Trial Consultant Asks “Who Conducts Your Pre-Deposition Focus Groups

Who Should Conduct Pre-Deposition Focus Groups?

Trial Consultant Phillip Miller With Focus Group

After the case evaluation proves positive and all of the retainer paperwork is completed one of the first of many considerations the trial lawyer should address is whether or not the case requires one or more pre-deposition focus groups. If yes, a number of considerations will need your attention and an important step is to decide who should be the person to conduct the pre-deposition focus groups on your case.

If you are emotionally in a case-if you have bonded with your client and want to do everything you can to help him or her win-then you may be the wrong person to moderate the groups and/or interpret the results. In our own cases, we prefer to have someone else conduct the groups. For us, it is simply too unsettling. We can deal with the results, but we’d rather have someone else run the groups and moderate the discussions.

If you cannot but help to advocate for your client, and if you feel the need to correct the juror’s misinterpretations and move them in the “correct” direction, then you should not conduct your own groups. It might be better to “trade-off” with another attorney and let that person conduct your groups, and then you do his or hers. The caveat is that, at a minimum, each of you should be able to run the groups competently and interpret the results.

Finally, experienced trial consultants can teach any of us a great deal about conducting focus groups and analyzing results. Trial consultants are not as cost prohibitive as you might think. In my case I often offer a fee on a contingent basis as a cost on the file. For more information check out my book on the topic or call at 615-356-2000.


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