Mattson and Sherrod, Inc. offers three general types
of “mock trial” research exercises that may be modified and
combined to meet the needs of the client. Each exercise involves mock
jurors viewing condensed versions of each side’s case, presented
either live or on videotape. The jurors are recruited from the trial
venue and are carefully screened to match the demographics and qualifications
of the local jury pool.
The first research exercise – Issue Discovery
Research – is designed to discover the issues in each side's
case that drive jurors' verdicts. In
preparing this exercise, we offer to take an active role in learning
the case and in developing the opposition's case – our client's "worst
scenario" – in order to ensure that the research findings are
valid. In light of the results of this first exercise, we not only suggest
client's case can be strengthened but also provide a proposed opening
statement that incorporates our suggestions.
The second research exercise – Summary
Trial Research – is designed to test the effectiveness
of the client’s revised case. In light of the findings of this
second exercise, we evaluate the client’s revised strategy, the
effect of the evidence in supporting or diluting the strategy, and the
influence of the strategy on jury deliberations. In consultation with
the attorneys, we can then fine-tune the strategy.
The third research exercise – Jury Selection
Research – is designed to assist the client with jury
selection by identifying effective voir dire questions. Powerful statistical
techniques enable us to select the most effective voir dire questions.
In light of the findings of this research, we can prepare questions
for either a written juror questionnaire or oral voir dire.
We present our findings and recommendations after
each research exercise, and we provide a complete written report. The
report includes a detailed analysis of the research, a written example
of how the findings can be incorporated into a concrete jury strategy
with a narrative opening statement, and a copy of all relevant graphs,
charts and tables.