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.

5 Most Fun Things We’ve Done: Dog Sled Ride

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On August 14, 2018

Category: Business Partnerships, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Travel, Work-Life

Second in the series of the 5 most fun things David and I have done is riding in a dog sled. There was a period of time when David and I attended ski seminars sponsored by an attorneys organization; I was one of the speakers at these seminars. Because ski seminars are, of course, held […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On August 14, 2018

Category: Business Partnerships, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Travel, Work-Life

Riding a sled was more fun than I anticipated. It was also colder than I could ever have imagined. I got in the snow suit and felt like I was in a space suit and had to get used to moving around in it. Then I had to fit myself into the sled and had […]

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Don’t give them a freebie

The title of this blog is a something I tell new Magnus staff when trying to explain the need to do their job with as near perfection as is humanly possible. Don’t give the client anything to complain about – that’s the goal. Not that there won’t be any complaints, but make them about things […]

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Decades ago, Magnus had an employee who believed she could learn only as a result of making mistakes. She assured David and me, upon making mistake after mistake, that she never made the same mistake twice; rather, she made new mistakes that she truly believed were acceptable. Needless to say, we were quite relieved when […]

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5 Most Fun Things We’ve Done: Mardi Gras 2018

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On August 7, 2018

Category: Business Partnerships, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Travel, Work-Life

This is the first post in a series of 5 that focus on the 5 most fun things David and I have done since we met in 1986. These 5 activities are varied and, interestingly to us, all of them involve some form of transportation. They are not ranked in terms of their degree of […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On August 7, 2018

Category: Business Partnerships, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Travel, Work-Life

We started this blog to share our work and life experiences, so it should seem natural to have a series of posts about fun. Anyone who has read our posts knows that finding ways to break up the pressures of work with an interlude of fun has allowed us to keep us keeping on. Riding […]

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Jurors and the Internet

During my recent jury duty experience, I noticed posters around the assembly room entitled “Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media” produced by the National Center for State Courts and Center for Jury Studies. I am well aware of the issues related to jurors and social media or the internet. And, I think I’d […]

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David probably violated a rule when he took a photo of the sign, “Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media.” The courthouse personnel who posted the sign should have posted another sign that said, “Take no photographs of this sign.” During Magnus’ jury research projects, I fill the role of the judge, meaning I […]

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Trial Consulting and “The Simpsons”

The reader may wonder, based on the title of this post, what is the connection between trial consulting and “The Simpsons.” No, trial consulting is not cartoonish, it is not usually funny, and our clients don’t say “D’oh!” like Homer Simpson when they are annoyed. The connection is merely time based and personal. I began […]

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Melissa and I have been together, personally and professionally, for longer than Simpsons. While I enjoy the show, she’s a bigger fan. And one thing about watching the series is that the path each episode will follow from beginning to end is never clear until the show is over! Each episode takes twists and turns […]

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Jury Duty: Hurry up and wait

A few weeks ago, a multi-colored piece of mail arrived at our house. Melissa got her hands on it when she checked the mail and, sounding like Nelson from The Simpson’s, said “Ha ha; you’ve got jury duty.” I’ll add, again – at least my 4th or 5th time in Broward County. While I’ve written […]

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Fortunately or unfortunately, David has been summoned for jury duty more than I have. And, given the length of David’s post about his most recent jury experience, I guess he has strong feelings about jury duty. In contrast to most people I know, I would love, absolutely love, serving my country as a juror. But, […]

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Racism is Alive, but Not Well

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 24, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Litigation Research, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology

I have written several posts about my experiences with sexism, both in work and personal situations (for example, most men’s reactions to seeing my bass guitars, assuming they belong to David, due to the mere fact David is a man and I happen to be a woman, a woman who plays the bass!). Because I […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 24, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Litigation Research, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology

One doesn’t have to look hard, even in 2018, to see overt racism. It might be obvious in Charlottesville, or it might be subtle, or not so subtle, as in many political discussions. While getting beyond the battles of the civil rights era is important, moving forward has proven difficult in the United States. Maybe […]

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The Law of Perpetual Motion

Busy seems to beget busy. And sometimes that “busy” maybe just doing things when time is seemingly available to fill the time. Then, when doing those things, real work happens. For example, a few weeks ago, I attempted to arrange a client meeting in Miami. Nothing happened, the scheduling just didn’t come together and it […]

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I don’t know if my perception is accurate, but it sure seems like not much happens when David and I are sitting around the office, wondering when our next case will come in. We have countless examples of “the law of perpetual motion” in our business lives, from the time, early in our owning Magnus, […]

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A Simple Life?

The word, “simple” has several different meanings, including: innocent, modest, humble, lacking in knowledge/naive, free of secondary complications, readily understood, and plain. It also seems to me that “simple” means different things to different people and what is simple to one person may not be simple to someone else. I recently had a discussion with […]

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The comment which prompted this blog has also generated much discussion between Melissa and me. My take on the comment was that it had to do with our lives not having lots of interpersonal drama. That was part of the context of the discussion. So, while I agree with Melissa that her life is far […]

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People want to be appreciated

A friend/client recently told Melissa and me that his father, a long time judge in Miami, often told him that “People just want to be appreciated.” We were discussing the frequency with which lawyers often seem not to appreciate the effort that goes into, for example, “free proposals.” (As a digression, while I interact with […]

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When David and I recently heard this phrase, “People just want to be appreciated,” from our friend, we reflected on this truism. Regardless of who one is, the status one has achieved in life, and other variables, all of us want to believe our contributions have made a difference in someone’s life. I learned this […]

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