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November 08, 2009

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Dr. SunWolf

The problem with Shadow Juries is that they are a rich client's/rich law firm's tool. If anyone has figured out to do demographically valid shadow juries during a trial that don't require significant financial investment, please share!

Thaddeus Hoffmeister

I agree. Some companies offer an online low-cost alternative e.g. jurytest, however, I wonder about their effectiveness. If anyone has used such a service, I would be interested in learning their views.

Dr. SunWolf

Focus groups and mock juries, pretrial, can certainly be done at a reasonable cost, returning great information. Shadow Juries are only effective because of their specific design: the sheer recruitment quickly (after jury sworn, before openings) of demographically-match jurors is so expensive, let alone the all-day caring/feeding of the shadow jurors, daily debriefings, and compensation. Any other short cut (people who did not sit in court and hear the entire trial and its various characters/personalities) has no predictive validity.

One of the valuable parts of a shadow jury is asking questions at the end of each day keyed to specific issues, styles of cross-examination, questions the shadows have, what bothers them, what they notice . . . one can still make adjustments.

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