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Dialing for Dollars

Part of my job operating a small business is marketing; part of that marketing effort involves making sales calls. I think most business people, small or large, can relate. It (the business) is (almost) all about the marketing. Some of these are to “friendlies” – that is, past clients or contacts. Some of these calls […]

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In our business, sales and marketing calls are a fact of life. I daresay I have spent more time during my career in marketing/sales pursuits than in doing any other task. If there is no marketing, in fact, there will be no work for anyone at Magnus to perform. Over the years we have been […]

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Impression Management, part 2: Snap Judgments

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (January 31, 2018, page A9), “The Mistakes You Make in a Meeting’s First Milliseconds,” by Sue Shellenbarger, prompted me to think about first impressions in the courtroom. And, particularly, the jurors’ first impressions of the attorneys. While the attorneys’ first impressions of jurors and witnesses, both fact […]

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I routinely remark to the attorneys who are my clients that the jurors are the “only perfect people in the world.” That is, when one’s fate, and the fate of one’s client, rests in the decision made by a jury, the jury’s decision is final. Furthermore, the jury’s final decision may or may not be […]

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Rewards/Reinforcement

Learning about the relationship of environmental events and behavior is known in psychology as instrumental conditioning. Instrumental conditioning has been studied extensively since the late 1800s, when a psychologist named Dr. E. L. Thorndike devised the “law of effect.” The law of effect, in its simplistic form, is a successful behavior will increase the probability […]

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Over our many years in business, we have used rewards in the form of bonuses or gifts to employees for jobs well done. These have taken various forms, whether end of year/holiday bonuses or a bonus for a research day completed well, as well as other forms, like gift cards for dinners or weekend getaways. […]

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30 Years

30 years. Sounds like a long time. Sometimes it feels like a long time, but I’m here to say, having being married to Melissa for 30 years, I’m left wondering where has the time gone – it has gone so fast! We recently celebrated this milestone and, although some of the readers know, I’m sharing […]

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In many ways, celebrating a 30th anniversary is remarkable! The divorce rate in America is approximately 50%, with many marriages breaking up well before the 10 year mark. David and, I are, as many people describe, “happily married.” This is not to say we agree on everything, enjoy doing exactly the same things, or don’t […]

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Buddy Payne

We’ve met some wonderful and interesting people in our years working with trial lawyers. One of those was R.W. Payne, Jr., better known as Buddy. Buddy was a true southern gentleman, hailing from North Carolina, then Virginia. He took control of the room when he entered, walking with the swagger of the former Marine and […]

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I have met few people throughout my life who possess the charisma and charm of the late Roland W. “Buddy” Payne, Jr.  Buddy was one of the most successful attorneys in the U.S.A. during his many years of practice as a trial lawyer.  Buddy was a trial lawyer in Miami at a time when trial […]

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Portable Food/Defensive Eating

It harkens back to my Boy Scout, “Be Prepared” days, but this topic of portable food is another of those basic, seemingly common sense items, that may not be so common “sensical” to everyone. The concept is simple. Schedules change, flights get delayed, the judge decides to work through lunch, the research facility is behind […]

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During my first interview for a job as a trial consultant, which took place in Manhattan, the experienced consultant who interviewed me asked if I was aware that working as a trial consultant required “defensive eating.” Maybe because I was awed at the sight of the Manhattan skyline from high above 57th Street, or uncomfortable […]

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Horn Blowing

Horn Blowing is a topic I’ll always associate with the late, great, Buddy Payne, Esq. Buddy was one of the top trial lawyers, anywhere, ever, and was from the plaintiffs’ old school in Miami (or as he said “Mia ma” – even though he was from Virginia). After he retired, Buddy coached Melissa and me […]

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I will begin my part of this post by thanking David for reminding me to write a post dedicated to Buddy Payne. Buddy taught David and me a lot of things, most important among them, that if we don’t tell potential clients about how wonderful we are, they might never realize it. Our clients are […]

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Don’t waste time

A post on which I was first author was titled, “Time is Precious.” This, related, post is a reminder: Don’t waste time. People have varying conceptions of time. Some of these conceptualizations are culturally based, while others are personality based. I have an acquaintance who boastfully stated she is “never” on time for church, but […]

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There are so many time wasters in the world today, many held in the palm of a hand in the form of a smart phone. As I posted previously, some things which appear to be wasting time are not. Waiting unnecessarily, as Melissa references, is not one of those times. With friends, perhaps, there is […]

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Corporate Retreats

Although Melissa and I own a “mom and pop” business, one that is not large, we have always tried to think larger than we are! We’ve discussed some of the ways we think and act large – employee manuals, training schedules, etc. Another way we emulate larger entities is to take time, on an annual […]

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David and I rarely have an opportunity to discuss goals, plan for the future, or dream big dreams during the work day.  Most of our days in the office are spent getting ready for the next case, preparing reports based on research findings obtained in the previous case, and marketing to clients regarding future cases.  […]

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Time is precious

Time is precious. Time is valuable. Like many people I know, I do not have enough time to accomplish everything I want to do. I seem to have an endless supply of tasks to accomplish, as well as an ever growing list of things I would like to do and places I would like to […]

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To borrow another rock and roll reference to time, from the Alan Parsons Project, the 1981 song “Time,” contained on the album Turn of a Friendly Card, includes the lyrics “Time, flowing like a river….Till it’s gone forever, Gone forever”. I’ve thought of that haunting tune many times thinking about the past 25+ years of […]

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