$5.6M Verdict | Tractor-Trailer Crash | New York This is a distracted driving case involving a tractor-trailer driver’s choice to ignore road
A Shadow Jury is a group of people used by trial consultants and lawyers to help them understand how an actual jury might perceive a case. In other words, shadow jurors are mock jurors paid to observe trials, and then report their reactions to jury consultants hired by a litigant.
When recruiting shadow jurors, behavioral science experts approach people who reflect the psychological and demographic characteristics of actual jurors sitting in judgment. Since the jurors’ emotions and traits mainly determine a jury’s decision, the use of Shadow Juries can help foresee how a trial will take place, and what the final judgment might be.
Feedback from shadow juries provides a glimpse into the minds and hearts of jurors sitting in judgment to help litigants determine whether to take a detour or remain on course with their original trial strategy. When shadow jurors work with trial consultants, they reveal their likes, questions, dislikes, and overall impression. Consultants then present their analysis to a trial team.
The shadow jurors’ comments give attorneys reasons to make strategy changes, revisit unclear evidence, modify outlines, create graphics, or rearrange the witness order. Shadow Juries not only provide insights into the workings of an actual jury, but their feedback might also give reasons for settlement discussions mid-trial. Shadow jurors provide uninhibited and honest reactions, and by doing this, they guide attorneys in arguing their case to actual jurors.
Attorneys who make use of shadow juries have the upper hand in a case because they have firsthand exposure to the reasoning and the logic applied by the shadow jurors. A Shadow Jury tends to be completely honest and unbiased about its opinions since it does not know which party hired them. A Shadow Jury remains neutral at all times.
When hiring a Shadow Jury, behavioral experts and trial consultants thoroughly investigate the actual jury members to ensure that members of the shadow jury match their personality as closely as possible. Shadow jurors are then instructed not to discuss the details of the case with anyone. They might even sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Shadow Juries work like actual juries. The only difference is that they don’t sit in judgment at the conclusion of a case. As mentioned, members of a Shadow Jury can attend a court session and follow carefully how a case unfolds. They can also participate in mock trials and give their opinions about the progress of a case. After doing this, they reveal how they would award damages if they were the actual jury and in favor of which party. With these crucial details, an attorney will be able to know what course of action to take in order to tilt the scale of justice to his or her side.
Trial consultants and behavioral scientists debrief shadow jurors separately to learn about: