Persuasion Matters

Focus group vs mock trail image, text only

Do You Need a Mock Trial or a Focus Group?

When discussing pretrial jury research, people often use “Focus Group” and “Mock Trial” interchangeably. Although the two are similar, there are a few key differences.

This infographic can help:

PTR comparison-4

Focus Groups and Mock Trials are not (or should not be) a one-size-fits-all service. Here are two examples of ways they can be tweaked to meet the needs of a particular matter:

  1. Combatting information overload: Our client was faced with the challenge of educating potential jurors about extremely complex and nuanced engineering processes, and they were rightly concerned about subjecting participants to information overload. Rather than squeeze all of the complex information into a multi-day Mock Trial and pray that the mock jurors could retain enough to have a meaningful discussion about critical issues at the end of the third day, we took a different path: we worked with the attorneys to identify the key issues and crafted a series of mini-arguments for each one. The surrogate jurors were debriefed after each and every segment. Not only did this allow us to gather feedback on the precise issue at hand, but it also maintained the jury’s attention throughout the multi-day project.
  2. Tight budget: Another client did not have the budget for a traditional mock trial, but because the case was a criminal matter, the deliberation process was very important to the client. Rather than offer the traditional design, we suggested a “mini-mock.” Same process as a traditional mock trial, but instead of having three deliberation panels, we only had one. Yes, there’s a downside to having fewer jurors, but feedback from one deliberation group is better than feedback from no deliberation group.

Focus Groups and Mock Trials are valuable tools in pretrial jury research, and they can be tailored to fit the unique needs of most situations.

If you have a case that would benefit from pretrial research, contact us at or (214) 824-4115. We can talk about different design options and find solutions that work for you, your budget, and your client.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email