Archive | Trial Consultants

20, 30, 50% Research Breakdown

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 4, 2018

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Research, Litigation Consultants, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

Those of us who work as trial/jury consultants usually thrive on the excitement of the research day, the day when we conduct our focus groups, mock trials, jury simulations, or employ other methods of data collection. These days, thanks to books, movies, and a certain popular television show, many people are aware of some of […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 4, 2018

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Research, Litigation Consultants, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

I’ve never stopped to consider the percentages breakdown as Melissa has done here. And, I think I’d add that there is some “margin of error” depending on the case, but generally, it does come down to these three big work segments. That is, after I’ve gotten the client to agree on the research design and […]

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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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Tallahassee Old Friends

I have always been fortunate to be the kind of person who makes friends easily. Regardless of the situation in which I find myself, I always find one or more kindred spirits with whom I can socialize. Some of my friends, in fact, refer to me as a “social butterfly,” whatever that means! On a […]

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I am fortunate to have met these Tallahassee people and get to know them to varying degrees. (And, I’ve met many of Melissa’s friends in, or from, Fort Myers in various other places as well.) I’ll say Melissa is fortunate to know them, and they, her. Good friendships are like that – two way streets. […]

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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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Traits of a bad houseguest

The parallel post to my previous post about traits of a good house guest is, of course, those on the opposite end of the spectrum, the not so good house guest. I have no idea of the number of parties David and I, or I, before I knew David, have hosted, nor do I know […]

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As I noted in the prior post, we only extend invitations to visit to people we think we’d find to be good guests. But, sometimes, especially if they are, for example, the significant other of a well known friend, or perhaps a child, there is a bit of a gamble involved. Yet, one expects that […]

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I don’t know what you do – don’t assume you know what I do

A frustration I’ve had over the years is when an attorney, a claims adjuster, a paralegal, or even a vendor of ours acts as though he/she knows how to do my job, our job. I’ll never forget the story Melissa, and others on our consulting team, told me of a case for which I was […]

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I have never understood why someone who “knows it all” bothers to retain my services, thereby paying for my expertise. After all, if one truly knows everything there is to know, what could be the benefit derived from paying someone to find out something already known? Wouldn’t it be better to merely bask in one’s […]

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Traits of a good houseguest

David and I have lots of overnight house guests. Some people stay with us for a day or two while others stay longer. Some people come from far away and some come from nearby. Some people stay at our house once, then not again for many years, while others are frequent visitors. Although David and […]

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One reason I enjoy having guests is because they give us an excuse to play tour guide and take them to explore some of the fun spots we’ve found while living in south Florida. In that regard, they sometimes give us an excuse to go visit places we have only read about. So, another positive […]

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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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Get it Right – The First Time & Every Time

Not too long ago, I attended a lawyers’ luncheon at which the speaker was the president of the Florida Bar. He made a few comments about various challenges lawyers face with their clients, specifically, the expectation by the client that they essentially have all of the answers so that they get it right the first […]

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Attorneys do not usually have advanced degrees in psychology or social science. As such, many attorneys do not have a full understanding of the scientific method, scientific research techniques (including proper sampling of research participants), human decision making, group dynamics, etc. That is why, of course, attorneys routinely turn to Magnus (or one of its […]

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