How the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop’s Focus Groups Give Attorneys a Big Advantage in Negotiations and in Court

Mock trials and focus groups serve their own purposes in pre-trial preparation. However, focus groups provide distinct advantages over mock trials—especially for firms that need help highlighting their case’s strengths and weaknesses and for lawyers who prefer cost-effective efficiency over steep expenditures. 

The Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, PC, LLO, could help you get the most out of a pre-trial focus group. Read more to find out how our focus groups help lawyers across the country help their clients in negotiations and court. 

3 Big Advantages of Focus Groups—And Why Mock Trials Often Fall Short

For many firms, focus groups help ensure proper preparation and offer distinct advantages over mock trials. Some of the most significant advantages of using a focus group to share your strategy include: 

1. Focus Groups Let You Prioritize the Issues You Think Are Most Important 

Every attorney who’s taken a case to court knows that preparation is integral to success. 

However, even the best-laid arguments are sometimes shattered by jurors’ preconceptions, biases, and expectations—perspectives that don’t always align with what we learned in law school and which often require reconsidering an initial strategy. 

Focus groups provide an opportunity to explore these issues you believe most likely to determine the fate of your case, letting you receive informed feedback before taking a claim to trial. Mock trials, in contrast, typically don’t afford as much leeway in emphasizing specific themes, ideas, or arguments. 

2. Focus Groups Cost Less Money—and Time—Than a Mock Trial

Focus groups and mock trials both require an investment of time, money, and resources, but the structure of most mock trials, which necessitate hiring jurors, can make their upfront costs unpalatable. 

Money aside, mock trials can also be time-consuming. Since they are designed to mimic the conditions of an actual jury trial, attorneys must cover even those elements of a case they’re confident do not need any revision. This can sometimes detract from preparation, making it much more challenging to identify and amend weaknesses that might come to the fore in focus group discussions. 

3. Focus Groups Can Help Shape Strategy Much Earlier

In complicated cases, and those involving very high stakes, settlement negotiations and discovery can make the prospect of taking a client’s claim to trial seem like a very distant possibility. However, these early stages of preparation and exchange are when arguments are formed, adapted, and established—and, more often than not, where settlements are reached. 

When a trial date is distant, investing the time and money needed to run a full-length mock trial doesn’t always make strategic sense. But a focus group can play a critical role in assessing the evidence, testimony, and arguments that make a difference in your case, regardless of whether it’s resolved through negotiations or must be tried in court. 

How Lathrop Law Focus Groups Help Ensure Attorneys’ Success

Assembling a focus group could give your firm a real-world advantage in settlement negotiations and trial, but only when preparations are made by a neutral, experienced party that isn’t already familiar with the facts of your case. 

The Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, PC, LLO, has spent years providing legal focus group services to law firms in all 50 states. We help lawyers prepare for success by forming focus groups that: 

  • Ensure diversity by selecting participants representing the social, racial, and economic diversity of your region. 
  • Maintain complete confidentiality by drafting and executing non-disclosure agreements for all focus group participants. 
  • Provide pre-session briefings and ensure that focus group discussions focus on the issues most important to your case. 
  • Review your strategies for success during debriefing, as well as an analysis of the focus group’s findings, observations, and suggestions.
Matthew (Matt) Lathrop
Experienced injury lawyer serving accident victims in Nebraska and Omaha. Expert in focus group trial prep.
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