If you are like me, you have always wanted to serve on a jury. Now that I am a trial attorney, it is very unlikely I will have the opportunity as one or both sides will likely find I am not a good fit for their case. While everyone knows about the civic duty of jury service, they might not realize there are opportunities to serve as a mock juror in focus groups.
What Is A Focus Group?
While watching golf on NBC recently, Progressive’s “Flocus Group” commercial aired. While this is not really how a focus group operates in the litigation world, it is true that for many years companies have used focus groups composed of regular people to determine how a certain ad or product will be received. Wikipedia defines a focus group as “a small, but demographically diverse group of people whose reactions are studied especially in market research or political analysis in guided or open discussions about a new product or something else to determine the reactions that can be expected from a larger population.”
Focus Groups For Lawsuits
In a lawsuit, one or both sides may use focus groups to see what a potential jury may think about a case. These focus groups can range from a group of people sitting around a table or can be held via Zoom, which is the recent trend. The focus group then has an open discussion about the case and what the group thinks happened. They also can evaluate evidence and witness testimony and deliberate like a jury would in an actual jury trial. Focus groups can assist the attorneys or parties involved in a lawsuit to determine what issues matter to a jury, what evidence is effective, and how decisions may be made by a jury. All of these things may help the attorneys or parties form the case strategy or determine issues with the case.
How Do I Participate?
Every time we have run a focus group, the participants always discussed how much fun it was to be involved. Better yet, most focus groups pay you for your time. It is important that the participants understand and agree to keep the process confidential. During the Covid-19 pandemic, focus groups have been conducted mostly over Zoom or other online video chat format, so that the safety of everyone can be assured.
If you are interested in participating as a mock juror in a focus group, please email Ali Peterson and she can send you an intake form. Once we have a focus group that needs to be filled, we will reach out to our list of focus group jurors who have expressed interest to fill the group. This article is for informational purposes only.