Everyone involved in a lawsuit has some incentive to settle before the end of the year. Whether it's holiday closure (and cash) for injured parties, cash flow and tax benefits for law firms, or cleaning up the books for insurance carriers - our clients of every type tell us this time of year is a good inflection point to try to resolve open cases.
You pay a premium for expert testimony. Why? To persuade jurors. But do you have any way to know if you are investing in the right expert(s)? There is no single rule to pick the best experts for each case, but we have had the chance to measure the effectiveness of thousands of experts over the years, and have identified a handful of key traits we see in expert witnesses that achieve their desired effect – persuading jurors.
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.