We measure success in many ways. We conduct client satisfaction studies and interview our clients about how our analyses were borne out in the results they receive at mediation or trial. We also monitor client retention (repeat business) and referral rates (new clients referred by existing clients). We are proud to say we are doing well in all of these evaluations.
More technically speaking, it is scientifically impossible to quantify a success rate for a litigation research consulting firm. Just as it is impossible for attorneys to calculate a valid success rate (for example, could any attorney calculate whether he or she did better or worse than another attorney would have with the same jury, case, & judge?), there are no valid ways of deriving statistics on case outcomes.
A discussion of few other issues may help explain why such calculations are not valid.
- There are so many variables involved in a case that it is not feasible to test all of them in typical mock jury research methodologies, as a result we concentrate on problematic issues.
- The opposition is simulated in the typical research design and the case is abbreviated both as to issues noted above, and the use of any witnesses.
We are hired on cases with problem issues, facts, clients, etc.; the types of cases we work on are not a random sample of all cases.
- We provide numerous recommendations in our reports, however, we have no control over their implementation at trial.
There are things no one can control, for example, rulings by the court, actual performance of witnesses, the venire on a given day, etc.
- From a scientific perspective, there is no control group. There is no way to measure the case outcome both with and without the assistance of a jury consultant.
- The job of a litigation research consultant is to minimize uncertainties, test strategies, work through problems, and evaluate likely outcomes. Once we are involved, the dynamics of a case change, and we think for the better, based on the metrics described above. It is for these reasons that no consultant who is a legitimate research scientist will quote a success rate; indeed, the American Society of Trial Consultants, asserts that quoting success rates is an ethical violation of its canons.