Online Jury Research Community Attitude Surveys
Community attitude surveys (CAS) are among the very first research projects carried out by jury consultants in the history of the field. Sociologists have been conducting surveys for nearly a century, and such an examination of attitudes, beliefs, and responses to stimuli is a natural boon to practicing lawyers. The most sophisticated designs can assess a case in terms of jurors’ attitudes towards parties, strength of argument, and likely damages.
Traditionally, these surveys involved tedious data collection via call centers and laborious statistical analysis. But as online survey platforms have become more sophisticated, the importance of this technology is threefold: Online CASs allow versatile research approaches, improved data analysis, and wider output in terms of results.
Test what you want to test.
The online CAS format offers an array of options that allow you to review the most critical items in your case. The end result is an accurate and actionable report on jurors’ responses to the given case element.
Need to know how a witness is going to be perceived? The online platform makes it possible to isolate the impact of a single witness to determine its credibility in terms of expertise, reliability and dynamism. This method is a cost effective way to gain a quick but insightful perspective to inform your witness preparation.
Need to know if jurors understand a patent? In patent litigation, it is often crucial that jurors “understand” how something works. Through the online survey approach, we can test whether they see any differences or congruences between the products. We can isolate this very complex piece of litigation and see if the jurors are following this fundamental part of the case. In essence, we not only test their objective knowledge following the video / graphic explanation of the patent, but we also identify their ability to recognize infringement.
An advanced platform for experienced researchers who use sophisticated methods.
The online approach has been favored by social scientists for several years, as it also facilitates careful question construction and experimental design.
Unlike traditional telephone surveys, an online survey allows for more complex types of responses, including matrix questions, hot spot tests, reaction time tests, and ranking lists. This type of data collection allows for a nuanced understanding of jurors’ attitudes and opinions.
Evaluate cases at multiple sites simultaneously.
Online surveys are a great option for lawyers trying similar suits in multiple jurisdictions or for those who wish to assess the value of adjudicating a case in one jurisdiction over another. Online surveys can be quickly and easily distributed to multiple sites, so you get information on separate samples that represent multiple data.
For a client who anticipates multiple related lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions, the online research survey is an ideal method to assess the environment before litigation. The same survey and methodology can be used simultaneously on several sites. In cases where a change of venue is being considered, the online survey approach allows for a cost-effective side-by-side comparison of juror attitudes in multiple locations.
SCOPE OF THE ANALYSIS
The most efficient data analysis and reporting.
Unlike traditional community attitude surveys conducted by telephone, online surveys facilitate the production of fast and reliable data, ready to be analyzed in powerful statistical software. In the case of a telephone survey, the coding and translation must be done manually, an arduous process that usually results in a spreadsheet riddled with errors.
But the online platform allows us to instantly download the dataset for cleaning and processing, so you get the results even faster. Instead of the process taking just a few weeks, collection and analysis can be done in just a few days. In addition, this level of data output allows for more rigorous data analysis and more nuance in the results. Our examination of the data may result in advanced statistics such as regression coefficients and factor analysis.
Longitudinal study and trend analysis.
Much of the litigation we consult with goes on or may face an extended delay before it finally reaches a jury trial. This event is particularly common as a result of the incredible backlog most courts are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, online surveys can be sent out easily and inexpensively in multiple iterations, allowing lawyers to stay on top of attitude changes.
Take, for example, a litigation involving a company facing significant and repeated high-profile missteps: How might jurors’ attitudes change over the course of several months? Online surveys can assess changes in jurors’ levels of punitiveness or anger towards an affected party. Additionally, there may be historical artifacts that impact the jurors who will decide your case. Consider how major events like the Black Lives Matter movement can impact the jury’s assessment of a case. Using the statistical approaches described above, we can perform trend analysis that maps the perception of a litigant at multiple times.
Insightful results at a reasonable price.
Traditional community attitude surveys are ineffective due to the costs of call centers – which typically charge by the minute – and the background costs of coding data. The cost associated with performing a telephone survey is prohibitive for many test teams. Online research surveys are efficient: respondents are cheaper and the cost of call centers is eliminated. More time can be spent carefully examining the data and achieving the best results.
While not as involved or in depth as a full mock trial or focus group, online surveys provide valuable results that can inform case strategy, mediations, and even future research. Online CASs are significantly less expensive than other types of jury research, making them a good first step in the consultation process.
A thorough assessment of attitudes relevant to the case and the potential harm.
One of the main advantages of conducting an online research survey is that it allows us to obtain a large sample size and thus capture a representative sample of jurors’ attitudes towards cases. Since the respondent cost is relatively low, we can sample hundreds of eligible jurors in a given location and generate statistical power. A precise description of the jurors’ attitudes towards the litigants and the case itself is ensured by this type of methodology.
Online surveys can also help assess possible harm, especially in high profile cases or in disputes involving high profile clients. This allows us to determine not only an informed estimate of the likelihood of damage, but also a range and estimate of the extent of that damage. Such knowledge can be crucial in shaping settlement or mediation positions.
A quantitative basis for your case.
In the early stages of your case, an online research survey can provide valuable data on potential outcomes if it were to take place in front of a jury. This is an effective and profitable first step in developing your case strategy. We encourage clients to consider conducting this type of research early in the process so that the results can inform policy decisions, settlement decisions, witness preparation, graphic development, and even additional mock trial research. It helps put you in a position of greater knowledge and certainty as your case progresses.
© Copyright 2002-2021 IMS ExpertServices, All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 49