Archive | Trial Consulting

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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Objective Data for Better Decisions – Proof for Others

I had a conversation yesterday with a client that prompts this post on a topic I’ve had on hold for sometime. When a trial consultant conducts mock jury research, or mock arbitration, or a mock bench trial, the consultant is collecting objective data to report to the client as to the specific results or verdicts […]

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At Magnus, we are “all about” data. And, just to be sure the reader knows this, “data” is the plural of “datum,” therefore, when one refers to data, to be correct, one must say things such as “the data are,” “the data have revealed,” “the data confirm,” etc. instead of wrongly describing data as if […]

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Don’t give them a freebie

The title of this blog is a something I tell new Magnus staff when trying to explain the need to do their job with as near perfection as is humanly possible. Don’t give the client anything to complain about – that’s the goal. Not that there won’t be any complaints, but make them about things […]

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Decades ago, Magnus had an employee who believed she could learn only as a result of making mistakes. She assured David and me, upon making mistake after mistake, that she never made the same mistake twice; rather, she made new mistakes that she truly believed were acceptable. Needless to say, we were quite relieved when […]

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Jurors and the Internet

During my recent jury duty experience, I noticed posters around the assembly room entitled “Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media” produced by the National Center for State Courts and Center for Jury Studies. I am well aware of the issues related to jurors and social media or the internet. And, I think I’d […]

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David probably violated a rule when he took a photo of the sign, “Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media.” The courthouse personnel who posted the sign should have posted another sign that said, “Take no photographs of this sign.” During Magnus’ jury research projects, I fill the role of the judge, meaning I […]

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