The purpose of a Directed Focus Group Discussion is to obtain an early assessment of issues in a case. This is done while discovery is ongoing to pinpoint areas that are most relevant to jurors. This protocol can also be used closer to trial to refine factual and thematic messages.
A group of surrogate jurors are selected from the trial venue and complete a detailed questionnaire capturing demographic information along with determining relevant predispositions. The JuryScope moderator introduces the jurors to the case with a short summary. Then, a neutral presenter (either a member of the trial team or JuryScope moderator) then presents a first issue for testing by reading a script accompanied by any graphics or evidence to supplement that test. Jurors then provide their private reactions to this case issue in a questionnaire administered by the JuryScope moderators. After they complete their questionnaires, the surrogate jurors split into discussion groups. The moderators lead the groups as the jurors discuss their reactions to the first issue.
This protocol is then repeated for each issue identified before the exercise. The jurors can either reassemble for the neutral presenter to read each issue-script or the moderator for each room can move the jurors to the next issue as appropriate. In each instance the jurors will provide their private reactions in a juror questionnaire before discussions begin.