At the end of the day, most personal injury cases are decided not by lawyers or judges or insurance companies, but by juries. If a lawsuit doesn’t settle, the parties must have a trial to decide the issues. Although the parties can agree to have their case decided by a judge, they have a right to a trial by jury. Most parties exercise this right.
Jurors are drawn from the area where the case is being tried. The area, called the venue, can be one county or several counties. The jury coordinator for the venue draws the names of potential jurors from a list registered voters, licensed drivers, and persons who have been issued state identification cards in the venue. The pool of potential jurors is supposed to be a cross-section of people from the venue.
It is ultimately this cross-section that decides the fate of personal injury cases. For this reason, it is important to know what these people think of your case before going to trial. This is what a focus group is for.
We try and replicate the makeup of the jury who will ultimately decide our cases and ask them as early as possible in the case what they think of it. This allows us to focus our efforts, explore new areas of investigation, or even turn a case down if the focus group doesn’t like it.