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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 case scenario" – in order to ensure that the research findings are valid. In light of the results of this first exercise, we not only suggest how the 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.

© 2006 Mattson and Sherrod, Inc.
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