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Affordable Jury Research

At The Westfall Firm
 
Can you imagine watching the jury as it deliberates your case?
 
That is what it’s like to use a focus group. How would you like to listen as the jurors argue the issues in your case? Would you like to know what evidence and arguments are persuasive (or unpersuasive) to jurors? You can with the kind of research a focus group provides. A focus group will help you:
 
  • Test case issues
  • Test case arguments
  • Develop case themes
  • Witness group formation in your case
  • Profile the best and worst jurors for your case
  • Put together a more effective voir dire
  • Tell your story the way the jury wants to hear it
Jury research has become fairly prevalent in civil cases. In fact, some civil lawyers believe focus groups are so valuable it is malpractice not to use at least one. The problem, of course, is that focus groups are usually so expensive they become a costly luxury in civil cases and an impossible dream in criminal cases.
 
It doesn’t have to be that way. At The Westfall Firm we can conduct a half-day focus group at our office for a fraction of what you might expect to pay.  Call us.

How It Works

It generally takes about 2 weeks of planning to conduct a successful focus group. Upon being hired, we get as much information as possible about the case and first draft the screening questions we will use during recruiting. Our recruiter then stays on the phone speaking with potential participants until the selections are made to form the pool of jurors. During this same time, Greg will get an overview of the case and propose to the lawyers how it should be presented to the focus group. Then, the written materials are prepared. Finally, an extensive juror questionnaire is assembled based on the issues raised by the evidence.
 
Here are the steps in a typical half-day focus group:
  1. Jurors sign the confidentiality statement and agreement to be video/audio-taped
  2. Jurors complete the juror questionnaires
  3. Introduction/General Case Statement is read to the group
  4. Jurors complete a set of questions on the General Case Statement
  5. Phase 1 is read to the jury (sometimes, this is the State’s Case or Plaintiff’s Case)
  6. Jurors complete a set of questions about what was read in Phase 1
  7. Phase 2 is read to the jury (sometimes, this is the Defense Case)
  8. Jurors complete a set of questions about what was read in Phase 2
  9. The same steps can be completed for Phase 3 (sometimes, State/Plaintiff rebuttal case)
  10. Jury Charge is read to the group
  11. Group is divided in two, then each sub-group is sent to a separate room to deliberate and attempt to reach a unanimous verdict
At the end of this exercise, the attorneys have all the written materials described above (generally more than 500 pages worth) and the videotaped deliberations from both rooms. The presentations may also be videotaped.
 
The process itself is never set in stone. We can design and implement virtually any procedure, including live arguments and testimony. We will talk to you about the choices and the pros and cons of each.

About Greg Westfall

new-westfall-pic-lo-resIn his more than 20 year career, Greg has tried approximately 100 cases in state and federal court involving accusations ranging from capital murder to material support of terrorism. Greg has also handled at least 75 appeals at all levels of the state and federal appellate court systems, which have resulted in close to 30 published opinions. Greg’s reputation has earned him recognition by his peers as a “Texas Monthly Super Lawyer” every year since the list was created and an AV Rating in Martindale Hubbell and a listing in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Greg is also a prolific author, commentator and speaker who has taught thousands of lawyers in trial and legal skills and has done extensive work and teaching in the areas of trial skills and juror communication at both the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Texas Criminal Trial College and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming.

 

     

Contact Us

The Westfall Firm
4200 West Vickery Blvd.
Second Floor
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Tel: 817-928-4222

DIRECTIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS (PDF)

If you live in the Metroplex and would like to participate in a focus group, please send an email to reagan@westfallfirm.com.

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