Paying for a mock trial isn't cheap—even on the low end, it can cost $4,000, plus an additional $125–$150 for each mock juror. While not every lawsuit is going to be worth the cost of a mock trial, if you have a high-stakes lawsuit, you may want to consider a mock trial a worthwhile investment. However, there are ways to keep your costs down without sacrificing quality.
1.) Cut down the number of jurors—but not the number of juries.
You can still get an effective understanding of how a jury is likely to respond to your case using only six jurors to a jury, instead of twelve. While that's an acceptable way of reducing your costs, you still want to seat at least two different juries and have them evaluate the evidence independently. Otherwise, you run the risk that the feedback you get is based more on that jury's dynamics than not. When you have two different juries you can compare similarities in the results.
If your budget can handle it, three juries are even better because having a third group can resolve any issues that you might have if two juries come back with very different results. With only six jurors to a jury, that means only paying for eighteen people instead of thirty-six.
2.) Wait until discovery and pre-trial motions are over.
If you wait until discovery is done and pre-trial motions are over, you may be able to substantially reduce the number of issues you have to address in a mock trial. Once the judge has ruled on any motions for summary judgment and any evidentiary issues, you can better judge the strength of your opponent's case and focus on the issues that are most likely to be heavily contested.
This may give you the option of cutting the mock trial down to a one-day exercise in which the attorneys stipulate the majority of the facts in evidence and let the jurors deliberate on only the key issues.
3.) Make use of modern media.
You can cut down your potential costs by making sure that you don't have to repeat the exercise. Regardless of what other areas you scrimp on, make sure that you have the deliberations recorded. If you can't afford closed-circuit monitoring, make sure that the deliberations are filmed. That way, if you don't get the results you're hoping for, you can hire a jury consultant later and view the jury process at your leisure.
For more information about the trial process, contact a law firm such as Swartz & Swartz P.C.
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