Archive | Jury Behavior

Never Assume – Juror Profiling

During a recent mock jury session, one of the most outspoken mock jurors caught the attention of our client who was watching the proceedings remotely. This client, the general counsel of a large corporation, made a comment along the lines of “nothing about that juror’s profile would have made me think she would be good […]

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Profiling. Stereotypes. Bias. Prejudice. Most of us make “snap judgments” of others on a routine basis. Sometimes, we are right, but sometimes, we are wrong, wrong, wrong. I cannot count the number of times I have been asked, “Will men or women be better for us as jurors?”, leading me to respond, “Which men? What […]

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Getting the Most from Research – Digging In

A recent Wall Street Journal article (August 11-12, 2018) entitled “To Get the Most Out of Polls, Delve Deeper” prompted this post. Though this post was about political polls and pollsters, there were several points relevant to the world of trial consulting. One quote caught my attention, “…, remember that neither a candidate’s polling percentage […]

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I enjoy, immensely, working with attorneys on their cases. Most of the attorneys who retain Magnus are intelligent, sophisticated people who are hiring us because they know they are experts on the law, but they are not experts on human decision making. There is a small subset of our clients who do not seem to […]

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Get it Right – The First Time & Every Time

Not too long ago, I attended a lawyers’ luncheon at which the speaker was the president of the Florida Bar. He made a few comments about various challenges lawyers face with their clients, specifically, the expectation by the client that they essentially have all of the answers so that they get it right the first […]

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Attorneys do not usually have advanced degrees in psychology or social science. As such, many attorneys do not have a full understanding of the scientific method, scientific research techniques (including proper sampling of research participants), human decision making, group dynamics, etc. That is why, of course, attorneys routinely turn to Magnus (or one of its […]

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When losing is winning. Part 2.

Following on “When losing is winning. Part 1,” I’m writing now about another phenomenon that has been covered a bit in other posts. That is, defining winning. On the defense side of civil and criminal cases, some of them are, technically speaking, losers. That is, an outright defense verdict is unlikely no matter what – […]

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As David says, losing one’s lawsuit is relative. Sometimes, a loss is obvious, such as the time we worked for a client who lost a billion dollar case, had it overturned on appeal due to a legal technicality, then retained Magnus prior to the second trial. This client followed all of my recommendations (although, often, […]

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When losing is winning. Part 1.

Everyone wants to win, right? This post is being written to say winning isn’t everything. At least not in a mock trial. Regardless of whether it is a mock jury, mock arbitration, mock bench trial, or whatever, the process is not about winning. It is about debugging the case. It is about finding the problems […]

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The purpose of mock trials is not to “win,” rather, the purpose of conducting any type of litigation research is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case. In the decades I have been conducting pre-trial, pre-mediation, and pre-arbitration research for attorneys, I have worked with numerous clients who “get it,” and who truly […]

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Objective Data for Better Decisions – Proof for Others

I had a conversation yesterday with a client that prompts this post on a topic I’ve had on hold for sometime. When a trial consultant conducts mock jury research, or mock arbitration, or a mock bench trial, the consultant is collecting objective data to report to the client as to the specific results or verdicts […]

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At Magnus, we are “all about” data. And, just to be sure the reader knows this, “data” is the plural of “datum,” therefore, when one refers to data, to be correct, one must say things such as “the data are,” “the data have revealed,” “the data confirm,” etc. instead of wrongly describing data as if […]

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Better Safe than Sorry

A client of ours recently told me his motto was better safe than sorry. This was in the context of setting a meeting and allowing adequate time for Miami traffic – which can be a real challenge. But, his motto is something I’ve often thought about and attempted to use, tactfully, with potential clients who […]

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I am a firm believer in the motto, “better safe than sorry.” I am a careful, conscientious person who checks, then re-checks, then re-checks my work, in an attempt to prevent errors. Many of Magnus’ potential clients, however, prefer to “fly by the seat of their pants” then hope for the best outcome, sometimes having […]

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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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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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Why football is not part of my existence

Recent conversations with a few childhood friends led me to reflect on the reasons why I am not a football fan. As with many things in our lives, experience, familiarity, and habits are often formed early and they remain with us as we age. I grew up in a family in which baseball was king. […]

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I think there are reasons to be a football fan, a baseball fan, a NASCAR fan, or a rock and roll fan that go beyond having to work. I’m sure there are people studying theories of “fanness,” including those of medieval sporting events, of cheering the knight carrying the colored banner of “your” side. Or, […]

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