Our team has planned and conducted more than 500 mock trials over the past thirty years. In that time, we have noticed striking similarities in the way jurors behave. We have noticed that a trial team can radically increase the amount of valuable information they mine from a mock trial just by following a few best practices. We have seen over and over that a well-executed mock trial is the most valuable form of pre-trial preparation a trial team can do.
In these ten articles listed below (our top ten all-time articles on the subject), we reveal many of A2L's best practices and insider observations. Whether you are planning a mock trial or just preparing for trial, the lessons from these articles are valuable and actionable.
A mock trial is designed to mimic many aspects of an upcoming trial. The overall goal is to learn what motivates jurors, especially those similar to the likely jury, to view our side of the case in the best possible light. Many people mistakenly believe that a mock trial is designed to simulate an upcoming trial in order to predict the outcome. While there is certainly a predictive element, one cannot reliably simulate a two-month or even a two-week trial in two days.
Instead, the highest value takeaways from a mock trial come from watching jurors deliberate, looking at the data behind the their decision making revealed by polling, preparing one's trial presentation earlier than one might naturally do so, getting into the mind of opposing counsel by arguing their case, and just getting some excellent practice in the run-up to trial.
In a typical mock trial, 100 or more jurors may be recruited. Often a voir dire-like exercise is built into the mock and 36-48 jurors may be selected and broken into three or four juries who will deliberate separately.
When a mock trial is deemed premature or the costs of conducting one do not match the dollars at stake in a case, we are often asked to conduct a smaller-scale exercise called a focus group (see How Early-Stage Focus Groups Can Help Your Trial Preparation) where a fewer jurors are used, and the format is more dialog oriented.
I hope you enjoy these articles. Taken together, they offer an excellent primer on how and why to conduct a mock trial for the best possible result.
- 10 Things Every Mock Jury Ever Has Said
- 12 Astute Tips for Meaningful Mock Trials
- 13 Revolutionary Changes in Jury Consulting & Trial Consulting
- 7 Questions You Must Ask Your Mock Jury About Litigation Graphics
- 11 Problems with Mock Trials and How to Avoid Them
- 6 Good Reasons to Conduct a Mock Trial
- 5 Ways to Win Your Trial by Losing Your Mock Trial
- The 5 Very Best Reasons to Conduct a Mock Trial
- Mock Trials: Do They Work? Are They Valuable?
- Is Hiring a Jury Consultant Really Worth It?