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.

Disconfirming Stereotypes

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 10, 2018

Category: Jury Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consultants

Many people, including those who should know better, use stereotypes as a basis for making important decisions. Although, by definition, stereotypes can contain “a kernel of truth” (according to Dr. Gordon Allport, who coined the term), they are often incomplete and sometimes, wrong. A recent conversation with one of my clients prompts this post. The […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 10, 2018

Category: Jury Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consultants

More than once in her career, Melissa has had to disconfirm stereotypes. Millenials are the latest target and one variable in the equation is that the attorney with predilections against a particular group is often disconnected from that group. In the case of this attorney and millenials, there is a large age gap. And, I […]

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Busy is Good!

Being busy is a good thing when you own your own business, law practice, etc. I find it interesting, though, that other people do not share my perspective. From time to time, when speaking with someone who doesn’t quite appreciate that busy is good, I try to understand why. When this happens, the person to […]

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Busy is good. In fact, being busy is great! As the co-owner of a business, I am keenly aware that the only way we can survive, in the long term, is by being busy more often than not having work to do. Of course, as in most businesses, our work volume ebbs and flows, often […]

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Why football is not part of my existence

Recent conversations with a few childhood friends led me to reflect on the reasons why I am not a football fan. As with many things in our lives, experience, familiarity, and habits are often formed early and they remain with us as we age. I grew up in a family in which baseball was king. […]

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I think there are reasons to be a football fan, a baseball fan, a NASCAR fan, or a rock and roll fan that go beyond having to work. I’m sure there are people studying theories of “fanness,” including those of medieval sporting events, of cheering the knight carrying the colored banner of “your” side. Or, […]

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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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“What do ya’ll do during football season?”

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 26, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Psychology, Work-Life

I have included quotation marks in the title of this post to indicate it is a quote, lest the reader think I would use “ya’ll” in a sentence or question. Saying “ya’ll” is not part of my vocabulary, but I digress. I was recently asked this question by a person whom I do not know […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 26, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Psychology, Work-Life

Football is nearly a religion for some people. Other sports probably also provide that type of connection for die hard fans – soccer fans seem pretty intense. But, to assume these sports are the only reasons to live through a certain part of the year is hard to imagine. If football season is in the […]

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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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Get Help for Mental Health Issues

David and I recently wrote about people with mental health issues who don’t act “normally.” This, related, post is about getting help for mental health issues. Because mental health issues are not as well understood as more observable physical maladies, there is often a reluctance for people who suffer from mental health problems to obtain […]

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It is too late to “do something” after the harm is done. Red flags are called that for a reason – they are the signs that something isn’t right and that the person is likely to “go off the deep end” and hurt himself or herself, or worse, others. There are too many tragic examples […]

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Cream & Sugar

Recently, I met a client/friend, or perhaps friend/client for “coffee.” Coffee is in quotes because I rarely drink it; I ordered iced tea. Here’s what went down. Robert asked for a coffee, with a little room for cream. The barista dude said “We only provide milk products for our lattes and cappuccinos. Our brewed coffee […]

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Readers of David’s and my posts often remark to me that they wonder when, or if, we will ever deplete our supply of topics about which to write. I believe this is highly doubtful, due to the colorful lives we live and our unique ways of looking at the world around us. Who would have […]

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People with Mental Health Issues Don’t Act “Normally”

Mental health, and the absence of mental health, are largely misunderstood by the general public. In that mental health concerns, including the rapidly increasing rate of age related dementia, are common within our society, it is time for people to come to terms with the variety of signs and symptoms of cognitive crises. There are […]

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As a psychologist, Melissa is acutely aware of mental health issues. However, in the last 10 or so years, the personal nature of her, and my, observations of mental health issues has grown, sadly, exponentially. This has included dementia related health issues of family and friends, as well as other mental health problems of family […]

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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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