time to prepare for and do a mock trial), Case fact and issue research can provide a “jury read” of your case without the lawyer’s presence or participation.
I have never used a trial consultant before, but I am now a convert to the process. I was impressed with how much valuable information I was able to glean from the jurors’ comments in the Case Facts and Issues Study Report.Frank D. Neville, Casper, WY