Just Prepare or Fully Prepare- McCoy says do focus groups?
These are some clips from a few focus groups. As a lawyer representing a victim you need to know how a jury arrives at the compensation figure, or why the jury decides who is at fault (liability). Everything I learned about the law and lawyering I learned from lawyers. But everything I have learned about the facts I have learned from non-lawyers. Lawyers need to be able present their case based upon the law, but the presentation is filtered through the facts- those facts are as a jury understands them, not as the lawyer understands them. Over the last several years I have done at least 50 different focus groups.
Before I began doing focus groups, I had tried many cases, some good results, but after the cases the jurors would ask “Why didn’t you show me this or why didn’t you show me that” or “it would have been helpful to hear from so and so”.
I was trained on the law, I never thought or realized that there are some folks who do not believe a victim is entitled to be compensated; I never thought that people on the jury were suspicious of the person who brought the claim. Doing focus groups helped me to realize that there is common understanding among non-lawyers that lawyers need to understand when presenting a case.
Yes every once and a while I do forget that, or over look it. The result the victim is hurt again and is not compensated. Sometimes the case is rushed or the lawyer comes across to strong or arrogant, the victim suffers as a result.
Some of the following clips are the final numbers, they seem big in the abstract, but the focus group participants realized that those numbers were the correct figures based upon the situation a victim was in. Other focus groups have reminded me that I need to be careful or they will hold it against the victim.
Enjoy the clips. If you need help with your case, do not hesitate to contact me.