Focus groups can be assembled at a price point that works for all attorneys. While an attorney can go the route of highly paid jury consultants, and spend days with multiple groups, the cost-conscious attorney can easily assemble an effective focus group for a few hundred dollars. Advertising in a local newspaper will yield results. The attorney will get plenty of candidates for a potential focus group.

Once the attorney puts the advertisement in a local newspaper, or in an appropriate digital platform, he or she will probably receive plenty of responses. Ideally, select between 12 and 24 participants. Try to divide them equally between men and women. For budgeting purposes, this paper will assume that the attorney will select 12 members. 

In the selection process, ask potential candidates for their names, addresses, dates of birth, occupations, and how long he/she has lived at the current address. Also ask if the potential member is a registered voter. If he/she wishes, the attorney can check with the County Board of Elections to confirm the registration by filing a request under New York States Freedom of Information Law. It is not a necessary step, but one the attorney may wish to take. 

Generally speaking, the focus group should be held out of the office, preferably in a hotel conference room. Hold the focus group during the evening or on a Saturday morning, as your candidates are likely to be off work. The focus group should take two hours, with a break for lunch or refreshments. The attorney should provide lunch/refreshments for the participants, so that they do not have to go off-site, wasting valuable time. Participants should be paid for their time, and $25-50 per person is appropriate compensation. If the attorney has a more affluent juror pool, he or she may want to pay significantly more. 

In this era of COVID-19, it is also possible to use videoconferencing to do a focus group. This saves on renting space, and is something that should be considered.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Marion has experience in running focus groups, and can help you and your firm “road test” your theories of the case. Contact Jeff for more details.