What Do Jury Consulting Services Cost when on a Budget?

Think your case is too small for a jury consultant? Think again. There are jury consulting services available for every budget. While the cost estimates vary by case and jurisdiction, the discrete services described below are generally listed from least expensive to most expensive, starting at just over a thousand dollars. Speak with one of our experienced consultants to determine how you can gain a competitive edge through application of these services with any budget.

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Low Jury Research Budget ($5,000 or Less)

Theme Development: Developing powerful case themes can be aided by trial consultants who have already tested many themes and their outcomes, through years of jury research and at numerous trials, in a particular genre of litigation. From our experiences in similar, we can assist in identifying the major case issues and collaborate with the trial team to develop new themes and/or refine effective themes. By working through a case narrative with the trial team, we can help jurors understand and retain our case story throughout trial and deliberations. At any stage of the litigation process, we can help you drill down to the issues that matter most to jurors, developing and honing themes that are easily repeatable, understandable, and memorable.

Verdict Search: Our verdict search services bring an informative database to the table, with results tailored precisely to your case. We can perform a detailed search of settlements and verdicts in a given jurisdiction – and for a given case type or injury – to identify patterns and precedents, and approximate case value or potential exposure at trial. We can even obtain verdict results for a specific judge, plaintiff’s counsel, law firm, or cases where a particular expert has testified.

Voir Dire Development: We offer assistance drafting thematically-oriented voir dire questions based on the specific issues in your case and the jury profiles identified by research we have conducted in similar cases. Our suggestions for voir dire are aimed at eliciting the necessary attitudinal and experiential information to develop cause challenges and make intelligent use of peremptory strikes for jury deselection. We can work with counsel on effective voir dire communication strategies and provide suggestions for achieving voir dire that will: 1) uncover jurors’ attitudes and experiences in an effort to challenge or strike those who are hostile to your case and/or your client; and 2) reinforce the key themes of your case.

Juror Questionnaire Development: Jurors’ personal experiences, including the emotional component of these experiences, are by far the most important and reliable predictors of their individual and collective judgments. As a result, we almost always recommend a written juror questionnaire when permitted by the Court. Jurors tend to be much more candid in their questionnaire answers than in their answers in open court with an audience of judge, attorneys, and their peers. We can help you develop questionnaires designed to: 1) provide a solid, reliable base of information about each juror, which may be refined and expanded upon during voir dire; 2) identify and create a written record in support of cause strikes; and 3) provide information for the most efficacious use of peremptory strikes. We can also review opposing counsel’s proposed questions and assist with the negotiations for a joint questionnaire.

Witness Communications Training: When a case hinges on a witness’ credibility, practice and self-confidence are key. We offer assistance with your witnesses by evaluating effectiveness, identifying communication stumbling blocks, and addressing the witnesses’ anxieties and communication problems. We complement the attorneys’ expertise with specific knowledge about the psychology of jurors based upon training, knowledge concerning the foundations for effective witness testimony, and talking with hundreds of actual jurors after trial and thousands of mock jurors during jury research projects. Working face-to-face with our communications consultants allows the witness to not only learn the skills of testifying effectively, but also to hone those skills for optimal performance at deposition or trial. If your budget is tight such that it would benefit from removing travel time and expenses, we can conduct our witness communications training via video conference.

Post-Verdict Interviews: When interviewed by counsel after the verdict, jurors tend to sugarcoat their responses or merely agree with other jurors who do most of the talking. Having an anonymous, third-party consultant who is trained in asking non-leading questions is key to receiving feedback you can trust. We interview jurors individually and ask them specifically which components of your themes and arguments resonated with them, providing useful information that you can apply to future cases.

Moderate Jury Research Budget ($15,000 or Less)

Internet Research of Potential Jurors: Given time constraints or a judge’s procedures, it is common that all jurors cannot be questioned during voir dire about all key attitudes and experiences, and when given the chance, some jurors say little or nothing, yet lie in wait to assert their own agenda in the jury room. However, jurors who don’t speak up may leave clues about their attitudes and experiences online or in public documents. We collect and summarize valuable details found on jurors’ social media sites and in their public records for use during jury selection, providing you information that jurors may be reluctant to share in court and giving you an edge over opposing counsel.

Jury Selection Assistance: Choosing a jury for your case is both a science and an art. It is most important to identify and de-select those jurors sitting in the box who won’t hear your story. We help you track juror responses and identify bias, applying years of jury experience to get the most undesirable jurors removed from your panel.

Questionnaire Coding: While incredibly useful, lengthy juror questionnaires can be unwieldy for counsel to review and process in a day or less. Our experienced consultants highlight the key information for each juror, identify important areas for follow-up, and rank the desirability of each member of the pool based on their questionnaire responses.

Jury Reconvening: We bring the jury together again as a group to help you gain valuable insight into the dynamics of their decision rationale, including reactions to key arguments, witness testimony and demonstratives. Our trained facilitators pose non-leading questions to the jury and ensure each juror has a chance to be heard.

High Jury Research Budget ($20,000 or More)

Focus Group: Obtain juror reactions to case facts and determine the information that jurors find most important in a half-day focus group. Presenting your case to a small group of representative jurors helps you develop appealing themes that comport with jurors’ predispositions and experiences. Jury research not only tests the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s position, but allows counsel to build upon its strengths with juror-initiated themes and to develop strategies for overcoming case weaknesses.

Mock Trial/Deliberation Group: Test case themes and strategies, elicit evaluations of key witnesses, and gain an understanding of the reasoning jurors will use during their decision making. These research designs can be extraordinarily useful in identifying the issues most important to jurors and strengthening your case story. Mock Trials and Deliberation Groups can also help develop juror profiles to inform jury selection strategies.

Trial Observation: An experienced consultant is present throughout a portion or the entirety of the trial and offers ongoing assistance with theme development and strategic recommendations. The consultant can work with counsel and witnesses each evening to ensure that case themes are interwoven throughout the trial. Observation of the jury can also identify the facts that jurors deem most important and identify areas that need to be clarified, condensed, or expanded upon.

Feedback Jury: Receive feedback on your arguments and effectiveness in the courtroom through a feedback or “shadow” jury comprised of four-to-six participants demographically and characteristically similar to your jury panel. Feedback from those similar to your seated jury helps you learn how laypeople view your case and can inform adjustments of trial strategy.

Conclusion

Any of the above services can be provided solo or combined to fit within your case budget. Contact us at any time to discuss your situation and obtain a more detailed proposal and estimated cost. Please reach out to Merrie Jo Pitera, Ph.D. (913-486-4159), Jill Leibold, Ph.D. (310-809-8651), or Christina Marinakis, J.D., Psy.D. (443-742-6130).

 

christina-marinakis

 

Christina Marinakis, J.D., Psy.D. – Director – Jury Research

 

 

 

Jill-Liebold

 

Jill Leibold, Ph.D. – Director – Jury Research

 

 

 

Merrie-Jo-Pitera

 

Merrie Jo Pitera, Ph.D. – CEO