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Bringing Light to a Shadow Jury

Shadow jury refers to a group of mock jurors paid to observe a trial and report their reactions to a jury consultant hired by one of the litigants. The shadow jurors provide counsel with information about the jury’s possible reaction to the trial. Shadow jury acts as a surrogate for the real jury.

Research Strategies, Inc. was recently asked to assist in a quickly pulled together Shadow Jury Recruit, where we used RDD and the other recruiting company used Database recruiting. The difference in the outcome of the recruiting was stark.
To properly explain the primary differences, it is necessary to further outline our approach to recruiting. We first must have the zip code where the facility for said event is located. This enables Research Strategies’ analysts to accurately pinpoint zip codes approximately 15 miles from the event facility. We have learned, after 20+ years of recruiting, that 15 miles is a reasonable distance, potential respondents will consider traveling to an event. This range also gives Research Strategies, Inc. the potential to match the demographics of the market. What enhances this process is that we can accurately match income and ethnicity to each zip code and can subsequently, based on U.S. Census data, call potential interested respondents thus accurately matching the demographics. As an added bonus to the client, we always attempt to recruit gainfully employed individuals first and then fill in as needed with non-working people.
Now the reasons we are so different are…
Research Strategies is one of the country’s best-unknown RDD (Random Digit Data) samplers. This technical process ensures our clients that the research is being conducted with individuals who have not been preconditioned by being a part of national research panels or previously subjected to other qualitative and quantitative research methodologies as found with individuals queried from research lists. The advantage gained by RDD is that the research participants are “fresh” and do not have any preconceived opinions about a product or service or have not formulated a perception of themselves as being legal research experts.

AND Research Strategies uses a Stratified sampling methodology to provide our clients’ telephone research with an accurate geographic and demographic representation of the marketplace on either a micro or macro level, thus enabling us to match the jury pool. Based on United States Postal Service data, Research Strategies can sample street-by-street or by residential ZIP Codes for a town, city, county, state or the entire United States. This assures the sample weighting is accurate to current residential populations, data that is updated every six (6) months versus United States Census Bureau data that is recalculated every ten (10) years. Our stratified sample delivers an accurate representation by:
• Education mix
• Age mix
• Gender mix
• Other demographic requirements of the trial venue market

As mentioned previously, the outcome of the recruit was starkly different using RDD versus Database recruiting. Their approach was to contact people in their database from the area in question and to quickly locate individuals who were capable of going at the last minute, almost without regard to employment and or background. Our RDD approach yielded quality respondents who were gainfully employed at a rate of 62.5% versus the database recruiter, which was 25%.

Patricia Rhinehart
Vice President
Research Strategies, Inc.

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