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Trial Monitoring & Shadow Juries

Sometimes there’s no substitute for having observers watch trial proceedings and identify problems and successes that arise as trials unfold. Trialcraft employs two different methods: trial monitoring and shadow jury deployment.

We can embed a Trialcraft consultant in the courtroom who compiles a daily report that harnesses our experience and training—to provide actionable feedback that you can implement the very next day. The scope can range from recommendations for subtle shifts in strategy to triage for unpredictable situations where evidence or witnesses go south.

We can also run a shadow jury for your case, a select group of people who match the demographics of key seated jury members and listen to the trial along with the actual seated jury. These “ringers” offer daily reports on their reactions that enable real-time corrections to trial strategy and informed decision-making about settlement offers before verdict.

Our consultants have been involved in two major shadow juries that played an important role in defense victories: Kelly Moore vs Union Carbide (fraud, Brazoria County, TX, 2004) and Rambus vs Hynix and Micron (antitrust, San Francisco County, CA, 2011). The shadow jury feedback in the Rambus vs Hynix and Micron also led the defense to end trial 6 weeks early, saving the clients more money than the shadow jury cost.

I worked with Sarah Murray on a complex civil antitrust matter. Well in advance of trial, Sarah and her team were involved in the development of trial strategies, our client narrative, and witness preparation. At trial, Sarah assisted with jury selection and ran a shadow jury. Sarah also developed questions for post-trial polling. 

I credit Sarah’s formal education as a social anthropologist and her many years of experience with jurors across social-economic and geographic strata with her keen insight into human nature. Of course, we had good lawyers in the court room, but it was Sarah’s contributions that allowed the legal talent to develop a truthful, credible narrative that empowered jurors to make a stand in our client’s favor.”
 

— Tad Allan, Partner, O’Melveny

Testimonials

  • When I first started working with you, I had already done maybe 100 jury trials. I was surprised at what I still had to learn about voir dire and jury selection. I’ve used the skills I learned on every case I’ve tried since, to great success — so the value went far beyond what Sarah brought to the cases on which we worked together.”

    Jeff R. Street, Partner
    Jeff R. Street, Partner Hodgkinson Street Mepham
  • “After our meeting, I felt like there was a Spock mind-meld and I had the sense that I knew what the objective was for voir dire and, with that sense, I could be successful. It’s funny I had the sense that the voir dire was a bit of a performance and taking stabs in the dark, but actually, it is much more concrete with clear objectives. Thanks again!”

    Glenda Zarbock, Partner
    Glenda Zarbock, Partner Hanson Bridgett, LLP
  • “Sarah's quick mastery of complicated facts and ability to tailor focus groups and mock trials to the issues in the case is unsurpassed.”

    Jim McGinnis, Partner
    Jim McGinnis, Partner Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
  • “I worked with Sarah Murray on a complex civil antitrust matter.  Well in advance of trial, Sarah and her team were involved in the development of trial strategies, our client narrative, and witness preparation.  At trial, Sarah assisted with jury selection and ran a shadow jury. Sarah also developed questions for post-trial polling..."  READ MORE >

    Tad Allan, Partner
    Tad Allan, Partner O’Melveny
  • "... using your script, for the first time in my career I was able to successfully challenge for cause a juror sitting on the panel. In addition, the next day after the jury was empaneled, it was discovered that one of the jurors was under a broker/client relationship for the purchase of a home and sale of an existing home where the broker was the wife of one of the defense counsel. Both the defendant and the judge minimized the possibility of bias. Again, using your script, I was able to get her to say the magic words such that I didn’t even need to move to strike her — the judge determined it on his own. Thank you for your help. It was invaluable!"

    Daniel Glynn, Partner
    Daniel Glynn, Partner Greener Burke Shoemaker Oberrecht, P.A.
  • “... thank you for the excellent advice and guidance you have provided in a number of high exposure cases over the past several years. My clients and I have benefitted from an array of your services — ranging from mock trials to strategies for closing argument in a multi-month trial. What I have found uniquely beneficial is the depth of what you bring to a case and your unflinching commitment to calling it as you see it for the betterment of the case and its presentation. ..." READ MORE >

    Richard S. Linkert, Partner
    Richard S. Linkert, Partner Matheny Sears
  • “We knew that the testimony of the defendant doctor was going to be the key to winning the case. The work you did to prepare her, getting over her feelings of guilt about the bad outcome and guilt about going against a patient, made all the difference: I don’t think we would have won without you.”

    John Hart, Partner
    John Hart, Partner Hart Wagner
  • “...You did a better job on depo prep than I could have done because you were not concerned about interfering with the lawyer/client relationship. Your work was essential to the successful resolution of this case.”

    Steven Piser, Owner Law Offices of Steven Piser
  • “...The difference between our witnesses and theirs was like night and day. It made a huge difference with the jury.”

    Carl McConnell Hoge Fenton

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