Archive | Litigation Tips

Reducing Uncertainty

This post builds on the evolution of our experiences as trial consultants and goes further back in that history than a related post on a similar topic.  When Melissa and I first developed the marketing materials for our new trial consulting practice (in 1993), we started from scratch on everything.   In time, we developed […]

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As I have mentioned in previous posts, attorneys and psychologists have vastly different personalities and philosophies of life. As a social psychologist, I am, first and foremost, a scientist. Generally speaking, I require facts, figures, data, statistical analyses, and other science based information to make an informed decision about something important. Absent this type of […]

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Defining Success

As trial consultants, we work in a field where defining “success” is somewhat elusive. We have talked around this in other posts, but will explain it further in this one. In the civil arena in which we work most often, the outcome variables are a verdict comprised of liability and damages. While lawyer advertising often […]

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The primary difficulty in defining success, when it comes to evaluating a jury verdict, is that there is no objective way to measure it. In psychology and other scientific endeavors, there is a control group, which receives no experimental manipulation, and is thus, considered a baseline by which to measure the results of the experimental […]

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Power of Words: Plantation ≠ big farm

This post is third in a series of posts about David’s and my experiences in the Mississippi Delta. We had fun times, but as usual, we learned some unexpected things from people we met during our trip. One of Magnus’ long time and favorite clients is named Orman Kimbrough. Orman is a native of Greenwood, […]

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Sometimes it is the “little” surprises that happen while traveling that are the most memorable.  I, too, found the plantation/big farm revelation mind opening.  It is also a reminder about the evolution of language.  The “de-sexisming” of language seems to have mostly evolved.  Gone are mailman, stewardess, chairman of the board, replaced with the gender […]

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Debugging the Case

When I am wearing my marketing hat (one of many hats I wear, as discussed in other posts), I often find myself looking for ways to explain what a trial consultant does for a trial lawyer. As hard as it is for me to repeatedly explain, after 25+ years in this field, I frequently find […]

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As of this writing, I have consulted on thousands of high stakes civil cases. So far, there has never been a client who retained my services (or those of my employers, prior to the time David and I founded Magnus) because he/she believed he/she had a perfect case. Quite the contrary: 100% of the cases […]

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Won some should have lost; lost some should have won

In writing about the window of opportunity for trial consulting, I reflected on who are our “best” clients, and why.  Our best clients are the attorneys who “get it” – who understand what we do, what goes into it, and what they will get out of it.  But, how do they know these things?  They […]

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Despite what many people believe about themselves, it is impossible to know everything there is to know. A “know it all” never knows it all! Not to mention the fact that “know it alls” are rarely the most popular people! I have been working as a trial consultant for a very long time; so long, […]

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Window of Opportunity for Trial Consulting Work

Recently I’ve received calls from attorneys who wanted mock jury research on their cases, but the calls have come so late that I have been reflecting on when the window of opportunity is open for mock jury research. I have mentioned this issue in other posts, but because I’m noticing this recent spate of last […]

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Attorneys and social psychologists share few personality traits. Different types of people are, of course, drawn to different occupations. Social psychology is a research based doctoral degree; as such, it attracts people who are detail oriented; mathematically inclined; proactive; possessive of highly advanced logical reasoning skills; capable of designing, executing, and analyzing complex research programs; […]

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How NOT to do mock jury research!

I recently had a telephone call from a prospective client who wanted help with a case going to trial within 2 weeks of his call. It was a big case and he asked that we conduct mock trial research on a specific Saturday (which was 10 days after the call), in our home venue (despite […]

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No one hates to turn down work, and more important, revenue generated from work, more than David and I do. However, we have turned down quite a bit of work over the years, for a myriad of reasons. In the recent unfortunate instance David mentions, any of the incorrect and unreasonable requests the prospective client […]

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Trial Consultants & Dentists

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 16, 2017

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Marketing your business, Psychology, Trial Consulting

Okay, what do trial consultants and dentists have in common? I was prompted to think about this recently when I met a dentist who is participating in the Jim Moran Institute/Florida State University Small Business Executive Program with me. He and I were discussing how people dread going to the dentist. It is one of […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On March 16, 2017

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Marketing your business, Psychology, Trial Consulting

I don’t understand why some of Magnus’ clients, all of whom are trial lawyers, are afraid of retaining us as a way to prepare for trial, mediation, and arbitration. In that lawsuits and litigation is their sole reason for their professional existence, why would they resist improving their chances of success by benefitting from our […]

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Identity Crisis of Trial Consultants, Part 3: Jury v. Bench Trials or Arbitration

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 9, 2017

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Marketing your business, Psychology, Trial Consulting, Trial Science

This is the final post in the series on the identity crisis of trial or jury consultants. In this post, I want to comment on the term “Jury Consultant.” Over the 25+ years of being in this field, in response to my self introduction, I have heard 2 other things. The first is, “…In my […]

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When I remark to attorneys that “Judges are people too,” they often reply, “No, they are not!’. All kidding aside, juries, judges, mediators, and arbitrators are people. They may have different backgrounds, but over the 4 decades I have been conducting research on humans, I have found people have more characteristics in common than differences. […]

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Identity Crisis of Trial Consultants, Part 2: Trials v. Mediation

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 2, 2017

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Marketing your business, Psychology, Trial Consulting, Trial Science

This is part 2 of 3 on the identity crisis of “trial consultants” and this is where the crisis becomes more problematic.  When I meet attorneys and mention that I’m a trial consultant, many “get it” – they understand, especially if they have ever hired one of us.  But, some attorneys who have hired trial […]

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David mentions attorneys who don’t “get it” when it comes to understanding the valuable role of trial consultants in the litigation process. In my opinion, many attorneys who don’t get it actually do not want to get it; that is, they are fearful we will expose their weaknesses to their clients. Many attorneys wrongly believe […]

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