Archive | Trial Consulting

Checking the Price Tag

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 28, 2018

Category: Jury Behavior, Jury Deliberations, Litigation Research, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

The old adage “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it” doesn’t apply to litigation. In part, this is because, especially in the context of civil litigation, affordability is not decided by the buyer. Buyers (insurance claims adjusters, for example) usually operate as if there is no price tag to check. We […]

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Most people are interested in knowing the price of something before they buy it. Typically, when the cost of an item is substantial, for example, the cost of a house, the buyer is keenly interested in knowing the factors that are important determinants of the cost, such as neighborhood, comparable sales, re-sale potential, etc. Litigation, […]

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Lawyers play chess; jurors play video games

I “appropriated” the title of this post from a litigation graphics consultant I heard speak recently at a Florida Bar function. I thought she was on to something with this simple, contrasting, perspective. Litigation is a “game” of strategy, and like good chess players, litigators are good at these strategies. They can move all of […]

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There are many variations on the theme about which David has written. Lawyers play chess, while jurors play video games. Lawyers play golf, while jurors watch NASCAR. Lawyers drink fine wine, while jurors drink Budweiser. Lawyers drive Mercedes-Benz automobiles, while jurors drive Ford pick up trucks. Etc. Etc. Etc. The point of these endless, and […]

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O.J. Simpson’s Contribution to Trial Consulting

The topic of O.J. Simpson came up recently in a discussion I recently had about the world of trial consulting. The murder of O.J.’s former wife, and the subsequent trial, was one of the first televised celebrity mega trials. For better, or worse, almost everyone was aware of the accusations against O.J. in that case. […]

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O. J. Simpson has been vilified since the time he was accused of murder. David’s and my post is not intended as praise for O. J.; rather, it is written as an example of how one event, even a tragic one, can change other things which, at first glance, appear unrelated. I have no positive […]

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CYA: Another Reason for a Mock Trial

CYA, 3 little letters about something important – self protection. Cover your ass – there, I’ve said it. I don’t know when I first realized that attorneys sometimes use a mock trial to protect themselves from their client. There are many reasons for a mock trial but it was perhaps the attorney who once told […]

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I am a detail oriented, meticulous person who does not like to leave anything to chance. I strongly prefer to have more, not less, data with which to make a decision. I always practice my bass lines as much as time will allow before performing a gig (and I bring an extra battery in case […]

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Not Telling Client About Proposal

Some of these posts are prompted by the puzzling events which occur when operating a business, especially one with high stakes, with litigious people, and the stressors of succeeding when facing tremendous pressure and challenges. I recently met with an attorney who asked me to meet with him about a case and ultimately requested a […]

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Just when David and I think we have “been there,” “done that,” or “heard everything,” a new client dilemma surfaces. Never, in all the years (almost 3 decades, in fact!) I have worked as a trial/jury consultant have I known about an attorney who was a prospective client, after requesting both a meeting and detailed […]

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Help the Jury Succeed

I subscribe to an email publication called the Jur-E Bulletin; it is published by the National Center for State Courts. It is a very informative publication and I recommend subscribing to it as you never know what tidbits will be there to be learned. Like a few other posts in our blog, this one was […]

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I have been working in the realm of psychology and law for decades and it has always seemed odd to me that many attorneys view jurors as their adversaries. I have heard countless remarks made by attorneys that denigrate the intelligence, motivation, and decisions made by juries. In addition, I have selected juries on hundreds […]

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Followers

I have heard some parents extol their children’s leadership abilities while, simultaneously, praising their children for not being a follower, “like everyone else.” This dual conception of leadership, while it may appear on the surface to be accurate, is not supported by decades of social psychological research. Most widely accepted social psychological definitions of leadership […]

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“Lead, follow, or get out of my way.” This quote from General George S. Patton, Jr. is quoted with some variation in many discussions about leaders and followers. It came to my mind reading Melissa’s post. Her post made me realize that considering what leads to following is perhaps more interesting in some ways than […]

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The “Trial Show”

Two recent cases on which we conducted mock trials prompted this post. In the first, the lawyers presenting the case did so using 8×10 photographs of the incident scene which they held up in front of the group of mock jurors. No enlargement, no projection, just a photo. Post research, I attempted to “encourage” the […]

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Most people learn new information via more than one method, including auditory, visual, and kinetic means. Reliance on only one method of learning may or may not be sufficient, but considerable research has shown learning that involves multiple methods is more likely to result in greater memory for what was learned than learning that takes […]

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Persuasion

The study of attitudes and attitude change has a long tradition in social psychology. Related to attitude change is the concept of persuasion, the process by which attitude change occurs. In my role as a litigation/jury consultant, I assist attorneys become persuasive communicators, with the goal being to convince the jury, arbitrators, or judge to […]

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Litigation is unique, when compared to other arenas where persuasion is important, such as advertising or marketing. With an advertising campaign, the ads, whether billboards, print media, social media, television, radio, or other formats, are often tested with focus groups, etc. And, once refined, the ad campaign is launched in a fashion where a wide […]

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Bargaining and negotiation

Bargaining is a social psychological phenomenon that I observe in every mock jury research project I conduct. Rarely do the mock jurors reach unanimity without considerable back and forth discussions. According to social psychological theory, bargaining involves situations with the following characteristics: (1) the parties involved have divergent interests; (2) some form of communication by […]

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Bargaining and negotiation involve give and take. And, some people will do all the taking, and little of the giving. We all observe this in many human interactions. In a jury scenario, this reality takes on a specific life of its own. We see it all the time in mock juries as the mock jurors […]

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