Archive | Litigation Tips

Confabulation

I recently learned a new word, confabulation. I learned it in the context of a memory test I observed. The test was to listen to a short story about a woman who was grocery shopping, lost her wallet, couldn’t pay at checkout, then a little girl found the wallet and called the woman who lost […]

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Just as David makes a musical reference, followed by an apology, to Carly Simon, I will first reference, then apologize to, the great band, The Traveling Wilburys. (For the reader who does not know, the Traveling Wilburys was a “super group,” that is, a band comprised of immensely famous musicians. Its members were George Harrison, […]

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Juror Background Checks

The only universal recommendation we make to clients these days regarding trial strategies is to be prepared to have background checks conducted on the potential jurors. Though this practice must be done with some care, and with the observation of a few Bar rules, it is important to prepare for background checks early. I have […]

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The voir dire process (which is defined as asking questions of potential jurors to de-select those who cannot be fair and impartial), as arduous as it may be, is never exhaustive enough to provide all of the information we need to know about every potential juror. There are time limitations, particularly time limitations related to […]

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Guitar techs versus luthiers

I have been playing the bass guitar for almost 20 years and I am the proud owner of several bass guitars. I am not a collector; all of my basses are for my playing pleasure. As with many things in life, from time to time, one of my basses needs to be repaired, as was […]

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I’ll have to say that, since Melissa started playing bass, I’ve learned quite a bit more than I knew about music, and the behind the scenes aspects of music, performers, and the business of music. I don’t know that I knew what a luthier was, for example. I also didn’t know how anything about the […]

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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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Is your consultant qualified? How do you know?

A story in the news this election season reminded me of the relevance of this topic. A candidate for the Florida House of Representatives was “outed” for reporting she had a college degree that she could not have had – the university she reported having attended never offered the degree shown on her (fake) diploma, […]

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I have decided to adopt the writing style of the famous author, Carl Hiaassen, for my part of David’s post. For those readers of our blogs who aren’t familiar with Carl Hiaassen, I will provide a brief introduction. Carl Hiaassen is an author who has written more than 20 books, as well as a long […]

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I don’t know what you do – don’t assume you know what I do

A frustration I’ve had over the years is when an attorney, a claims adjuster, a paralegal, or even a vendor of ours acts as though he/she knows how to do my job, our job. I’ll never forget the story Melissa, and others on our consulting team, told me of a case for which I was […]

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I have never understood why someone who “knows it all” bothers to retain my services, thereby paying for my expertise. After all, if one truly knows everything there is to know, what could be the benefit derived from paying someone to find out something already known? Wouldn’t it be better to merely bask in one’s […]

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When will you arrive and when will you leave

I am a busy person. I live “life in the fast lane.” Or, as the late, great, B B King famously said, “I’m pretty fast myself.” As a result of having too many things to do in too short a time, I am very time oriented. When someone is coming to visit me, I want […]

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I think that, to those of us whose schedules stay pretty full, and who are planners in general, knowing important details seems normal to us. We always try to communicate details when visiting or staying with others so that they can plan as necessary. But, over the years, we’ve frequently experienced times when we expect […]

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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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