Archive | Psychology

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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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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Laugh at yourself

Some people take themselves too seriously. No one is infallible; everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes are made by us, other mistakes are made by someone else, and many are more situationally than personally based. How each person chooses to respond to mistakes, negative situations, and life, in general, is an important part of his/her personality. […]

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I see the humor – the absurdity – of showing up at the fancy hotel, feeling like I was Jed Clampett limping along in his jalopy. In my defense, my lack of humor in this situation was primarily fear that we would not safely make it to our destination. There was no way I could […]

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Shaman Trial Consultant

I’ve been on a bit of a “tear” lately about caveat emptor. Hiring a trial consultant requires due diligence because, unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to hold oneself out as a trial consultant. A lawyer, a physician, a plumber, an electrician or a hairstylist has to be tested and licensed. We don’t. While there has […]

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Just for the fun of it, I verified that a Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. D., is the highest academic degree awarded by any university. That’s right, dear reader, the highest degree. Whatever other degrees anyone may have, it is not possible to have a degree higher than a Ph. D. Please excuse me for […]

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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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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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