For over two decades, Willow President, Sara Parikh, has conducted jury research for one of the nation’s leading trial attorneys, working on dozens of trials. But even a long-standing client relationship can deliver surprises.
In this case, it was a big, existential, possibly unknowable question, “Does the truth still matter?”
Confronted with a complicated, class action lawsuit against an insurance giant and potential co-conspirators, involving hidden and intricate financial transactions, a complex legal theory, and hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence, our client wondered if the jury would find all this to be “business as usual” or if Americans could still be shocked by corruption and corporate malfeasance. Could he get jurors thinking about right and wrong, about truth in the jury room to deliver justice to the millions of plaintiffs who had been harmed?
Using an iterative series of “guided deliberation” focus groups with prospective jurors in the trial jurisdiction, Willow scripted the case, presented the central arguments and identified the particular pieces of evidence that best supported those arguments from the jury’s perspective. Through this process, we helped our client simplify the case narrative and prepare for trial. And, most importantly, we helped our client understand that the truth does still matter, as long as it is anchored with meaningful evidence.
The result? A research strategy that delivered conclusive wins in mock trials and gave our client the confidence to settle the case for hundreds of millions of dollars on the first day of trial.