MIKE OBGORN: At Ogborn Mihm, we have the benefit of having our own internal facility to conduct jury research. What it really allows us to do is pre-try a case. We take the issues, put it in front of people who would be like-minded to the jury, and we get to see how they react to what we are saying, how they react to the arguments and to the issues.
MICHAEL MIHM: We’re big believers in jury research. My partner, Murray Ogborn, was one of the pioneers in developing jury research for civil cases.
MURRAY OGBORN: I have been doing this personally since the early 80’s,I have done thousands and thousands of focus groups for many of my clients. Today, anytime we have a case that has substance to it, we do focus groups and jury research.
MIKE OGBORN: When we are able to do the jury research and put the issues and facts in front of a group of people almost inevitably, we find an issue that we did not see previously.
MICHAEL MIHM: We are trained as trial lawyers, and we come to the case with a particular point of view. We tend to be outraged by what happened to our clients. We are Type-A personalities. We want to go get the defendant and win the case. But we miss stuff, because we’re human.
MURRAY OGBORN: A man on the street or a woman on the street often hears what we hear and interprets it entirely differently. So we learn how those folks are really going to think about this case, and we can change our minds and adapt to their interpretations. That’s how a focus group helps immensely.
MURRAY OGBORN: Jury research now takes a lot of forms. In addition to the focus group aspect, we’ll do voir dire design. Voir dire is that portion of the trial where the lawyers question jurors. We do actual jury research where you look at the backgrounds of potential jurors once we get the jury list. We do opening statement design. We’ll do theme creation for the case. And we’ll do story design for the entire case; what is our story for that case.
MURRAY OGBORN: We will run a focus group, maybe even before we take a case, and that will help us decide whether the case has merit. We’ll run a focus group early in the case. That helps us decide what direction we take in the case. We’ll run another focus group often right before trial to find out if we have done things right.