About this blog

After more than 25 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 30 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.

Feed the mock jurors

Conducting mock jury research, or other research involving human participants, involves many things unrelated to collecting data. Food and drinks are an important part of the work we do on behalf of our clients. Not only do we compensate our research participants for their time and effort in attending our mock juries and focus groups, […]

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I’ve previously written about my experiences as a photographer and having inconsiderate clients who did not think to provide me with a dinner on a job that lasted 6 to 8 hours (see Feed the Photographer February 2019). The amazing thing to us, with regard to the mock jurors, is how something like lunch or […]

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Chris’ Dad

This morning I learned of the death of the father of one of Melissa’s lifelong friends. Chris and Melissa have known each other since childhood. Melissa provided guidance to Chris in recent years as he and his family dealt with health and end of life issues related to his father. These included those issues related […]

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The power of human touch cannot be underestimated. Pioneering psychological research, conducted by Dr. Harry Harlow and his colleagues, beginning in the 1930s, established that physical contact is an essential part of human development. Although Dr. Harlow’s studies were primarily focused on the establishment of a bond between mothers and their offspring, it is well […]

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In some ways faster than I was

In my previous post about speed, I mentioned I am not as fast as I once was. This post may seem contradictory in that, in many ways, I am faster than I have ever been. Despite limitations related to the aging process, experience in doing what I do has made me highly efficient, not to […]

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Now this is more like what I’d expect to hear from Melissa. As we’ve noted before, we each write our posts based on a topic list which we create individually. This means neither of us know what the other has up a sleeve until we read a post the other has written. So, though I’m […]

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Confabulation

I recently learned a new word, confabulation. I learned it in the context of a memory test I observed. The test was to listen to a short story about a woman who was grocery shopping, lost her wallet, couldn’t pay at checkout, then a little girl found the wallet and called the woman who lost […]

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Just as David makes a musical reference, followed by an apology, to Carly Simon, I will first reference, then apologize to, the great band, The Traveling Wilburys. (For the reader who does not know, the Traveling Wilburys was a “super group,” that is, a band comprised of immensely famous musicians. Its members were George Harrison, […]

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Not as fast as I once was

It was a sad day when, for the first time in our lives, my nephew, Frank, Jr., beat me in a foot race. I was always a very fast runner, usually beating boys and girls of all ages in races. I enjoyed accepting all challengers and I enjoyed winning because running fast was about the […]

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Melissa’s post started focusing on a physical speed issue, and I guess we all experience some level of being defeated by someone faster or better at something. But, as they say, with age comes wisdom. The “they” in this case was Oscar Wilde and full quote is, per the ever wonderful internet, “With age comes […]

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Dodged Bullets

We’ve all heard the expression, “I dodged that bullet” to indicate that one missed something that, in hindsight, would have been bad, or at least, less than positive. I was recently reflecting of at least 3 bullets that I have, or Melissa and I have, dodged. Two of these involved the beginnings of Magnus, way […]

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As John Lennon famously wrote in the lyrics of his song, “Beautiful Boy,” “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” It is interesting to see where our lives take us, including when it takes us in directions different from those we had planned. David and I founded Magnus in 1993 with big […]

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Speed reading

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On March 26, 2019

Category: Getting the Job Done, Getting Through Life and Work, Jury Consultants, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research

Thank goodness for speed reading! In the mid 1970s, when speed reading was all the rage, I worked at the American Speed Reading Academy in my hometown of Fort Myers, Florida. My job was to cold call potential customers in an attempt to sell them a speed reading class. After working at the speed reading […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 26, 2019

Category: Getting the Job Done, Getting Through Life and Work, Jury Consultants, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research

Melissa’s brain does work fast in many ways. But the way she gets up to speed on a new case is impressive. We’ve gone through various iterations of ways to facilitate her reading, settling on her reading on a large iPad after going through loads of paper, then on to computer screens, then regular iPads […]

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Freed to Run

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On March 21, 2019

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Giving Back, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research

That’s Mike Freed, client, friend, and fellow alumnus of Jacksonville University. We’re proud to boast about his efforts to raise awareness and funds for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. His first marathon of marathons (6 days, 1 marathon per day, from Tallahassee to Jacksonville along U.S. 90) garnered attention. His 2.0 version in 2018 included teams […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On March 21, 2019

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Giving Back, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research

Congratulations to Mike Freed! David and I are proud to know such a wonderful person. I know a lot of people who jog, who are marathon runners, and who run various other types of races (including mud runs), however, I have never known anyone, other than Mike Freed, who has found a creative way to […]

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Celebrate all occasions of importance

I recently wrote about my mom’s philosophy, “Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.” This post is a follow up and a continuation of the theme that I choose to live my life as joyfully as possible. Once again, credit is due to Mom, who believed each day should be lived to its fullest. When […]

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Too often, life seems dominated by the negative. We live in a time of stress and strife. As readers of this post know, Melissa and I have dealt with, or are dealing with, difficult issues with the aging and illness of family and friends. But, we have to have some rays of sunshine in life, […]

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Facing Aging

If you are wondering what this topic of Facing Aging has to do with our trial consulting world, I’ll state right off the bat, not much. Except that, when we’re living with these issues among family and friends, it does impact our lives. It hits very close to home! And, some of the issues impact […]

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My friends and I have reached the age when we are facing many maladies, both physical and mental. When various friends of mine lament about their ailments, I remind them that we either get older or we don’t. There are only two alternatives and one is death. With the other, getting older, there exists the […]

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