Archive | MagnusResearch

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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The Delta

The Mississippi Delta is one of the most unique places I have ever visited. Although I have been through the Delta many times, I had never, until 2016, spent much time there. For those who aren’t familiar with the Delta area, it is in the northwest part of the state, between the Mississippi and Yazoo […]

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The state of Mississippi is to be commended for recognizing and capitalizing on the relatively recent history of music, and civil rights, which exist within its borders. They have a color coded system of informational signs to denote places of importance in the world of blues, country and civil rights history. There is also a […]

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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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Po’ Monkey

During the summer of 2016, in July to be specific, David and I took a road trip to the Mississippi Delta. The purpose of our trip was to learn about, and experience first hand, blues music. As every serious fan of rock and roll music knows, and according to Muddy Waters, “The blues had a […]

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I had no idea what to expect when we ventured out on this Mississippi trip. I, too, read up a bit, but was still not sure. Melissa had done more research and her knowledge of the Blues is stronger because she has spent many years absorbing information while playing bass guitar. She has gained a […]

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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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Poseurs

We all know poseurs. Poseur is a French word derived from pose and poser and as we all know, it is used to describe someone who adopts a fake or insincere way of presenting himself/herself to others. There are all kinds of poseurs, including many politicians and celebrities, who affect their public image in ways […]

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I’m sure that Melissa and I are compatible because we share this genuine personality trait. I’ve never “gotten” or understood the poseurs – whether high school jocks or cheerleaders, or in any other context, including our current work. I know that in our current work, trial consulting, our clients have to put on a “show” […]

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