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Focus Groups &
Mock Trials

Let’s face it – some cases are more complicated than others. And when you land a particularly difficult one, it can lead you to a bit of a standstill. 

Do I settle or go to trial? Is all the information organized? Will your witnesses be credible to a jury?

Will your presentation of the evidence lead to the result you’re hoping for? 

Focus groups are a great way to get the unbiased feedback you need to make decisions, and Elizabeth is here to help you do that.

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

Elizabeth does an excellent job of conducting focus groups from opening focus groups to adversarial ones. She really knows how to get the focus group members to provide you the needed information. I would not hesitate to use her again as it was money very well spent. If you ever need someone to assist in running a focus group, use her!!

Jim LyonsJonesboro, Arkansas

The focus groups she has conducted for our firm have translated into significantly increased value on our cases. We appreciate how easy she made the focus group presentation process for us to show up and present without having any concern about the management of the focus group members or video recording.

Blake Erskine

Elizabeth recently assisted our office in conducting a focus group in a highly contested case. In her focus group, we were able to test what a jury would think about evidence in the case, and the credibility of key witnesses. Utilizing all of the valuable information that we learned during focus group work, we were able to obtain not only justice for our client but “full justice.” Appreciate your great help and assistance, Elizabeth.

Stephen StewartAustin, Texas

IT’S ALWAYS A PERFECT TIME FOR A FOCUS GROUP BUT

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY A TIME WHEN IT’S TOO LATE

Want to know more about focus groups?
Schedule a free consultation call with Elizabeth

Schedule a Free Consultation

How we work together

If you’re stumped by a case issue, settlement decision or difficult client expectations, checking in with 8-12 individuals with no other knowledge of the case can be extremely beneficial. Elizabeth Larrick offers focus groups, including mock trials, on several different levels. 

Here’s the process:

Step 1: Schedule a free Consultation Call with Elizabeth (30 minutes)

  • What problem are you seeking to get feedback on?
  • What is your time frame?
  • Discuss options for styles of presentations and questions
  • Walk through how the focus group system works

Step 2: Proposal

Step 3: Set up a Zoom Focus Group Preparation Call (30-60 minutes)

  • Take a deep dive into case details and facts
  • Discuss what documents, photographs or visuals are available to use for the focus group
  • Walk through how the presentation will be created and questions

Step 4: Presentation Creation

  • Elizabeth will create a PowerPoint presentation with file documents
  • Draft a narrative or timeline
  • Craft feedback questions for the focus group

Step 5: Focus Group

Step 6: Debrief Meeting (20-30 minutes)

  • Immediately following the focus group, Elizabeth & lawyers discuss the feedback
  • Get impressions and thoughts while they are fresh
  • Review the responses to any Chat or written questions

Step 7: Delivery of the focus group video, presentation materials, transcript, Chat (if virtual), NDAs, and if applicable report

Types of Focus Group Services:

Virtual Focus Groups

These days its more common to do a virtual focus group post pandemic because more people have access to proper technology and internet. Jumping into a virtual platform is easy for the participants and lawyers.

  • Elizabeth uses the latest technology to conduct the focus group with an online platform, collect electronic signatures and issue contact-less payment for participants.
  • Virtual focus groups are usually 2-3 hours in length with 8-10 participants.
  • Elizabeth will meet with the lawyers to understand their focus group needs. After planning sessions, Elizabeth will design a detailed plan for the focus group time. She will assist in creating presentations and questions.
  • Elizabeth and her team will take care of recruiting/vetting participants, hosting the virtual meeting, and moderating.
  • Focus group debrief meetings, reports and final analysis calls are provided to get the full use of the focus group feedback.
  • Virtual focus groups reduce the hassle of location logistics like parking and food/beverage.
  • With effective screening systems, participants can be located across the United States.
  • With virtual platforms, lawyers and co-counsel can connect seamlessly to the focus group from the comfort of their home or office.

In-Person Focus Groups

The in-person focus group can be used to test important parts of a case heading into mediation or trial with a flexible approach as to presentation styles and set-ups.

  • In-person focus groups can be from 4-6 hours in length with 10-14 participants. The focus group time is dedicated to one case or multiple cases. For complex litigation, several panels of participants can be assembled.
  • Elizabeth will meet with the lawyers to understand the purpose for the focus group. Based off the planning sessions, she lays out a detailed plan for each minute of the focus group.
  • She will assist in creating presentations, visual aides, and questions to reach the focus group goals.
  • Elizabeth and her team will take care of recruiting/vetting participants, and payment to the participants.
  • Elizabeth and her team will take care of locating neutral location, hosting, moderating, and food/refreshments.
  • Immediately after the focus group, a debrief session will take place with the lawyers to roundtable the focus group feedback.
  • Within a week, the lawyer will receive a copy of the video, transcript, participant demographics and any vote sheets.
  • A focus group report is provided to memorize the main takeaways, visualize any comparisons, and provide case insight.
  • A final call, if requested, takes place to go over in detail the focus group report and how to best integrate what was learned into the case.

Mock Jury/ Adversarial Focus Groups

The mock jury is the traditional approach to finding out how a jury would decide the case after seeing an abbreviated opening statements, presentations of evidence, and closing arguments by both sides.

  • Mock jury or adversarial focus group is usually 6-8 hours in length with 10-12 participants. The time is dedicated to one case.
  • Elizabeth will meet with the lawyers and set-out a detailed plan for organizing and executing the mock jury, including detailed voting protocols.
  • Elizabeth can assist in recruiting and assembling lawyers and witnesses to role play the opposing counsel, judge and lay witnesses.
  • Elizabeth and her team will take care of recruiting/vetting participants, hosting, moderating, vote tracking, logistics of food/ beverage and payment to the participants.
  • Immediately after the focus group, a debrief session will take place with the lawyers to roundtable the focus group feedback.
  • Within seven days, the lawyers will receive a copy of the video, NDAs, votes, participant demographics, and transcript.
  • A focus group report is provided to memorize the main takeaways, compare votes in the different phases of the mock trial, and provide case insight.
  • A final call, if requested, takes place to go over in detail the focus group report and how to best integrate what was learned into the case.

