Source of article 2's Company - Magnus Insights.
It happened last week, as it has many times before. “It,” in this case, is the random outcome of a mock jury project that surprises the clients most of all. The scenario was as follows: we were engaged to conduct mock jury research using 4 panels of mock jurors to deliberate to a verdict. The arrangement involved a group of people who were convened in the morning and another group in the afternoon. Each group heard the case presentation, testimony of witnesses, received jury instructions and were then divided into 2 panels to deliberate. So, 4 panels, 4 verdicts total by the end of the night. This is a common methodology for us. With no voir dire in the process, the jurors are randomly divided into deliberating groups after the presentations. Then, the fun begins, when we watch them work through a verdict form. The surprising result, at least to the client, was, in both the morning and afternoon sessions, one group reached a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and the other group, which heard the exact same presentation, did the opposite and rendered a defense verdict. We at Magnus don’t find this particularly surprising because we are aware that this happens with some regularity; it is the reason that we recommend 4 groups over 2 or 6 over 4, etc. The greater the numbers, in terms of groups and of mock jurors, the more powerful the results become. The old adage, “there is safety in numbers” holds true in mock jury research. It is often difficult for clients to understand this in advance, especially those who have not participated in a mock trial previously. And, regardless of what happens with the verdicts, our real work begins afterwards. Collecting the data is only the start.