Some jurors will be easy to read – whether through their demeanor, or because they are willing to openly express bias in front of other jurors.
But our clients recognize that at some point during voir dire they will be looking at a group of jurors about which they know very little. Some jurors are uncomfortable speaking up in front of groups. Others may feel social pressure not to admit bias. Still others may be replacements for a struck juror who have missed the majority of questioning.
It can be tempting to focus on the jurors who speak up most in court, or to believe that because other jurors haven’t openly expressed strong views that they are neutral. When voir dire time is limited, it might not even be possible to focus on each juror long enough to determine their predispositions. Lawyers may therefore content themselves to identify and remove a few “bad apples” and leave the rest be.
There is a better way.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Information on jurors you won’t find anywhere else
Juror research already plays an important role in many trials. Public records searches from Westlaw and LexisNexis can reveal important details about your client such as a prior arrest or an undisclosed connection to one of the parties in the lawsuit. In addition, some lawyers turn to social media searches to look for statements by the juror that show a bias in the case.
What JuryMapping offers is something different.
Working with a number of national data vendors, we have compiled a robust data set that tracks hundreds of data points for each juror covering their wealth, political views, political donations, lifestyle, and interests. It also provides detailed information about their neighborhoods and how they compare to the people around them. This dataset is akin to what is used by political campaigns or commercial marketing efforts, and it paints a detailed picture of the person’s values and priorities.
We recognize that, in time constrained environments, more information isn’t always better. Our reports are dynamically generated and customizable, meaning that you’ll only see the data that you care about.
We offer both individual Juror Reports (PDF) and Jury Comparison Reports (Excel).
The most sophisticated predictive analytics in the industry
Many attorneys use mock trials, focus groups or community surveys to create profiles of favorable and unfavorable jurors. JuryMapping’s approach is unique in two ways. First, we use the latest, most sophisticated machine learning techniques and large enough sample sizes to get statistically significant results rather than anecdotal profiles. Second, in addition to traditional juror profiles that consider the life experiences of jurors and other information learned during voir dire, we offer juror “risk” scores based solely on the detailed attributes we already have on every potential juror. This means that you can build a preliminary ranking of jurors the moment you get their names, whether that be the morning of voir dire or the Friday before, without asking them a single question.
Questioning of jurors by the attorney, when allowed, is essential to identifying and removing jurors who show an obvious bias. Our approach to modeling, however, has some unique benefits when used in conjunction with a traditional voir dire process or in cases where attorney-conducted voir dire is restricted or disallowed.
Depending on the judge and case, voir dire time can be extremely limited. Predicted scores can help direct your focused questioning toward the highest risk jurors.
Whether the judge doesn’t allow voir dire or you just haven’t learned much from a particular juror, having an alternative source of information can significantly reduce the risk of an unfavorable juror sneaking through.
Statistical probability is far from infallible, especially in this case where it doesn’t take into account impactful life experiences. However, when choosing between two seemingly equal jurors, it can be powerful to know that statistically, one is twice as likely to favor your client.
It can be difficult enough to evaluate the plaintiff / defense bias of each potential juror. Simultaneously assessing a jurors views on damages can be next to impossible. Models that consider both attributes give you greater control over increasing or limiting the potential payout.
Study after study shows that considering multiple independent perspectives leads to better outcomes. The criteria that we use to evaluate jurors is quite different from, and largely uncorrelated with, the information you gather during voir dire. Combining modeled scores with your own impressions during voir dire can build confidence where the two agree and call for a closer look where they disagree.
Since risk profiles can be generated based solely on a name lookup, the entire venire can be scored in advance. This means that, when considering the use of a challenge, you can better understand the likelihood of a worse juror replacing them.
Similarly, our profiles can be used to score an entire county or other jurisdiction. This can be useful in deciding when to take a case, when to settle or when to seek a change of venue.
Tools designed for extremely time-constrained environments
The reality is that the vast majority of jury selections are extremely rushed. You may not get juror names until you walk into court, and you may only have moments to consider a specific juror before having to make a decision on whether to use a strike. We have designed tools to help you save time while considering the most important information about a juror.
Our reports are designed to be concise and easy to read. We take this one step further by allowing our users, in advance, to determine which fields are most important to them. These fields are placed prominantly at the top of each report to make review faster and easier during voir dire.
We regularly get asked how our product could possibly be used in the (sometimes) minutes between when an attorney gets the names of the jurors and voir dire begins. Our name lookup tool is as simple as a Google search, and where multiple jurors in the same county share the same name, we have an interface that allows you to quickly identify the correct juror based on age, ethnicity, middle initial or address. Once names have been looked up, report generation only takes seconds.
We offer reports both as PDFs and Excel spreadsheets, ensuring you have the perfect fit whether you prefer a clean visual format or want the ability to sort and compare jurors in a spreadsheet.
Microtargeting and predictive analytics have become an essential part of modern political campaigning. Groundbreaking campaigns such as Obama ‘08 have relied heavily on these techniques to understand individual voters and better focus their time and messages where they will see the greatest results.
Our predictive analytics are done by HaystaqDNA, the team that pioneered microtargeting for Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama and have continued to set the curve for innovation and accuracy, most recently for the Bernie Sanders campaign. HaystaqDNA is also highly sought after in the corporate world – from entertainment (AMC, HBO, NFL) to consumer goods (P&G, Walmart) to automotive (VW, Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche).
Not all analysis is created equal, so we turned to the best in the business, a firm that has been implementing these techniques continually, at national scale, and with great success.
Both the public and private sectors have begun to embrace “big data,” and are collecting and storing information at an unprecedented rate. However, raw data on its own can complicate rather than simplify decision making.
Our team is steeped in experience in turning that data into actionable insights. In the public sector, our team members have consulted for dozens of political campaigns, designing surveys and distilling survey results into actionable steps that candidates should take. In the private sector, we have built software to analyze millions of transactions and provide leaders with visibility into emerging trends in their businesses.
We are very aware of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the jury selection context, and we have skills to put the right data in your hands to give you more control and insight during jury selection.