Mediation • Arbitration • Mock Trials

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Mock Trials

Benefits

Mock Trials and Focus Groups allow you to test:

  • Theme acceptance
  • Issue identification
  • Verdict range and rationale
  • Witness credibility

We allow ample opportunity to question the jurors with the assistance of the moderator.

Mock Trial Jury

We start with an initial meeting with the clients to discuss exactly what information they seek to gain from the process and their goal in engaging our services. We will discuss our views on what has proven successful for other clients.

The client must decide on the number of jurors they desire (we suggest a minimum of twelve and two alternates), and the format of the trial.

Format questions include:

  • Live testimony or reading in testimony
  • Actual witnesses or actors
  • Which counsel play which roles
  • Jury instructions and jury interrogatories

Jurors are selected from the venue of the case or claim. They will represent the population of the venue on characteristics such as age, race, sex, education and income based on the latest census data. The jurors are selected by ADR Options; counsel does not engage in any voir dire.

The trial itself may be a half day to a couple of days; this again is decided by the client. The jury is charged on the law and then deliberates to render a verdict. The juror deliberations are videotaped and observed by counsel.

Counsel and the moderator will then spend sufficient time questioning the jurors on their thoughts, feelings and deliberations to gain insight from each juror and from the entire panel. Our clients typically find this to be a very valuable part of the process. We suggest that the clients have a list of questions prepared prior to speaking with the jurors.

Cost

The cost of mock jury services depends on the number of jurors, services requested and the number of trial days. We reach agreement on a daily fee prior to the trial. We do not provide trial strategy feedback, exhibit design or other services related to your trial preparation. However, the moderator will give you his thoughts on the key points ascertained from the research. This allows us to keep our price well below our national competitors.

Focus Groups

This is a different concept than a mock jury trial because the participants are not told they are jurors and the jury is not instructed on the law. The process involves explaining to the group the purpose of the meeting, what you will present and what you expect from them. The discussion will usually be controlled by a moderator. The panel members are also selected from the venue of the case or claim.

Since this process is usually shorter than a mock jury trial, the cost may be less than a mock jury trial.

Mock Bench Trials / Mock Arbitrations

These processes do not involve a jury. The clients select one or more of our judges or arbitrators to listen to their case, including the presentation of witnesses; and then our arbitrator provides feedback on trial/arbitration strategy, witness credibility, settlement strategies, expert testimony, verdict potential and other important information. In some cases our clients have requested more than one arbitrator.

Private Jury Trials

This allows you to try your case when you and your clients want to try the case, not when the court system demands you try the case.

Counsel for the parties need to agree on:

  • Size of the jury pool
  • Size of the jury
  • Number of strikes allowed during voir dire.
  • Other procedural issues as defined by the presiding judge and counsel.

Since this is a binding non-appealable process, counsel must be certain to agree on the Rules of Procedure, the Rules of Evidence and other issues of concern to each side.

Proceeding by Mail

Parties may submit memoranda containing the facts, their legal theories and their documentary evidence to a neutral. The neutral provides either a binding or non-binding decision within the timeframe requested by the parties. The written agreement of the parties is necessary for the decision to be binding.

Case Evaluation Service

An ADR Options judge or attorney will review your case and discuss their findings and recommendations, if requested. They may also help you prepare for trial or arbitration.

Consulting Services

We will provide consulting services to help implement an effective ADR program. Some of the topics include deciding which cases are appropriate, when they are appropriate and matching the suitable ADR process to the claim.