Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC

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Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC, has been called Nebraska and Iowa's number one reporting firm. First established in 1977 by John and Gretchen Thomas, Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters is a court reporting firm run and operated by court reporters with experience. Through John and Gretchen's efforts, Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters has established itself as a leader in court reporting and legal technology. Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters works with an unparalleled team of professional court reporters holding numerous national and local certifications, ensuring clients receive a timely, accurate and professionally prepared transcript.

Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters offers cutting-edge reporting and legal services such as high-definition videoconferencing, realtime reporting, and streaming realtime to iPads. With over 35 years of experience and a great deal of passion for the profession, Thomas & Thomas understands and appreciates the demands law firms face each day. Our staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and committed to helping you.

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Court Reporting, Legal Videography, and Trial Presentation Services Tips, Tricks, and Tidbits from Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters: Focus Groups

 

Welcome to court reporting, legal videography, and trial presentation services tips, tricks and tidbits from Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters.  Each month, we will be providing some insight or thought on a particular litigation support service.  Hopefully, you find these posts and videos informative and come back each month for additional content!

 

This week we will be discussing focus groups.  Below are several tips, tricks, and tidbits we have learned over the years by conducting our own focus groups.  In the event you have questions or want to learn more, please reach out to our office.  We would be happy to talk with you. 

 

Focus groups can be conducted in many different ways.  From deciding whether a case is worth taking, all the way to a mock trial, focus groups can be beneficial to your case regardless of where you are at in it.  Below are just a few examples of why you might want to conduct a focus group:

 

  • Case development:
    • Know whether a case is worth taking
    • Develop facts
    • Determine which expert you are going to need to hire
    • Prepare information for a deposition or mediation
  • Mock trial
    • Prospective jury’s perception of your client or witness
    • Practice voir dire, openings and closings
    • Gain insight into the deliberation process

 

In my experience, though, you should try and stay away from using focus groups to determine a dollar amount for your case. 

 

One of the most important things to remember when conducting a focus group is to remain neutral, both in presentation and in setup.  Here at Thomas & Thomas, we offer a neutral, third-party location so the participants do not know who is conducting the focus group.  If you conduct it at law firm, they may come into the focus group with a preconceived notion of who you are and what you are trying to accomplish.  We also issue the checks to the participants so that everything comes from our office and not a law firm.  If our clients desire, we will also present the facts of your case.  This ensures that your biasness does not interject itself into the presentation of the materials. 

 

Other important things to consider are making sure you have a true representation of your eventual jury and having the participants signs confidentiality agreements.  You will want to provide snacks and/or meals to the participant to ensure they stay happy and engaged.  Regular breaks also help keep them focused.  We like to provide forms and notepads that you can collect at the end of the focus group, as each participant may respond differently to the setting.  These options allow you to capture the thoughts of a quite participant that you may not hear from much when conducting the focus group.  Being able to record the session for future playback is immensely important.  Often times people tell me that they learn something new each time they rewatch the video.  You may also want to consider streaming the session to another room so non-participating individuals can observe the session without affecting it.  Streaming is also a great way to allow the participants to “deliberate” during a mock trial and still be able to observe their thoughts and feelings in real time.  

 

Focus groups can be wildly entertaining and informative if presented in the right manner, and we hope you are now better positioned to do just that. 

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