If you’ve thought about doing a Mock Trial in a case but were unsure of the costs and benefits – or even how to get started – you’ve come to the right place.
This post will break down the basics for conducting a Mock Trial. It will cover the price range (anywhere from almost nothing for DIY to $60K and higher for professionally-conducted trials), the how-to’s, and the pitfalls to avoid.
“The ideal mock trial is one where the design choices allow you to rely on the results,” according to this article in The National Law Review.
Zoom and virtual meetings have opened the door to DIY mock trials that can be held at a fraction of the cost of a live trial.
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Key Questions for Planning a Mock Trial
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get started with planning your mock trial:
- Where to find and recruit mock jurors? Family and friends might be cheap and available, but they are not unbiased or random participants. “Use a mix of methods to ensure the participants showing up match not only the demographics, but also the sensibilities of the expected jury panel,” says The National Law Review.
- How many jurors? Experts say between eight and 10 people comprise an ideal discussion group.
- Virtual or live? The cost of conducting a live trial will exceed a virtual one.
- How many jury panels? Mock trials can have multiple jury panels simultaneously deliberating in separate meeting rooms. This ensures greater reliability. But of course the costs rise as more trials are held.
- How to read the results? Use jury questionnaires and interviews to create charts, graphs and summaries.
- What about hiring an outside mock trial jury consultant? Be prepared for sticker shock. Top consultants charge for both their time and for the project expenses.
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