Archive | trial consultants

Irma Aftermath 1: Being Proactive

“Here we go again” I thought, repeatedly, in the last couple of days as we watched the largest hurricane on record churn toward us in the Atlantic Ocean. My mind even took this one step further and adapted this phrase to the Dolly Parton song, “Here you come again…”, resulting in an annoying earworm as […]

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Having to postpone, then re-schedule, a client’s research project is never easy. When the postponement is due to a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or fire, everyone’s stress levels are high. Hurricane Irma was not the first natural disaster to cause the postponement of a research project and, things being what they are, I […]

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“I love you” daily

Don’t take things, or people, for granted. Someone we love may be here today but gone tomorrow and once someone is gone, there are no “do overs.” Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that go a long way. Saying “I love you” to one’s life partner, spouse, children, and close family and friends is […]

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My days when Melissa and I are together usually by start hearing her say “I love you” – largely because Melissa is more quickly alert in the morning than I am.  And, together or apart, now more than ever with our communication devices, communicating is easier than ever.  Thinking back over the years of our […]

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Too many lawsuits, too many lawyers…

All of us who work with, for, or who are, lawyers, have heard it over and over, “there are too many lawyers/lawsuits” or “lawsuits are frivolous.” Sometimes this includes a reference to McDonald’s and coffee, but it is a comment that we at Magnus hear often in some form. I heard it recently when asked […]

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I am constantly amazed by many people’s willingness to say and do things that dispel any doubt that they have no idea about the subject they are speaking. I have lost count of the number of times when, after revealing my occupation to a layperson, he/she immediately regales me with boring accounts of jury duty; […]

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Britt

My first professional job upon earning my Ph.D. in social psychology was Director of Marketing Research at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida. My job duties were to analyze the attitudes, opinions, and beliefs of all the hospitals’ constituents: (1) patients; (2) the community at large (the hospital’s source of patients); (3) the medical staff; […]

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I remember Britt as smiling, cheerful, and a true southern gentleman.  The photo I took of him had him showing off his suspenders under his suit coat.  I don’t know if Britt ever wore the pink lady jacket that the few men who were volunteers were expected to wear at that time, but he was […]

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Department of Justice Eyewitness Guidelines

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 6, 2017

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Psychology, trial consultants, Trial Consulting

As I noted in a previous post, research into eyewitness accuracy was a starting point in my business partner/wife’s study of psychology and the law. I suppose it is normal in the course of things that science, specifically psychology, was ahead of the law. Law is usually based on precedents, while social science is based […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 6, 2017

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Psychology, trial consultants, Trial Consulting

I will begin my part of this post by saying how impressed I am that David is interested in my colleagues’ and my research on eyewitness testimony. I am also glad that, after over 50 years of psychological research on this topic, the Department of Justice finally implemented procedures to enhance the accuracy of eyewitness’ […]

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When to memorize

There are many things in life that do not require memorization, such as complicated mathematical and statistical formulas that can be looked up or nowadays, calculated by a computer. In addition, there are some things that used to be memorized by most people, such as frequently dialed telephone numbers, which are now programmed into speed […]

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I once took a memory class in Jacksonville, Florida by a local memory expert named John Currie. Currie gave seminars on memorizing things, especially names and faces. His “trick” was to suggest that one form a picture using the name as tied to the face. I found this trick moderately helpful; I was not as […]

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“No thanks” to Bad Clients

The older I get, the more I choose to spend time with nice people and the less time I choose to spend with mean people. My philosophy has evolved to include family members, spouses of family members, friends, spouses of friends, and clients. Even though clients, unlike the other categories of people I have listed, […]

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We are fortunate that we have encountered only a few clients who are so abusive as to be the bad ones Melissa described.  The worst one we have encountered was a scorched earth litigator, but in his world, this extended to even include everyone on his team – and to us.  But, his true self […]

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Alternative Venue Research

In a prior post which I initiated, I wrote about how not to do jury research. That post was prompted by a call from a prospective client who wanted to hire us, but wanted to specify every aspect of the research, but all of those approaches were wrong in our estimation. Specifically, he wanted the […]

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There are valid reasons for conducting mock jury research in a venue other than the trial venue. As David pointed out, when the trial venue is in a sparsely populated area, it is sometimes risky to conduct jury research in the venue because: (1) there is a risk of “contaminating” the jury pool, meaning there […]

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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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