Five Advantages of Online Mock Trials

In the age of social distancing and Zoom jury trials, many legal professionals have had to adjust the way they work. Many of the research tasks that we used to conduct in person have moved online.  One of the ways we’ve adjusted to the pandemic is by conducting our mock trials and focus groups online.  Online mock trials provide ways to get information about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Below, we discuss the benefits of these research exercises and how, in some cases, they might be a better fit for your research needs than in-person mock trials. (For a counterpoint to these advantages, also see our post, Four Disadvantages of Online Mock Trials)

Person on a laptop engaging with others for online mock trials

Online Mock Trials Are Less Expensive

Doing mock trial research online means no research facility or hotel costs, or food and beverage costs, which are a large portion of the expenses for in-person research exercises.  We have done conducted small online mock trials for clients for half of the cost of an in-person research exercise.  

Case Narratives Can Be Adjusted in Light of What Was Learned in Earlier Rounds of Research

Online jury research exercises are less expensive, and almost always take less time to conduct, and therefore multiple rounds of research are more feasible than for in-person research exercises.  This allows attorneys to adjust and refine their themes for subsequent rounds of research.

Participants Who Are Especially Insightful Can Be Called Back for Later Rounds

There are instances when counsel may want to gauge whether case narratives have improved in subsequent rounds of online research.  In addition to asking a new group of participants, counsel may also consider whether to call back participants from prior rounds to see if case narratives have been strengthened.  Those participants can be separated from the rest of the group for an online discussion.

Videotaped Presentations Do Not Require Additional Attorney Time

We recommend that the team prerecords the attorney presentations to be shown during the online research. Consultants can use those presentations to conduct multiple mock trials.  

More Flexible Scheduling

Online research projects can be scheduled for any time during the day or evening.  Further, if the presentations are prerecorded, participants can be recruited to complete the online mock trial asynchronously, at a time that is convenient for them.  Our online survey software allows us to monitor participants’ responses to ensure that they are conscientiously reviewing the presentations and answering questions regardless of the time when they are completing the research.