Cogent Legal sets the standard for the modern mock trial. Our mock trial team is led by experienced attorneys who travel nationwide and pride themselves on their ability to compose mock juries that truly represent local demographics. It’s time to take your trial prep to the next level.
Your jurors will decide the outcome of your case, and Cogent Legal is ready to help you avoid the problem juror who can undermine all of your work. We use data from our mock trials by drafting jury questionnaires aimed at identifying important traits. We also research your potential jurors—especially their social-media accounts—to help you identify jurors you need to challenge during selection.
Your witnesses are key to your case. Cogent Legal’s experienced team can help you prepare them for trial. Whether your witness was at one of our mock trials and needs identified improvement, or you have otherwise discovered before trial that your witness needs assistance, we are here to help. We use multiple proven techniques to calm witnesses and optimize their trial testimony.
There is no better venue to test your visual evidence than a Cogent Legal mock trial. Our cutting-edge techniques allow us to track juror reactions to your visuals in real time. We are able to use that data to help you adjust your visuals for maximum impact to make sure the jury understands your case. After a Cogent Legal mock trial, you can be assured that your trial team will be fully prepared on day one.
"A simple story that resonates with jurors wins cases. Cogent Legal is an indispensable partner in communicating that winning story to jurors."
Rod Dorman • Principal, McKool Smith Hennigan, Los Angeles
Modern technology provides real-time feedback and valuable information as the mock trial is progressing and afterward. We provide analysis based on data, not speculation. Our mock trials create thousands of data points that we analyze thoroughly. Using the data, we prepare a summary that analyzes which juror traits are favorable and which are unfavorable for your case, and we analyze possible verdicts and damages awards. This analysis isolates and identifies your best themes and theories. We also use the data to suggest possible improvements in witness performance, recommend visual aids that will better convey your case, and provide other case-specific advice.
Mock Trials & Focus Groups
Mock trials are ideal for getting into the crux, nuances, and specifics of a case with a “practice” jury pool. Mock trials give you the opportunity to test out case theories, witnesses, graphics, and any challenges you may be facing as you head to trial. Mock juries supply a vast amount of data and information to the trial team throughout the event. With these insights, the trial team is able to refine arguments and better prep witnesses, and the practice helps counsel become more readily familiar with their exhibits and graphics.
Yes, absolutely! One of our primary goals is to help prepare your witnesses and experts. Our mock trials provide a valuable opportunity to practice telling their story or presenting their findings in front of actual jurors. In turn, the jurors will give witnesses real-time feedback on their testimony, making it possible for us to then help refine the witnesses’ testimony. If a witness is deemed unfavorable, we can discuss ways to fine-tune the witness’s approach or dialect to improve his or her performance. The opportunity to include live witnesses in the mock trial or focus group event is a very valuable resource for your trial team.
As at trial, when necessary we can substitute recorded testimony (videotaped depositions) in lieu of testimony from live witnesses at the mock trial. Of course, the ideal situation is to have all experts and percipient witnesses participating during the event.
At Cogent Legal, we pride ourselves on being ready to go when you are. Our highly experienced team of lawyers travel the United States conducting professional mock trials and focus groups in your case’s venue. No matter where or how geographically challenging the venue, we are able to garner the same invaluable data—limiting the amount of guesswork needed as you approach trial. With a combined two decades of experience in the niche space of mock trials and jury research, you can rest assured that you have selected the right team for your case.
Our mock trials are conducted at a local facility, which includes event space for the mock trial, a client viewing room, and multiple deliberation rooms. The event will be live-streamed to the client viewing room and recorded for further analysis.
Of course, any case can benefit from a mock trial proceeding. In our experience, however, we have determined that some cases are prime candidates for a mock trial. You may consider a mock trial or a focus group for:
• High-value, high-profile, high-risk cases
• Cases with potential damages totaling more than $1 million
• Large insurance liability cases Cases that have garnered significant media attention
• Potentially precedent-establishing cases
• Cases involving controversial subjects or persons
Depending on the nature and complexity of your case, we have options for events lasting one, two, or three days. Please contact us directly for more details. Often, we can discern whether a longer mock trial is warranted during our initial discussion with you.
Yes, we also provide focus groups. We have experience conducting traditional focus groups, with as few as 20 participants and as many as 100. A focus group is often more appropriate if you want to test very specific ideas, theories, or problems from either side of the case. While a mock trial may be highly nuanced, a focus group is more of a discovery or fact-finding session.
We recruit jurors through a wide array of trustworthy means, including using local U.S. Census data when appropriate. In order to ensure a high-quality panel, we make sure that compensation is above the market rate for the area. For more information regarding our jury selection process, please contact us.
We pride ourselves on recruiting quality candidates for the mock jury from the sample demographic in which your case will be tried. We strive to model a mock jury with as much diversity as possible, given the locale. This helps your team understand the differences of opinion jurors may have and how to tackle any implicit biases.
Our proprietary mock trial process is designed to elicit as much information as possible. In our decades-long experience, we feel a mock trial gives lawyers and other interested parties more information and more reliable data. A key factor in our process is the adversarial element inherent in a real trial situation. In contrast, a focus group provides a more condensed set of facts or data points. Over time, we have found this information less reliable.
Our team has decades of experience in managing mock trial proceedings for some of the most high-profile and controversial cases imaginable. We work under uncompromising conditions of confidentiality. You can be sure that your case data and results from mock trial and focus group events are kept in strictest confidence, made available only for you to share with your trial team, risk managers, and other decision makers.
You will have the benefit of increased confidence in your case. You will have been able to practice the arguments for each side of the case and will have an appreciation for what a juror’s responses might be. That valuable experience, coupled with statistical data collected from the event, helps us to establish solid trends and comprehensive understanding. You will receive turnkey, user-friendly insights that will help you determine which jurors to keep or challenge. You will also discover which arguments, exhibits, and testimony are the most compelling or damaging for your case. What you will not receive is a stack of documents to pore through or a dense report to read and make sense of in the days leading up to trial, as you would from other vendors.
Lawyers should ideally treat the event as they would an actual first day of trial. Your team should prepare as if you were going to give your opening argument to a real jury. Theoretically, you will have prepared both sides of the case, prepped all your witnesses, and created any graphics or demonstratives you intend to introduce. The quality of the experience is measured by the amount of preparation you put into it. Our team is there to guide you every step of the way, with appropriate suggestions to assist you through the process.
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