Criminal Matters

Magnus has worked on many criminal matters, for both the defense and prosecution, at the federal and state level. Many of these cases have been high profile cases with considerable news coverage. The stakes are high in criminal matters; it is imperative to conduct focus group or other mock jury research to explore how jury eligible participants will respond to the facts at issue. Determining how to “package the message” is especially critical when life, liberty, and justice are at stake.

Magnus’ involvement on criminal matters includes research services such as Case Strength Evaluation Research/Mock Trials, as well as exploratory Focus Group research. Magnus has also provided assistance with voir dire question development, consultation in court during voir dire, and witness evaluation/preparation.

Services Available for Criminal Matters:

Case Strength Evaluation Research

Case Strength Evaluation Research evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of a case using adversarial presentations. Magnus analyzes detailed information about prosecution and defense positions. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are utilized in these abbreviated trial simulations.

Mock Trial Research

Mock Trials are the most comprehensive of the qualitative methods used for case evaluation. A Mock Trial allows lengthy presentations of prosecution and defense cases, including live or previously recorded witness testimony.

Community Attitude Survey

Community Attitude Surveys are warranted when: the issues or parties involved in the litigation are high profile; the case issues are unique; juror profiling is desired; and/or to support a venue change motion. Community Attitude Surveys are conducted via telephone interviews of jury eligible citizens in the trial venue.

Case Analysis Survey

A Case Analysis Survey determines jurors’ attitudes and perceptions regarding key issues specific to a case. This research provides early identification of case strengths and weaknesses.

Focus Group Research

Focus Group research involves a discussion of pertinent case issues to assess reactions to case facts and examines the human dynamics involved in the case. The Focus Group is an informal discussion among the attorney, psychologist, and research participants in which they “lead” the attorney through their questions and comments.

Case Issue Consultation - General

Magnus’ Litigation Consultants provide insights to the litigator in order to evaluate critical case issues. Case Issue Consultation typically includes document review and “brainstorming” conferences with the attorney.

Verdict Perception™ (Online)

Verdict Perception™ is Magnus’ proprietary online research methodology. This methodology involves a minimum of 2 online deliberations groups of up to 8 participants per group. The participants view case presentations (most often pre-recorded) and exhibits, answer survey questions, and deliberate. Participants see and hear each other during deliberations in a secure research environment. The proceedings are recorded for analysis of results and client viewing. As with all of Magnus’ research methodologies, the participants are usually jury eligible citizens of the trial venue. Magnus prepares a written report based on the research results. Verdict Perception™ can be customized, depending the case specifics. 

Issue Perception™ (Online)

Issue Perception™ is Magnus’ proprietary online research methodology utilized to investigate individual and/or group responses to case issues. Magnus has developed 2 methods to study case issues. The first involves obtaining individual responses to case issues based on written or pre-recorded videos of case information. Participants respond in a self paced fashion. Various sample size options are available. The second begins with the individual study then, using a subset of respondents, a live group discussion is held. Multiple panels can be utilized. The proceedings are recorded for analysis of results and client viewing. As with all of Magnus’ research methodologies, the participants are jury eligible citizens of the trial venue. Magnus prepares a written report based on the research results. Issue Perception™ can be customizable, depending the case specifics.

Silhouette Jury Panel

Silhouette Jury Panels provide day to day analysis of a trial’s progress. Silhouette Jurors are recruited to closely approximate the characteristics of actual jurors. They observe the trial alongside the jury and form their opinions on the evidence. Daily feedback to the attorney by the consultant provides the attorney with an opportunity to refine his or her case to ensure the best result. Furthermore, when the real jurors are permitted to ask questions, Magnus will evaluate the nature and underlying issues raised by the jurors’ questions.

Trial Progress Evaluation

Similar to the Silhouette Jury Panel, Trial Progress Evaluation provides a day by day analysis of the trial. In Trial Progress Evaluation, the trial is observed by one of Magnus’ Research Associates or Consultants instead of Silhouette Jury panel members.

Post Verdict Interviews

Post Verdict Interviews, when permitted by the Court, provide a wealth of information to the trial team. Determining how the actual jury reached its decision in a case can be most helpful in retrying cases which have been lost, mistried, overturned on appeal, or when a series of related cases is being tried.