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  • Attorneys often ask whether they should do focus groups or a mock trial; many may see them as interchangeable.  And, while both pre-trial research methods can be useful, they do serve different purposes.  Focus groups are better at a more preliminary stage in the development of the case, when themes are being identified and their relative strengths are unknown.  Indeed, the reactions of focus group members to broad-based presentations of themes can help to hone and refine them.  Focus group members’ perceptions of the themes, and their...

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  • Early on May 1, 2012:  Before the attacks of September 11, 2001, many Americans may have been willing to agree that one person’s terrorist was another person’s freedom fighter.  Certainly, I remember being moved by the politics and the philosophy of the Irish Republican Army members accused of gun running during one of the first cases I worked on as a trial strategy consultant in the early 1980’s.  They spoke of similarities between the restrictive ways in which the British treated the Irish and the ways they...

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  • We told our 23 mock jurors that they had participated in something historic and it was true.  For the first time, DOAR conducted a client-free mock trial.   Given our experience in intellectual property and patent disputes, we invented a patent case pertaining to a hypothetical time-release insulin product.  The inventors were university-based researchers.  The patent’s ownership had been transferred to a patent holding company, SBN, in exchange for future royalties derived from licensing agreements.  The accused infringer, Haldon Pharmaceuticals, made and sold a product called Insulex...

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  • The cross-linking of trials and the Internet has been a topic of growing concern for some time.  Not until now, though, have we seen a defense attorney in an upcoming case rev up social media conversations by being the first to speak.  In what appears to be an unprecedented move, Mark O’Mara, attorney for George Zimmerman, the Florida Neighborhood Watch volunteer accused in the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, has begun to post his opinions.  Surely, he intends to lure others into responding and revealing...

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