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August 2012

August 21, 2012 Alison Bennett interviewed by Legal News

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 Shadow juries: Expensive but insightful tool

By Sylvia Hsieh
The Daily Record Newswire

BOSTON (Dolan Media) — During a recent med-mal trial in Pennsylvania against two doctors and a hospital over a birth injury, 12 people with similar attributes to the 12 jurors filed in and out of the observation area of the courtroom every time the actual jurors took a break during a recess, lunch break or sidebar conference. The 12 visitors were shadow jurors, chosen for their demographic similarities to the real jurors to give their detailed opinions about each day’s events to the trial lawyers.

The shadow jurors were not told — in fact great pains were taken to make sure they did not find out — which side of the dispute hired them.

Unbeknownst to the shadow jurors, the trial consultant who debriefed them each day was hired by the plaintiffs’ legal team.

“They didn’t know [for whom] they were working … but they were observing and giving feedback. Every day, they were debriefed during the lunch break, and we would receive feedback about what could be done better, how they evaluated each witness, and which defenses were stronger than others,” said Daniel Weinstock, the plaintiffs’ attorney.

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August 14, 2012 See our firm and strategy toward trial preparation featured in D CEO Magazine this month.

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How CEOs Prepare For Trial

 Bloom Strategic Consulting uses mock courtrooms and “shadow juries” to help companies get ready.

For many C-level executives, the uncertain prospect of putting their company’s future in the hands of 12 strangers in a jury box is somewhat like walking into a casino with your hard-earned nest egg in hand. But what if you were walking in not with Lady Luck on your arm, but the equivalent of a card-counter?

Meet Jason Bloom and Alison Bennett of Bloom Strategic Consulting, consultants who take a scientific approach to evaluating how jurors are likely to react to a client’s case—including the evidence, theories, and witnesses.

“CEOs should ask if there is value to learning how a jury will react to the case before writing settlement checks or deciding to go to trial,” Bloom says. “Sometimes it makes economic sense to settle a case, but I’ve seen Fortune 100 companies settle for much less than they were willing to pay based on the results of mock jury testing.”  Click here to read more

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