Archive | Jury Consultants

If things can go well, they will

I have a button pinned on the inside of my well worn briefcase I carry on research days that says, “If anything can go well, it will.” Notice that it says “well,” not “wrong.” I have found that, by focusing my energy on positive forces, instead of fretting about all of the negatives in life, […]

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Being positive beats its alternative – pessimism – in many ways. Though, in other posts I’ve noted having one or more “Plan B.” For me, that is not because I think something is going to go wrong. I know it may, but I’m positive that we can overcome most obstacles if we approach them with […]

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Traits of a good houseguest

David and I have lots of overnight house guests. Some people stay with us for a day or two while others stay longer. Some people come from far away and some come from nearby. Some people stay at our house once, then not again for many years, while others are frequent visitors. Although David and […]

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One reason I enjoy having guests is because they give us an excuse to play tour guide and take them to explore some of the fun spots we’ve found while living in south Florida. In that regard, they sometimes give us an excuse to go visit places we have only read about. So, another positive […]

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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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When to break rules

I am not a “Goody Two Shoes” by any means, however, I usually play by the rules, regardless of the situation. I would never, ever, park in a disabled parking space unless I am transporting a disabled passenger, I do not try to outrun trains at a railroad crossing, and I clap my hands along […]

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It is probably because of my schooling from 6th to 12th grades which, while not Catholic school, was very strict. Lots of rules, and at some point I started asking “why?”. I did not ask “why” to be obstinate. Rather, when things seemed arbitrary, it seemed like a fair question. Some things were clearly safety […]

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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 a Client’s Focus is Cost, Beware

Some people, including attorneys and insurance adjusters who are potential clients of Magnus, are more focused on obtaining the lowest price for whatever they are buying than the quality of what they are buying. Other people, in contrast, want the very best products or services money can buy. Most people, of course, fall somewhere between […]

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I don’t worry too much about whether we’re seen as a Mercedes, Cadillac or Buick. But I know we aren’t a Hyundai or, for heaven’s sake, a Yugo (for those who remember those eastern European beaters). What is most frustrating is when a prospective client seems to be shopping price, and price only. A problem […]

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RESPECT, addenda

We recently posted about RESPECT and used a couple of examples of how we were shown disrespect by our clients – “dissed” may be the current term for this. A friend (thanks Al) pointed out that the post might backfire if potential clients of ours were to think we’d post something negative about working with […]

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Many thanks to my dear friend, Al Weigand, for pointing out that there are sometimes multiple interpretations, including some that are unintended, of things we write. Al is a thoughtful, deliberative person who, upon reading the post about RESPECT, cautioned me that it could be interpreted by potential clients of Magnus as having the intent […]

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Act like the cat

As everyone who knows me will confirm, I love cats! I have spent a lot of time with a lot of cats, including my own cats, other people’s cats, and the cats who were available for adoption when I worked at the Humane Society in Miami during college. Cats, unlike humans, rarely appear to make […]

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I kicked our cat the other night. It was an accident, really it was. One thing about many cats, ours included, is that they can be stealthy when they want to be – it’s all about survival. Rex sneaked up behind me when I was packing – an activity he has learned to dislike because […]

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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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