Focus Group Research at Stewart, Melvin & Frost in Gainesville, GA
Case Preparation for Area Attorneys
Since October 2018, Mark Alexander and Andrew Gould have conducted monthly focus groups in the Gainesville area. Generally, each focus group takes place from noon to 5 pm, with eight to twelve jurors participating. While Mark and Andrew have run the more traditional, adversarial focus groups, often referred to as “mock trials,” they more often conduct focus groups designed to identify the different issues in a case, as well as where the emotion is, the strength of that emotion and what is driving that emotion.
Mark and Andrew have collaborated with lawyers locally, statewide, and nationwide in the presentation and juror debriefing of their cases. Before the day of the focus group, each lawyer works closely with Mark and Andrew to fully prepare their presentation. Typically, three to four different cases can be presented during a single five-hour focus group. By bundling presentations, lawyers can share costs, making it far more affordable to have your case focused in front of mock jurors than what is typically charged in the metro Atlanta area.
Additionally, Mark and Andrew provide interpretation to the participating lawyers. Reliably interpreting focus groups requires not only knowing how to properly gather information from the jurors, but also understanding why the jurors said and felt what they did. This specialized skill requires vast experience conducting many different types of focus groups, focusing an array of different issues in front of jurors of all backgrounds. Practical interpretation also requires lawyers who are actively trying cases and implementing the lessons learned from their focus groups to verify their effectiveness.
Mark and Andrew have this vast experience of conducting hundreds, if not thousands, of individual focus groups on cases involving car wrecks, tractor trailer crashes, premise liability, medical malpractice, products liability, criminal defense, and much more. This is why they invite all participating lawyers to join them for a post–focus group discussion about the lessons learned from that day’s focus group. Often, the attorneys involved find that this is the most intellectually stimulating and useful part of the process. Through this collaborative process, not only do the attorneys learn how to use the information provided by the jurors in a practical, day-to-day manner, but they are also privy to the valuable lessons gleaned from the other lawyers’ cases. Those lessons can then be taken back to their practice and applied to similar or analogous cases.
After each focus group, the lawyers receive a memo detailing the takeaways discussed during the post–focus group discussion, copies of all written votes conducted during the juror discussion of their case, all notes from jurors taken during the presentation of their case, and the full video of their case being presented and discussed with the mock jurors.
If you are interested in getting involved in the monthly focus groups, please call Mark Alexander or Andrew Gould at 770-536-0101.