Services > Pre-trial Research

Know the answers, before asking the questions.

No jury consultants needed. No high costs. Just great pre-trial research.

ShapardResearch offers a full suite of services for law firms looking to utilize cost-effective methods of jury research.  We are not jury consultants.  And, to be quite honest, you probably don’t need one either. What we offer is quality recruitment for adversarial focus groups or mock trails, state-of-the-art facilities and web delivery technologies of focus group video and audio.  Then, we get out of the way and give you the ability to do what you do best.

Concept focus groups are extremely helpful in the early stages of a case, when discovery is limited. With concept focus groups, you do not need to wait until you have largely completed the discovery process to benefit from “jury” feedback. Participants are read a case synopsis by the counsel moderating the group, then asked specific questions to generate feedback on a wide range of case-related issues.

This information is then used to develop case themes, which in turn direct the questioning in depositions and interviews to support these themes. Concept focus groups help you to find out what jurors assume and believe, and what they need to know to further support or erode this. The ideal situation is to have a concept focus group early in your case, and a structured focus group or mock trial once discovery is largely completed.

A mock trial is a simulated trial that is used as a educational tool or to test and demonstrate legal theories, strategies, and techniques. It is typically conducted in a classroom setting, with lawyers playing the roles of the judge, jury, witnesses, and attorneys. The purpose of a mock trial is to provide an opportunity to practice and refine legal insights and develop critical thinking for an upcoming trial.

ShapardResearch carefully selects a sample of mock jurors that closely matches the demographics of the actual jury. In an adversarial focus group, your attorneys present both sides of the case. Jurors consider both arguments, giving you the opportunity to observe how each argument is received and discover which message is the most persuasive. Mock trials take the study further, utilizing a judge and witnesses to more comprehensively measure how trial dynamics are perceived by jurors.

What does the jury pool know about the issues surrounding your case? What issues don’t they understand? What preconceived notions do they have? ShapardResearch can survey the attitudes within the community where your trial is to take place, identifying possible bias and further equipping you with an understanding of how community attitudes will affect your case – and how you can utilize them to your client’s advantage.

By providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the perceptions, opinions and general understanding within the community regarding your case, a ShapardResearch community attitude study can eliminate the speculation during jury selection. The study can also aid in determining whether your case merits a change of venue.

The advantages to conducting pre-trial research.

  1. Better case preparation and strategy development.
  2. Improved understanding of the evidence and facts.
  3. Increased confidence in making legal arguments and presenting a case.
  4. Ability to identify potential weaknesses and strengths of a case.
  5. Increased chances of negotiating a settlement or plea bargain.
  6. Improved decision-making regarding potential witnesses and evidence.
  7. Improve jury selection.

Jury selection and message testing: what will resonate with jurors?

Jury selection is the process by which attorneys and the court choose individuals to serve as jurors in a trial. The goal is to select a group of impartial and fair individuals who will evaluate the evidence presented in a case and render a verdict. The process typically involves questioning potential jurors to determine their ability to be impartial and fair, as well as their attitudes and beliefs related to the case. Attorneys may use their discretion to challenge or excuse certain jurors, and the judge has final say in determining who will serve on the jury. The outcome of a trial can be significantly influenced by the composition of the jury, making jury selection an important step in the legal process.

Understanding the values and predispositions of the people who will decide your case is crucial during every phase of a trial. From initial jury selection throughout a trial’s duration, our research can provide insights into jurors’ attitudes, perceptions and opinions that you can use to direct a winning legal strategy for your client.

Our researchers utilize tools such as public opinion polling, concept or adversarial focus groups and mock trials to determine how a jury will respond to your case. The results of our studies will aid your team in developing the approach your jurors will find most credible and persuasive – and thus most likely to result in success for your client.

“It’s been a fantastic relationship between our firm and the ShapardResearch firm. It’s really helped us in our case preparation how laypeople view our case. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes it’s for the worse, but at least we know what they think before we go to trial or before a mediation or settlement conference.”

— Glendell Nix, Nix Law Group PLLC

Let's talk!

Let me help tailor our qualitative research to your unique needs, answer your questions, and show you how cost effective our work can be!

We cover the entirety of Oklahoma: Wherever your case may be—from the largest to the smallest of counties—we can recruit participants, coordinate facilities, provide videography, and handle all of the details.

Bill Shapard
+1 (405) 607-4664
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