Archive | Trial Consulting

Plan B isn’t All Bad

Plan B carries a connotation that it is second best and, therefore, less desirable than Plan A. I guess it is, by definition, but that’s a bad rap as sometimes Plan B turns out just fine. Sometimes, it’s probably better. A few weeks ago while in a somewhat unfamiliar small town for a trial, Melissa […]

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I have a luggage tag that says, “I live my life according to Plan B.” I have found that life isn’t always as neat and tidy as I would prefer. Because of the nature of my job and its ever changing priorities due to fluctuating trial dates of multiple attorneys, I have learned to go […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why do we do this anyway?

I’ve been writing a number of posts recently that contain quite a bit of negativity. Negative events, negative people, me griping. I realized that some might question why Melissa and I do what we do – why we chase attorneys, why we work in such a contentious world. Some people we know can’t imagine working […]

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I became a psychologist to help people. Although I am not a clinical psychologist who helps patients overcome various psychological maladies, in my job as a social psychologist who consults with attorneys, 100% of what I do is aimed at helping those in need. I like to help people. I like to make a difference […]

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