Common psychological biases can undermine your clients ability to get a fair trial. Mental shortcuts like anchoring, hindsight bias, counterfactual thinking, confirmation bias, availability bias, and representative bias make it impossible for some people to hear your case. Some jurors are more likely than others to be convinced by people who are more physically attractive, while others are more likely to decide injury valuations before even hearing the evidence. Legally trained forensic psychologists can identify which jurors are likely to resort to these biases when faced with the facts. MGM has developed a network of top jury consultants to help provide the insights you need to identify the best potential jurors for your set of facts and law.
Be Prepared: Mock Trials
When it’s a big case, mock trials are the gold standard. MGM provides mock trials in both in-person and virtual settings. In-person settings provide the look and feel of a real-world proceeding. The live setting also gives consultants the chance to better understand how the jury is likely to interact as a group during deliberations. Juries, attorneys, witnesses, and consultants in physical proximity can read and respond to one another’s body language and other subtle cues in ways that are difficult to replicate remotely.
Virtual mock trials also have advantages, however, not the least of which is lower cost and convenience. Another reason to consider a virtual mock trial is that many professional jury experts find that the feedback provided by mock jurors in the comfort of their own homes tends to be more frank and unguarded.
The Right Jury: Voir Dire and Jury-pool Research
Each case is different. Each juror is different. The value of jury consultation is applying the best forensic psychology to your specific circumstances. Our jury consultants bring an evidence-based understanding to how jurors’ responses during voir dire indicate how they will perceive your case, your clients, and your witnesses. Your consultant can help you craft voir dire questions using the best available science to reveal biases that could undermine your chance of getting the result your client deserves. The consultant can then see the process through to the end with prompt, data-driven jury-pool research, providing recommendations during jury selection.
Information When you Need it: Focus Groups
A focus group can provide insight into every aspect of your trial, including those tricky issues that require an understanding of cultural practices and community norms. Accordingly, our consultants take purposeful steps to recruit participants who will comprise an accurate representative sample of your jury pool. Our moderators then work with the clients to frame questions that inform the issues and order of your case.
Telling the Story: Witness Preparation
Your case depends on the credibility of your witnesses. Our consultants can help your witnesses make the best impression, attending to the specificities of how this particular jury may respond to this particular witness, which responses and demeanors during cross examination will be most effective (or detrimental).