Archive | Trial Consulting

Dr. Susan Broome

I am a social psychologist who, for the past 30 years, has been employed as a trial/jury consultant. Along the way and across the years, I have worked with many people, including several colleagues who have become long term friends. One of the most influential colleagues with whom I have ever worked is Dr. Susan […]

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Some people in life teach you things they don’t even appreciate they are teaching. Sometimes this is done by example. Melissa observed that Susan purchased bouquets of fresh flowers each week, which brought some color to her home in the dreary winter world of Boston. Melissa started doing this when we lived in Atlanta, which […]

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Cleaning the Closet

When we have lulls in “real work,” we have a to do list that keeps us from getting bored. At the top of that list recently was cleaning out the equipment closet. The equipment closet is where we store an array of items required for our work. You might think, by looking in our closet, […]

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As David mentioned, we have invested many thousands of dollars on equipment since Magnus’ inception in 1993. I have many fond memories of our huge video cameras that reminded me of those used by TV camera crews. Those old cameras, when new, cost a small fortune, at least as far as I was concerned. When […]

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Feed the lawyers

In a previous post, David and I discussed the challenges we have faced with some of our clients, who did not think we should provide food and beverages to the mock jurors and other research participants who work with us on a case. Sad, but true. Somewhat more surprisingly, we have had other clients who […]

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I will never forget having to contend with the feed the lawyers issue, but as with the mock jurors, I remember at least 2 scenarios. One involved governmental entities which, as with the mock jurors, would not pay for meals, for anyone. This happened more than one time and, on one occasion, the creative client […]

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Trials and Photography

I was writing a report recently and recommended that a client “focus” the jurors’ attention on a certain point. Given my 40+ years of photographic experience, I decided to test myself with this post to see if I can come up with analogies and metaphors between photography and litigation/trials. Focus is the starting point because […]

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David’s comparisons of photography and trials is an interesting perspective on two, very different, things. I will continue using his analysis with my interpretations of these areas of David’s interest by saying, from the outset, that photography and trials have one thing in common: they are not very interesting to people who are not photographers […]

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Feed the mock jurors

Conducting mock jury research, or other research involving human participants, involves many things unrelated to collecting data. Food and drinks are an important part of the work we do on behalf of our clients. Not only do we compensate our research participants for their time and effort in attending our mock juries and focus groups, […]

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I’ve previously written about my experiences as a photographer and having inconsiderate clients who did not think to provide me with a dinner on a job that lasted 6 to 8 hours (see Feed the Photographer February 2019). The amazing thing to us, with regard to the mock jurors, is how something like lunch or […]

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Tell no one what we do

An oddity of my job as a jury/trial consultant is not being able to share the details of my work with family, friends, or anyone, ever. All of the cases in which Magnus consults are high stakes matters, regardless of whether they are civil or criminal trials. Everyone who is employed by Magnus, including David […]

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In the past two weeks, news about several cases on which we have worked have appeared prominently in the news. The cases, and the results of their trials, were newsworthy. This is, no doubt, common for trial consultants and it is, admittedly, exciting to be involved in high profile or noteworthy cases. Yet, from the […]

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Feed the Photographer

Many years ago, my first career path was photography. I specialized in corporate media, including annual reports, public relations, event coverage, portraits, families (including a few dogs – the 4 legged kind) and I photographed quite a few weddings. Photographing a wedding is unique when compared to most of these other types of photography. But, […]

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Let’s face it. Some people are thoughtless. Withholding food from someone is rude, slightly mean, and for some people, can be dangerous. Many of my friends are professional musicians who, like David when he worked as a professional photographer, often work while others are having fun. I have heard countless stories from my musician friends […]

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Leverage

One uses a lever to gain leverage in order to be able to move something easier than moving it without the lever. I don’t know a great deal about physics, but I get this. And, it is important to look for leverage in life, in business, and in our world, the world of litigation. There […]

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I have lost count of the number of times in my career when an attorney retains Magnus in order to gain leverage over his/her client regarding the value of a lawsuit. We have worked on cases for plaintiffs’ attorneys whose clients believe that, because the insurance (or other) company has the financial resources to pay […]

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Vitamins

Do you take vitamins? (I do, especially vitamin C, after meeting Dr. Linus Pauling, and spending a day photographing him, during a visit he made to Jacksonville University. He got a Nobel prize for his research on Vitamin C.) How about a baby aspirin? (I do that too, why not, it’s cheap and it is […]

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Taking vitamins is a health precaution some, but not all, people believe in. In addition, there are certain types of people who avoid going to see a medical doctor, dentist, or psychologist, or who avoid taking their beloved pet to a veterinarian, until they are on “death’s door,” then there are other types of people […]

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Crazy Courthouse Story #4 911

I have studied the phenomenon known as autobiographical memory since I was in graduate school. Autobiographical memory is a distinct type of memory due to its shared meaningfulness to many people. For example, most people of a certain age can remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated. This tragic event was shared by […]

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Also sometimes called “flashbulb” memories, events such as 911 tend to stay with us with some degree of accuracy. I was attending a meeting near the Broward County Courthouse on that fateful morning. We were meeting in an office which had considerable video capabilities. Though the news was not turned on in the conference room […]

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