We are frequently asked, “where do you get your mock jurors?” While there are as many philosophies of mock jury recruiting as there are jury research practitioners, the only proper way to recruit mock jurors is the most difficult, time consuming, and expensive. This method involves random selection of jury eligible citizens in the trial venue. It is the only way to guarantee that mock jury research has been conducted with the proper foundation. Some firms recruit mock jurors by placing a classified ad in the newspaper or on the Internet, hiring temporary workers from an employment agency, or utilizing a database of “professional jurors” who participate on numerous mock juries. Although these methods are easy and relatively inexpensive ways to recruit mock jurors, their disadvantage stems from the fact that they do not come close to approximating the way in which real jurors are recruited.
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Prospective and first time clients of Magnus Research Consultants often ask if we use newspaper and/or Internet advertisements to recruit participants for jury research projects. Although many of our competitors use ads to recruit mock jurors, Magnus has never used this approach. Magnus’ Director of Research, Dr. Melissa Pigott, believes recruiting mock jurors from ads creates a potentially biased research sample, in that people recruited in this manner are volunteers who have self selected for participation. Magnus’ mock juror recruiting technique more closely approximates the way in which actual jurors are recruited; it is both random in nature (meaning everyone in the trial venue has an equal chance of being recruited) and reflective of the demographic composition in the trial venue. Magnus’ mock jury recruiting method minimizes research bias by ensuring that mock jurors are representative of the actual jurors who will decide your case.
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