About this blog

After more than 20 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 25 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

Debugging the Case

When I am wearing my marketing hat (one of many hats I wear, as discussed in other posts), I often find myself looking for ways to explain what a trial consultant does for a trial lawyer. As hard as it is for me to repeatedly explain, after 25+ years in this field, I frequently find […]

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As of this writing, I have consulted on thousands of high stakes civil cases. So far, there has never been a client who retained my services (or those of my employers, prior to the time David and I founded Magnus) because he/she believed he/she had a perfect case. Quite the contrary: 100% of the cases […]

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The Delta

The Mississippi Delta is one of the most unique places I have ever visited. Although I have been through the Delta many times, I had never, until 2016, spent much time there. For those who aren’t familiar with the Delta area, it is in the northwest part of the state, between the Mississippi and Yazoo […]

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The state of Mississippi is to be commended for recognizing and capitalizing on the relatively recent history of music, and civil rights, which exist within its borders. They have a color coded system of informational signs to denote places of importance in the world of blues, country and civil rights history. There is also a […]

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Won some should have lost; lost some should have won

In writing about the window of opportunity for trial consulting, I reflected on who are our “best” clients, and why.  Our best clients are the attorneys who “get it” – who understand what we do, what goes into it, and what they will get out of it.  But, how do they know these things?  They […]

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Despite what many people believe about themselves, it is impossible to know everything there is to know. A “know it all” never knows it all! Not to mention the fact that “know it alls” are rarely the most popular people! I have been working as a trial consultant for a very long time; so long, […]

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Po’ Monkey

During the summer of 2016, in July to be specific, David and I took a road trip to the Mississippi Delta. The purpose of our trip was to learn about, and experience first hand, blues music. As every serious fan of rock and roll music knows, and according to Muddy Waters, “The blues had a […]

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I had no idea what to expect when we ventured out on this Mississippi trip. I, too, read up a bit, but was still not sure. Melissa had done more research and her knowledge of the Blues is stronger because she has spent many years absorbing information while playing bass guitar. She has gained a […]

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Window of Opportunity for Trial Consulting Work

Recently I’ve received calls from attorneys who wanted mock jury research on their cases, but the calls have come so late that I have been reflecting on when the window of opportunity is open for mock jury research. I have mentioned this issue in other posts, but because I’m noticing this recent spate of last […]

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Attorneys and social psychologists share few personality traits. Different types of people are, of course, drawn to different occupations. Social psychology is a research based doctoral degree; as such, it attracts people who are detail oriented; mathematically inclined; proactive; possessive of highly advanced logical reasoning skills; capable of designing, executing, and analyzing complex research programs; […]

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Cliques

I recently authored a post about poseurs. This is post is on a closely related topic, cliques. Cliques are present in almost all social groups. Social psychologists have, for decades, conducted research on in groups versus out groups and the societal roles played by these categorizations of people. Generally speaking, we humans prefer to socialize […]

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Other than being in the band, marching and concert, for much of junior and senior high, I don’t think I found myself in too many cliques.  And, I’ll report that, even within the unit of the band, there were sub cliques of those who thought they were the best of the bunch.  While I was […]

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How NOT to do mock jury research!

I recently had a telephone call from a prospective client who wanted help with a case going to trial within 2 weeks of his call. It was a big case and he asked that we conduct mock trial research on a specific Saturday (which was 10 days after the call), in our home venue (despite […]

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No one hates to turn down work, and more important, revenue generated from work, more than David and I do. However, we have turned down quite a bit of work over the years, for a myriad of reasons. In the recent unfortunate instance David mentions, any of the incorrect and unreasonable requests the prospective client […]

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Poseurs

We all know poseurs. Poseur is a French word derived from pose and poser and as we all know, it is used to describe someone who adopts a fake or insincere way of presenting himself/herself to others. There are all kinds of poseurs, including many politicians and celebrities, who affect their public image in ways […]

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I’m sure that Melissa and I are compatible because we share this genuine personality trait. I’ve never “gotten” or understood the poseurs – whether high school jocks or cheerleaders, or in any other context, including our current work. I know that in our current work, trial consulting, our clients have to put on a “show” […]

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Blogger from Way Back

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 30, 2017

Category: Getting through life and work, Life Outside of Work, Marketing your business, Small Business Success, Travel, Work-Life

In thinking about our blog, which is about 3.5 years old, and has well over 300 hundreds posts. It has been a challenge from time to time to keep up with the pace we set for ourselves of 2 posts (1 each as primary writer) per week. Sometimes, we are ahead of ourselves by a […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On March 30, 2017

Category: Getting through life and work, Life Outside of Work, Marketing your business, Small Business Success, Travel, Work-Life

I learned something about David today as I read his latest post. I never knew, until now, that David was a “blogger” over 30 years ago with his creative newsletters from Australia! What a cool and efficient way to keep family and friends informed of his exciting adventures in an exotic land that many of […]

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Porch dogs (& cats)

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On March 28, 2017

Category: Getting through life and work, Jury consultants, Life Outside of Work, Trial Consulting, Work-Life

I have a well worn tee shirt that says, “If you can’t run with the big dogs, you’d better stay on the porch.” Although I like this expression, I prefer my porch to almost any other location, thus, I am perfectly happy to stay on the porch. I believe there are several types of people, […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 28, 2017

Category: Getting through life and work, Jury consultants, Life Outside of Work, Trial Consulting, Work-Life

To answer Melissa’s question, my preference is to be an outdoors person. But, the reality is, I spend more time on the porch than in the field. Growing up, I spent as much time as possible exploring the woods near my house, pellet gun in hand, before moving beyond that to bigger woods and bigger […]

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