An online jury is a group of individuals chosen by a lawyer or law firm to analyze materials from a real-life court case. This allows the lawyer to get an idea of how jurors will react to the information in the case. A variety of technologies is used to present the information, and the jurors may need computers that are compatible in order to properly review everything. Once the case is reviewed, the juror is expected to provide feedback, which may be gathered in several ways, including surveys, phone messages, or online focus groups.
Jurors are typically chosen based on very specific demographic needs. Most of the lawyers rely on companies that employ large numbers of mock jurors who live in different areas. The lawyer will usually be looking for a mix of people based on geographic location, age, race, and education. Sometimes income levels and other demographic information may also be important.
The data for the case can be shown to the online jury in several different ways. Some of the common methods include web pages, video files, and audio files. By the end of the mock trial, the juror has generally seen a good approximation of the information that would be presented during the real trial.
Once the trial is over, the lawyer will gather the opinions of all the members of the online jury. The most common approach to this is generally a questionnaire. Online chat-based focus groups are another popular option because they can give the lawyer a chance to see what kind of banter may go on behind the scenes during a jury deliberation. Some lawyers may also want the client to call a phone number and leave a recorded message that sums up his or her thoughts.
Lawyers use an online jury as a way to make sure they have a winning case. Going to trial is expensive, and lawyers may have trouble determining how jurors will react. If they can get a good approximation of a real trial and see real human reactions to their evidence, it allows them a chance to make strategic adjustments.
People who participate in online jury duty are often paid for their trouble. The amount usually isn’t that much per hour, but many people find the activity interesting, so they may be willing to work for low wages. People who live in higher population areas usually have more cases to review at any given time.