This trial strategy can likely predict the outcome of your case.

Stewart-Richardson-Indianapolis-6For years now, mock trials have been shaping trial strategy. So, what exactly is a mock trial and how can you use one for your next big case?

Mock trials are broken down into two main categories, exploratory and confirmatory.


Purpose: Exploratory mock trials are used to take a deep look into the process by which a jury evaluates the evidence, problem solves, and reaches decisions.

Feel: Exploratory mock trials are more informal in feeling. They are not verdict-oriented (Dallas Bar).

Juror size: 24-26 surrogate jurors or around three juries

Why conduct an exploratory mock trial? An exploratory mock trial can help find out jurors’ preconceptions and what they need to learn and know in a trial. This type of mock trial provides litigators with an understanding of the jurors’ decision-making process, which overall themes, types of evidence and arguments are most convincing, “what mis-perceptions and misunderstandings exist, how jurors’ perceive witnesses, and generally how they persuade one another” (TheFederation.Org).


Purpose: Confirmatory mock trials mimic an actual trial and are used to provide insight into the jurors’ decision making process and the likely trial outcome.

Feel: A confirmatory mock trial should be created to feel as close to a real trial as possible. This type of mock trial is verdict oriented.   

Juror size: Generally around 36 or more jurors

Why conduct a confirmatory mock trial? A confirmatory mock trials is designed to test the likely trial outcome and allows litigators to see what the likely course of juror deliberations will be. Through watching the mock jury deliberate, litigators can see how receptive the mock jurors were to the case’s themes, theories, and key witnesses. This allows the litigators to find the best way to present their case to the real jury when the time comes.

For a detailed explanation on exploratory and confirmatory mock trials, read

Overwhelmed at the thought of setting up a mock trial?

The first step you’ll want to take when looking to conduct a mock trial is to hire a trial or jury consultant to set up the process. These specialists are trained in correctly setting up the mock trial experience. Next, you’ll need to find a space that has the correct equipment to film and document feedback from the mock trial.


Jury consultants and attorneys working to shape trial strategy can look to Stewart Richardson for their space and equipment needs. We have three fully-equipped conference rooms, each optimized for hosting and recording legal focus groups and mock juries.

Monitoring the mock jury discussion is easy and seamless. You can do this by either watching the groups in one of our two observation rooms or by viewing the session securely by computer or mobile device. All of our clients also receive recorded audio and video after the mock jury has been concluded.

We can accommodate and schedule up to 24 focus group participants/surrogate jurors at our offices. For more information, call us at (317) 237-3773 or learn more here.


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