Curious how to use a virtual focus group?

Download a free list of 55 Ways to Use a Virtual Focus Group.

“Our Firm considers Focus Groups to be an essential part of our trial practice – in evaluating cases upon intake, testing safety rules and preparing for mediation and trial. Elizabeth does a fantastic job in preparing the case for review, conducting the Focus Group and in providing meaningful feedback following the Focus Group Study. We consider Elizabeth’s Focus Groups and case consultations to be a valuable resource for our Firm and our clients. The bottom line is that Elizabeth’s Focus Groups add real value to our cases and help us give our clients informed advice, which is why we highly recommend her and will continue using her in our own cases.”

~ Ryan Johnson

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a focus group help even when you think you don't need it?

You will learn what potential jurors think and feel about your case. By presenting the facts and circumstances of your case in a neutral environment, potential jurors will provide more insight and comments into their positions.

Often, lawyers will develop tunnel-vision on their cases and block out other possible points-of-view. This tunnel-vision can cause lawyers to miss holes or red flags during file development, which leads to lost case value and defense verdicts.

Focus groups are the tool lawyers can use to test their case and learn the problems prospective jurors may have toward the facts, circumstances, and involved parties. Focus groups come in a wide variety of styles and designs, including mock trial, which can be used by lawyers to expand their knowledge.

When is the best time to run a focus group for my case?

From the start, a focus group can be used to issue-spot and provide guidance on discovery to conduct and investigations to perform.

In the middle, the focus group can assist in checking your case theory, test witness credibility, and gain deeper understanding of damages.

At the end, a focus group is a fantastic practice round before trial – getting on your feet to run an opening statement, check your jury selection questions or take a swing at your closing argument.

Will the virtual focus group participants be from my venue?

Yes.

Over the past four years, Elizabeth has created a system to advertise and recruit participants from your chosen venue. Each participant will pass through a screening process which includes a technology check and photo identification.

How do I know which focus group to run for my case?

Elizabeth has years of experience in trial consulting and focus group presentations and is happy to offer assistance in choosing the right focus group to yield your desired feedback.

What if I want to present but I want Elizabeth to ask the questions of the focus group?

This is a great set-up and highly recommended. Presenting to a group of 12 strangers is practice for public speaking and will improve a lawyer’s skill level. Elizabeth will jump in to ask the feedback questions of the focus group and keep the conversation neutral.

What feedback does a focus group give me?

Trial consulting and focus groups can provide feedback on … really anything! You want to learn about yourself and how you are perceived – a focus group can do it. You want to learn about the holes in your case and where you need to give attention – focus group it! You want to test your case theory, test your witness credibility, test the defense theory or defense witness credibility – focus group it! The hardest part about a focus group is learning how to present the information and ask the questions to receive unbiased feedback. (Biased feedback may make you feel fantastic, but it won’t help you learn and definitely won’t help your case!)

Will you travel / come to me?

Yes, but virtual options can offer beneficial feedback with less hassle for you and your team.

Can I reschedule my focus group if my trial or mediation date changes?

Focus Groups will find and provide hidden gems that will help you shore up their case. If you wait to run the focus group, you could lose value time that allows you to make corrections. Waiting could mean potentially leaving money on the table.

Rescheduling is dependent on the circumstances and contract terms.

How are participants picked for focus groups?

Elizabeth has developed a system for finding and vetting the individuals to participate in the focus group. These individuals are chosen from a group of people who complete an online questionnaire and screening system. The selected group is representative of a cross-section of the community – range of ages, occupations, backgrounds, etc. Participants are vetted to prevent repeat attendance.

When you chose Elizabeth for your focus group, you receive a chart of the participants demographic information in the days leading up to your focus group.

What about confidentiality and non-disclosure of my case details?

We have every participant sign a confidentiality & non-disclosure agreement before entering the focus group (in person or virtual).  Additionally, all participants are notified at the beginning of every focus group and asked to verbally agreement on video.

If the case has a protective order, we can also have participants sign & agree to the protective order.

In certain situations, we have re-worked the presentations to prevent disclosure of party names.

Are the focus groups recorded?

All the focus groups, virtual and in-person, and mock trials are video and audio recorded.

With in-person focus groups and mock trials we hire a professional videographer to ensure a quality audio and video recording.

Having a video file to review at a later time is essential for squeezing all the information from the focus groups.

"I have scheduled many focus groups through Elizabeth Larrick over the last few years and have found them to be invaluable to the cases I handle. Whether hiring Elizabeth to handle the focus group itself or just reserving a one hour or four hour session, each time I have gained insight into the strengths and weaknesses of my cases that I never would have learned otherwise. The information obtained through focus groups has changed the types of cases I accept, the strategies I employ in representing clients and the preparation I perform in every single case. I cannot recommend Elizabeth any higher and once you work with her, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way."

~ Will | Austin, Texas

Want to learn more about Elizabeth & her thoughts?

Two years ago, Elizabeth started her own podcast Trial Lawyer Prep to talk about preparing cases, interview lawyers, and provide ‘how to’ tips for lawyers.

Contact Elizabeth today

Because you’re so close to your case, it can be hard to ask the right questions to get unbiased feedback. That’s why our focus group design and implementation will help you get the real results you need to move forward. Schedule a focus group consultation call today.

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