by Ken Lopez
Most would agree that mock trials are not conducted as often as they should be. After all, why wouldn't you want to learn what kinds of jurors you will see on your jury, understand what works about your case and what doesn't, understand what works about your opponent's case and what doesn't, gauge your settlement position, provide outside counsel a chance to practice and gain many more benefits all for a tiny fraction of the cost of what is often at stake?
Is a mock trial mandatory? Of course not—and neither is having someone else cut your hair. Both are entirely optional expenses, but both are very good ideas.
So why might a mock trial not be conducted? In my 20 years of observing trials and trial preparation, I have heard many good reasons and many bad reasons. Sometimes the rationale for not conducting a mock originates in the in-house department, and sometimes it comes from outside counsel. However, there are plenty of situations where both inside and outside counsel knew they would benefit from a mock and both, for one reason or another, chose not to conduct one. For most, the question comes down to budget. A2L offers mock exercise solutions starting from as low as $10,000, however four-panel multi-day mock trials always cost six-figures but pale in cost in comparison to the potential upside or downside of the case.
Rather than speculate why people don't conduct mock trials, I thought I would ask. Below is a one question survey that asks, "For a recent case where a mock trial would have helped but no mock trial was conducted, what was the biggest reason you didn't conduct one?"
Other information and resources about mock trials, jury consulting and litigation consulting on A2L Consulting's site:
- Watch Free: 12 Things Every Mock Juror Ever Has Said
- Free conflicts check: get in our database and help us not work for the wrong team
- Why Do I Need A Mock Trial If There Is No Real Voir Dire?
- 3 Ways to Force Yourself to Practice Your Trial Presentation
- 7 Questions You Must Ask Your Mock Jury About Litigation Graphics
- 11 Problems with Mock Trials and How to Avoid Them
- 12 Astute Tips for Meaningful Mock Trials
- Trending: Mock Trial Testing of Litigation Graphics AND Arguments
- 10 Suggestions for Conducting Mock Bench Trial Consulting Exercises
- Mock Trials: Do They Work? Are They Valuable?
- The 13 Biggest Reasons to Avoid Last-Minute Trial Preparation
- The Magic of a 30:1 Presentation Preparation Ratio
- 11 Surprising Areas Where We Are Using Mock Exercises and Testing
- Accepting Litigation Consulting is the New Hurdle for Litigators