Mock Trials and Focus Groups
So you’ve hired a medical malpractice lawyer, and the contract you signed entitles your attorney to retain a percentage of the recovery, along with reimbursement of all costs expended in prosecuting the suit against the wrongdoer(s). During the litigation, you are already seeing how expensive it is to hire expert doctors and other witnesses, and now your attorney wants to spend more money (that will come out of any settlement or verdict) to conduct a mock trial. Is it worth it?
Absolutely, and here’s why: you have one shot at trial. If you lose, you will never see a recovery for all that you have gone through. You are putting your life in the hands of 12 peers to determine your fate. Let that sink in for a moment. In light of that, isn’t it worth it to spend some time, money and effort trying parts of your case to a mock jury? Here are some way in which a mock trial or focus group can help:
Hiring a trial expert to round up a pool of registered voters that can listen to crucial issues in the case before you take it to trial can do wonders for your case. They can tell you what works, what doesn’t, what words don’t relate to them, what words do. Not only can you test issues in this format, you can also test witnesses. Find out which witnesses jurors relate to and which witnesses don’t help your cause.
Refine your trial theme:
You can also use focus groups and mock trials to fine tune your case, because at trial, every single word spoken to the jury (and words not spoken, and body language, ad nauseum) matters. Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case is different than proving negligence in other civil cases, and for that reason, you can use a focus group to determine what it will take to convince a jury to find for you in trial, and to maximize your recovery.
Measuring your opponent’s arguments:
Additionally, not only can you determine what arguments you anticipate your opponent making that will hurt your case, you can also determine how to minimize or deflect their arguments through focus groups.
Steve Harrelson, a medical malpractice lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts, has been involved in presenting medical negligence cases to juries for years. “The focus group may tell you that your expert doesn’t adequately explain liability of the Defendant to them,” says Harrelson. “It’s much easier to go back to the drawing board and fine tune your case before trial versus picking up the pieces after a loss.”
For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran medical malpractice litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has been involved in medical negligence cases for years to help guide you through your case.
Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into mock trials and focus groups in medical malpractice cases.