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Explore Our Focus Group Research
Focus group research usually occurs in early to middle stages of the litigation process, and is designed to uncover attitudes about facts, themes, issues and parties.
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:
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 Research is a neutral information-seeking exploration of issues that occurs in a discussion format.
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 case-related issues. Next, a short, factual synopsis of the plaintiff's or prosecution's case is provided and participants are asked questions by a ComCon consultant to obtain participants' thoughts, ideas and evaluations about the provided information. Third, a short, factual synopsis of the defense's case follows, also with questions by a ComCon consultant to participants about what they heard. Sometimes additional information is provided to determine how particular facts, evidence or counter-arguments affect participants' understandings of the issues in the case.
A small group of participants take part in a neutrally conducted, non-adversarial discussion led by a ComCon consultant. Over the course of either half a day or a full day, the discussion moves from a focus on participants' own experiences to their thoughts about each side's case.
The discussion is videotaped and analyzed, and recommendations made with respect to the objectives of the research. The data obtained are qualitative, looking at themes, ideas and responses, rather than being quantitative and statistical.
Focus Groups have a specific purpose, design and procedure that differ substantially from the purpose, design and procedure of Mock Trials, to which the interested reader is referred for further discussion of the differences.
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.