Archive | Trial Consulting

Working Remote – Transparency

In this time of forced social distancing, with many people working remotely from home or on quarantine, I have been using some of my time to make calls or otherwise contact clients about outstanding proposals, etc. I always have a stack of people to call upon, so I’ve been reaching out. The results of these […]

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One of my favorite “gate keeper” responses, when I ask to speak with one of Magnus’ clients (including returning his/her call) is “Please hold.  Let me see if he wants to take your call.”  Wow! Talk about a put down!  That kind of response makes me wish I never called.  Far better to say “Please […]

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COVID-19 was Only One of Many Distractions

How I wish for a workplace free of distractions! On March 12, 2020, when the U.S.A. was still a relatively “normal” place, Magnus conducted a relatively large series of mock trials for a client. Conducting mock jury research requires many days of report writing for me, which necessitates highly concentrated efforts and high level thought […]

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It often amazes me how much work Melissa and I have to do that has nothing to do with being a trial consultant, things which are not productive, and don’t create any revenue.  On this fateful Monday, I found myself seeking out the property manager to report the plumbing problem, then working with him to […]

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If the cake is bad, what good is the frosting?

David and I become inspired to write our blog posts in a variety of ways, including by sources that many people would not find particularly inspiring. As an example, this post was inspired by a fortune cookie that was included in a recent delivery from a local Chinese restaurant. Many so called fortunes found inside […]

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If the cake is bad, what good is the frosting?  I guess this is similar to the adage about not judging a book by its cover.  The book cover, or the frosting, can cover up what is worn or rotten inside.  Cutting the cake, looking under the hood, or beyond a glossy cover, reveals what […]

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We Can’t Make our Clients Do Anything

David and I recently attended a meeting with attorneys and their clients regarding a case for which they were considering retaining Magnus. The clients of the attorneys are a group of wealthy, sophisticated people who are accustomed to getting their way in all aspects of their lives. These individuals are from a variety of professional […]

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Many years ago, after we had completed a mock jury project for a first time client and he had resolved the case, I made a follow up call to him to ask his impressions.  He said everything was great, but he did have one complaint, he said, “You should have made me do this sooner.” […]

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It’s all guesswork…

I was recently discussing with a client Melissa’s involvement as a trial consultant during jury selection. The attorney was well seasoned, has had many trials, but has never engaged a trial consultant to assist during jury selection. And, like most attorneys these days, the opportunities to conduct jury selection, and go to trial, with everything […]

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I’m not sure which of Magnus’ uninformed/misinformed clients made this remark to David, but this remark is another reminder that seemingly intelligent, sophisticated people are sometimes not as intelligent or sophisticated as they would like other people to believe.  Guesswork?  Did this guy say guesswork?  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, involving guesswork in my jury […]

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Theo

I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. During my career as a jury/trial consultant, I have traveled across the U.S.A. to work with attorneys. Part of my travel experience is staying in hotels in the cities where I am working. In places where Magnus works on a frequent basis, such as David’s hometown, […]

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Anonymity is the norm when traveling.  Different flights, different airports, different hotels, and different restaurants. It is a relatively rare situation to end up getting acquainted with someone who works in one of these places.  And, if you do see a familiar person from time to time on subsequent trips, the connection is generally perfunctory.  […]

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Judges are People: Some are nice and others, not so nice

Judges are people, just like the rest of us. There are many types of judges, young, old, women, men, smart, not so smart, nice, and not nice. In my years of working as a jury/trial consultant, I have encountered many judges. I have met judges during hundreds of jury selections; I have made presentations with […]

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I’m sure in most professions there are good and bad.  I can’t think of any profession without such outliers at the extremes.  I don’t get to observe many judges in action, I’ve met plenty, but seeing them in action is in Melissa’s bailiwick, not mine.  Most judges I know are courteous and professional, but I […]

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Trial Team Crew

Once again, I was reminded about the people who support the lead trial attorney. The lead attorney and 2nd chair attorneys get the attention, like the rock star. Like Ozzy, Mick, or Geddy, who are lead singers, the lead attorneys are in the spotlight (or hot seat). But, behind them, there is often a small […]

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I have had the pleasure of working with attorneys and their trial teams for several decades.  It never ceases to amaze me that almost all of Magnus’ clients have a small army of professionals working with them on behalf of our mutual clients.  When I am involved in selecting a jury for a client, I […]

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Excuses versus Legitimate Reasons for Jury Duty Dismissal

This is the third, and final, post about my recent experience with jury duty in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. As readers of David’s and my blog know, I have spent much of my career as a jury/trial consultant assisting attorneys selecting hundreds of juries. In addition, I have conducted numerous scientific studies of jury […]

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Not only have Melissa and I heard the question, “How do I get off of jury duty?” too many times to count, but Melissa hears the excuses on a regular basis.  And, I’ve taken random calls, from strangers, asking how to “get off” jury duty on several occasions.  Melissa reports to me that some judges […]

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Free Advice on Selecting a Jury

As a follow up to my previous post regarding my day of jury duty, this post will involve some free advice to attorneys. I rarely provide free advice, but my observations during my jury service warrant it. When the plaintiff’s attorney in the automobile accident case on which I was a prospective juror began to […]

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Because I don’t do in court jury selection consultation, my critique of the attorneys I’ve observed is more limited.  But, for the jury on which I was selected, I had a few observations.  The primary one was the fact that the attorneys for the prosecution and the defendant – a public defender, did a POOR […]

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