Archive | Litigation Tips

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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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

A few years ago, we had a case involving lawyers from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We knew the Florida lawyers, who brought us into the case. The California lawyers were unknown to us; they were with a huge firm with a strong reputation. Our primary contact there was a Sr. Associate, […]

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Otis Redding wrote “Respect” in 1965. When sung by Otis Redding, the song was about a man who is willing to work hard all day, as long as he receives respect from his woman when he gets home. Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Respect,” released in 1967, has a different tone. Instead of begging for her […]

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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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Trial Consulting and “The Simpsons”

The reader may wonder, based on the title of this post, what is the connection between trial consulting and “The Simpsons.” No, trial consulting is not cartoonish, it is not usually funny, and our clients don’t say “D’oh!” like Homer Simpson when they are annoyed. The connection is merely time based and personal. I began […]

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Melissa and I have been together, personally and professionally, for longer than Simpsons. While I enjoy the show, she’s a bigger fan. And one thing about watching the series is that the path each episode will follow from beginning to end is never clear until the show is over! Each episode takes twists and turns […]

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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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Disconfirming Stereotypes

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 10, 2018

Category: Jury Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consultants

Many people, including those who should know better, use stereotypes as a basis for making important decisions. Although, by definition, stereotypes can contain “a kernel of truth” (according to Dr. Gordon Allport, who coined the term), they are often incomplete and sometimes, wrong. A recent conversation with one of my clients prompts this post. The […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 10, 2018

Category: Jury Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consultants

More than once in her career, Melissa has had to disconfirm stereotypes. Millenials are the latest target and one variable in the equation is that the attorney with predilections against a particular group is often disconnected from that group. In the case of this attorney and millenials, there is a large age gap. And, I […]

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Lawyers play chess; jurors play video games

I “appropriated” the title of this post from a litigation graphics consultant I heard speak recently at a Florida Bar function. I thought she was on to something with this simple, contrasting, perspective. Litigation is a “game” of strategy, and like good chess players, litigators are good at these strategies. They can move all of […]

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There are many variations on the theme about which David has written. Lawyers play chess, while jurors play video games. Lawyers play golf, while jurors watch NASCAR. Lawyers drink fine wine, while jurors drink Budweiser. Lawyers drive Mercedes-Benz automobiles, while jurors drive Ford pick up trucks. Etc. Etc. Etc. The point of these endless, and […]

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