About this blog

After more than 20 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 25 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

Britt

My first professional job upon earning my Ph.D. in social psychology was Director of Marketing Research at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida. My job duties were to analyze the attitudes, opinions, and beliefs of all the hospitals’ constituents: (1) patients; (2) the community at large (the hospital’s source of patients); (3) the medical staff; […]

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I remember Britt as smiling, cheerful, and a true southern gentleman.  The photo I took of him had him showing off his suspenders under his suit coat.  I don’t know if Britt ever wore the pink lady jacket that the few men who were volunteers were expected to wear at that time, but he was […]

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Department of Justice Eyewitness Guidelines

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 6, 2017

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Psychology, trial consultants, Trial Consulting

As I noted in a previous post, research into eyewitness accuracy was a starting point in my business partner/wife’s study of psychology and the law. I suppose it is normal in the course of things that science, specifically psychology, was ahead of the law. Law is usually based on precedents, while social science is based […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 6, 2017

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Psychology, trial consultants, Trial Consulting

I will begin my part of this post by saying how impressed I am that David is interested in my colleagues’ and my research on eyewitness testimony. I am also glad that, after over 50 years of psychological research on this topic, the Department of Justice finally implemented procedures to enhance the accuracy of eyewitness’ […]

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Take Notes

Having been a student from the time I was 4 years old until I earned my Ph.D. at the age of 26, I learned how to take notes to document the important things in my life. My note taking abilities have served me well in my career. I have calendars dating back almost 40 years; […]

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As we have written, many of these posts are at least partially inspired by our experience as employers. By way of background, I fully agree with Melissa about the importance of note taking, though my notes are usually more cryptic and abbreviated than hers. (I don’t know how she does it the way she does, […]

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Ready for War

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 29, 2017

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Trial Consulting, Trial Science

In the first few months of this year I have received several calls from attorneys looking to engage a trial consultant in what I consider to be ridiculously short time periods. Two cases will illustrate my point. First was a call from an associate attorney at one of the largest law firms in the state […]

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I will begin my part of this post by saying how thrilled I was to read David’s reference to a current rock band, Adelitas Way! I love classic rock and roll, but I love today’s rock and roll just as much. No offense to David’s favorite band, RUSH, or mine, The Beatles, but quoting a […]

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When to memorize

There are many things in life that do not require memorization, such as complicated mathematical and statistical formulas that can be looked up or nowadays, calculated by a computer. In addition, there are some things that used to be memorized by most people, such as frequently dialed telephone numbers, which are now programmed into speed […]

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I once took a memory class in Jacksonville, Florida by a local memory expert named John Currie. Currie gave seminars on memorizing things, especially names and faces. His “trick” was to suggest that one form a picture using the name as tied to the face. I found this trick moderately helpful; I was not as […]

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Judges are People Too

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 22, 2017

Category: Careers, Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Psychology, Trial Consulting, Trial Science

We recently wrote that lawyers are people too. It has been interesting for me to watch client reactions when Melissa occasionally finds herself needing to remind the attorney/clients that judges are people also. Once an attorney becomes a judge, and puts on the black (usually) robe, a new relationship develops between their former colleagues and […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 22, 2017

Category: Careers, Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Magnus, MagnusInsights, MagnusResearch, Psychology, Trial Consulting, Trial Science

I cannot count the number of times I have said to an attorney, “Judges are people too,” only to have the attorney look at me first, with astonishment, then, upon reflecting on my comment, nod their agreement. I have presented many continuing legal education (C. L. E.) programs in which judges were among the audience. […]

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When driving the boss’ car

For most of the two plus decades David and I have co-owned our business, we have had three vehicles: his primary car, my primary car, and the so called “company truck.” The company truck is, in reality, not owned by our company but instead, is co-owned by David and me just like our other vehicles. […]

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Driving the “company” car, or “boss,’” car is a privilege not given lightly. In our business, of course, we know about the liability issues that are also a part of the equation. But, you have to get the job done and, as Melissa said, we have always expected that common sense would dictate that an […]

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Keep in Touch: Not out of Sight out of Mind

In a recent post, I mentioned my year of graduate studies overseas.  On a Rotary Foundation Scholarship, I attended the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  The year was 1985 and communications were not then what they are today.  This was before fax machines were common, […]

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As long term readers of David’s and my posts know, we are the type of people who have lots of friends. Having lots of friends, old and new, requires effort. As my late Mother used to say, “To make a friend, you have to be a friend.” Being a friend includes standing by one’s friends […]

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Road trips

When I was growing up, my parents and I regularly took road trips. Sometimes, the road trips were relatively short, for example, to Wakulla County in north Florida, where my dad was from, to visit his relatives (to whom he referred as his “kin folk”). Other trips were of 2 or 3 weeks duration, when […]

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Those who are reading this post know that the road trip Melissa mentioned that we were planning turned out well.  The Mississippi Delta provided fun, good food, new friends, and some life expanding experiences.  Growing up, I did experience a few road trips, but, probably because my traveling Dad didn’t always find road trips to […]

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Why Buy from Mom & Pop?

Small businesses, especially those run by family members or spouses, are often called “Mom & Pop.” I have written about this previously and have planned other posts on this subject. Sometimes, there seems to be almost a negative connotation to being Mom & Pop and the implication is that Mom & Pop can’t be on […]

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As the co-owner of a small business in which the other owner is my husband, I am “Mom” to his “Pop.” In my opinion, and based on my experience, there are many advantages for clients and customers of small businesses that can never be achieved when doing business with a huge conglomerate. Having worked for […]

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