Consider this fact pattern and outcome from a case we recently worked on: Plaintiff rear-ends trailer pulling a large load of logs. I repeat: Plaintiff rear-ends defendant. But the jurors assign most of the blame to the defendant… who was rear-ended.Juror's Feedback:
I imagine you have been in this situation: Your key witness is a good man. You know he is honest. In all your discussions he is down-to-earth. Likeable. Not a whiff of arrogance.
If a trial team is not doing jury research, they are essentially relying on their intuition and experience to gain the best possible outcome in your case. This approach can get the job done, but does not guarantee the best possible outcome for clients. Jury research is becoming more and more popular, because it helps reduce risk, improve litigation strategy, and ultimately saves money for the person whose money is at stake in the litigation. Some law firms routinely use jury research for all of their cases. Because of its economical and practical benefits, jury research is valuable for all parties involved in litigation.
There's no way around it - Modern jury research requires excellent software. Effective software allows research data to be organized in a useable manner, engages your team in the research process, and enables participants to give candid responses. The software used in jury research should promote honest feedback and help show the weakness and strengthens of your case.
Jurors are the cornerstone of the legal system in America. Thousands of jury trials are held every year in which a group of jurors determine the outcome of the case. In an effort to preserve the integrity of the legal system, no one but the actual jurors are allowed in the deliberation room. Thus, how and why cases get decided is shrouded in mystery.
How can savvy litigators pierce the veil and learn how a jury is likely to decide? Since the 1970s, attorneys have been using jury research to learn how jurors will react to their cases. If used properly, jury research can be a valuable asset for any litigation team. Keep reading to learn how it works!
Although jurors come from all walks of life, they hold some common beliefs about what they like and dislike from attorneys in the courtroom.
Any lawyer or insurance professional who has spent time attempting to settle a case through traditional mediation (both parties working with a mediator at the same facility) has likely been frustrated. It is difficult to find a day and time when all parties can meet. It is inconvenient to spend a day (or days) away from the office and life at home. It is expensive. But, perhaps most frustrating, it is inefficient. Between the posturing and delays, parties often leave mediations with little to show for their efforts.
Jurors are the single most important part of a trial. They decide who wins and who loses. While it is easy to focus on the arguments and the presentation of evidence - all of which are important - it is vital to remember who is actually deciding the case. Arguments do not decide cases. Evidence does not decide cases. Jurors decide cases.
It's difficult for negotiators to evaluate their case objectively. We recognize the challenge, but want to recognize - and reward - the very best, most objective negotiators. What is the one objective measure of the “true” value of a case? The final award or settlement amount! Therefore, when a case is resolved, we compare the last number each negotiator tested in the Thermometer to the final settlement number; that gives us an objective rating number showing how well that negotiator evaluated and tested that particular case.