Focus groups differ from mock trials in various ways, particularly with respect to the best time to implement the research, the format of the research, and the research goals. The table below summarizes the major differences between focus groups and mock trials. Importantly, each focus group or mock trial is tailored to meet the client’s individual needs regarding deadlines and budget.


Focus Groups Mock Trials
Time to Implement Early in discovery
When building case/developing themes
Can be done prior to depositions
Closer to Trial When testing themes Best after depositions
Format Interactive/Narrative Moderator-led presentation Typically no deliberations Formal/Argumentative Attorney presentations for each side Deliberations included
Goals Developing themes Identifying important issues Testing developed themes Determining how to frame important issues



Recruitment of quality participants is essential to the validity of any pre-trial research.  Trial Exhibits’ consultants ensure jury-eligible citizens are recruited and screened by phone using Random Digit Dialing or lists (such as old juror lists from the Clerk of Court). Participants are then selected with an attempt to represent the demographics of the trial venue.  All participants are re-screened to further ensure their eligibility for the project and provide validity checks on previous responses.


At the conclusion of each focus group, a report is provided by Trial Exhibits, Inc. which includes an analysis of the qualitative and quantitative feedback provided by mock jurors.  Based on the results, consultants convey suggestions for persuasive trial themes, effective exhibits, and useful voir dire questions. For further information or to determine how a focus group may be helpful in your case, please contact Trial Exhibits.