Jury verdict research is a tool used by attorneys to prepare for trial and develop an appropriate strategy for a given case. A number of firms offer research services to attorneys and people can also direct their staff to conduct research in-house, depending on their needs and the training of their staffers. In jury verdict research, outcomes in similar cases are compiled and compared to gather important information about how to proceed with the case. In addition, people can also research things like appearances of expert witnesses to get ready for court.
Both civil and criminal attorneys can use jury verdict research as part of their work. The research starts with narrowing down cases of a similar nature and compiling the results in those cases. Lawyers may also restrict results by region or time frame to get an even more precise picture. The attorneys study the proceedings and verdicts in those cases to learn more about how to argue their cases effectively in court.
One reason to use jury verdict research is to develop an accurate claim for damages. By comparing similar cases, attorneys can see what kinds of damages tend to be awarded, and claim a similar amount to increase the chances of a favorable jury award. People can also look at strategies used in various trials to see what worked and what did not. Juries can be highly susceptible to techniques used by both sides, and jury verdict research helps people identify the techniques to use and avoid in court.
Knowing what kind of testimony convinces a jury is important for attorneys on both sides of a case. When preparing to call or cross examine expert witnesses, legal research can give people an idea of how witnesses perform on the stand and it may also provide information about strong and weak points in the witness's expertise. In witness preparation, attorneys can focus on tightening up the testimony and focusing on points juries respond to, while in cross examination, attorneys can work to undermine strong arguments and points made by an expert witness.
Firms offering jury verdict research charge varying fees, depending on the company and the specifics of the research. People conducting research independently can use paid legal search services, or take advantage of online databases. Court cases are a matter of public record and these records are increasingly available for free on the Internet, allowing people to save costs while performing case preparation research.