The bottom line is this: For years, attorneys, including us, used in-person, small sample focus groups. We assembled 10-15 people in a room, presented a case, and listened. Some jurors talked a lot. Some said almost nothing. We paid them. They left.
Everyone agreed you couldn’t take the money they awarded seriously. Everyone agreed that you couldn’t assume their verdict was right. Everyone agreed it was a little troubling that so many were repeat jurors from Craigslist. Everyone hated that really conservative guy who showed up, dominated conversation, and wouldn’t stop sharing. But it was the best we could do.
Now we can do better. How? By borrowing the methods of some of the most advanced companies and industries in the world. Ask yourself – Does Google invite people into a room to decide what product to roll out? Does Amazon gather feedback on products or pages using two-way mirrors in a conference room?
No. They use big data. So do politicians. So do economist. So do social scientist. So do academics. So does corporate America. And so should you.
With massive samples, we can do much more than you might imagine.
Our business is helping lawyers win cases; a huge part of this work is identifying the best and worst jurors through our advanced analytics so they can be identified in jury selection. But as anyone who has conducted voir dire knows, it is not easy to keep up with all the information gathered in voir dire, and it is even harder to make sense of it all.
We looked for apps that leveraged technology, assuming we would find apps that were built for the 21st century. But we didn’t. Instead, we found existing apps were often clumsy (only set questions that could asked) or crippled (limited numbers of jurors that could entered) or confounding (no ability to toggle between entering information for individual jurors or for whole sets of jurors) or complex (lots of bells and whistles that made it hard to use them in real time).
The result was many lawyers were still picking jurors with pads of paper, with word docs, or with excel.
We decided to solve this problem through innovation. We started from scratch and build an app that met our client’s needs. We worked from some simple guiding principle.
First, data entry had to be instantaneous and intuitive to keep up with the frenetic pace of jury selection.
Second, the app had to work in the cloud so that more than one person could collaborate simultaneously.
Third, the app had to allow entry for each juror, individually, or for a bunch of jurors all at once.
Fourth, we wanted the app to be grounded in data and analytics. This required allowing for juror scoring.
Finally, we wanted all of the information to be easy to see, sort, use, and save.
The result is an app built for trial lawyers, designed to leverage technology and statistics to win more often and win bigger.