Focus Groups

providing power to persuasion making cases compelling


Focus Group Research


definition   ·    uses  


design   ·    procedure  


experience   ·    preparation   ·    skill  

Scales of justice


Focus Group Goals

DEFINITION Focus Group Discussion

Focus Group Research is exploratory and neutral, occurring in a discussion format with a small group of participants.


Litigation focus groups explore the questions, thoughts, beliefs, and predispositions of participants, and provide information about how people orient to a case. These data can be used to:

Magnifying Glass

guide discovery: questions focus group participants raise about a case can direct discovery to obtain answers

prepare for hearings, mediation, arbitration and trial: adjust litigation strategy based on knowing people's reactions to case information, learning case-related values and beliefs, and identifying "doors needing closing"

explore case value: use people's thoughts about a case to understand its psychological value, identify "landmines," assess witness testimony or obtain reactions to select evidence

Focus Group Process

DESIGN Focus Group Setting

A discussion protocol is developed that is case-specific and targeted to issues of concern for the litigation team. The discussion protocol explores jurors’ experiences with key activities, parties and issues in the case.

The protocol typically contains at least three parts. First, relevant background questions are asked of participants to learn underlying values and beliefs participants have about the case. Next, a short, factual synopsis of the plaintiff's or prosecution's case is provided and participants are asked questions to obtain their thoughts, ideas and evaluations about that information. Third, a short, factual synopsis of the defense's case follows, also with questions to participants about what they heard. Sometimes additional information is provided to determine how particular facts, evidence or counter-arguments affect jurors' understanding of the issues in the case.


Focus Group DiscussionA small group of participants take part in a non-adversarial discussion, led by a ComCon consultant, that moves from a discussion of jurors' own experiences to their thoughts about each side's case over the course of a half a day to a full day.

The discussion is videotaped and analyzed, and recommendations made with respect to the research's objectives. The data presented are qualitative, looking at themes, ideas and responses, rather than statistics and tests.

Learn about the differences between focus group research and mock trial research in [Mock Trials].

ComCon’s Expertise

ComCon is unique in its research expertise and its knowledge of conducting focus groups. Dr. Kellermann has extensive experience in developing focus group protocols and moderating focus groups. Dr. McCann is an expert moderator, having authored papers on procedures that are necessary for effective focus groups. ComCon is expert in conducting focus group research.


ComCon consultants have conducted focus groups for diverse individuals, companies and organizations related to manufacturing, finance, education, medicine, insurance, construction, transportation, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, the environment and criminal defense.


ComCon consultants are expert at preparing focus group protocols, and spend two to three weeks preparing each focus group research project. ComCon takes pride in preparing outstanding discussion protocols.


ComCon consultants excel at the art and science of guiding focus groups in an unbiased manner, and in using the discussion protocol to guide the focus group in an effective manner.

Working Success

ComCon is dedicated to making your case psychologically compelling for the decision-makers you face.