After reviewing the case file in detail, open-ended, qualitative interviews with potential jurors are conducted to identify the themes and arguments jurors will find most persuasive at trial. By engaging respondents in public settings (e.g., shopping malls or tire stores) with representative facts of the case, sophisticated models of approaches to trial may be evaluated. Presentation of the case iteratively is refined in subsequent interviews. In intermediate stages, as the case explanation becomes more lengthy, interviews are conducted with groups of three or four respondents who individually are debriefed and videotaped for study. At the conclusion of this field work phase, the case is presented to as many as 72 surrogate jurors in a group context. In addition to identifying key themes and organizing principles, derived data are useful in profiling jurors and conditioning language to latent response patterns for use in voir dire and opening of counsel.
These latter services comprise full jury simulations. Staff presents both plaintiff and defense cases, removing the effects of counsel and focusing juror attention on core issues. Counsel watches on closed-circuit television and provides real-time assistance to the speaker using a miniature radio uplink. From three to eight jury panels may be evaluated simultaneously through this method.