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.

Connections: Mark Weisser

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 29, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

You never know who you’ll meet or how that person will impact your life.  Mark is the fraternity brother of someone whom I knew professionally.   This person recommended Mark for some printing work I needed.  I’ve worked with printers in the past, especially when working as a photographer, and those connections are not memorable. […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 29, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

Mark is one of those people who, at least every time I have ever encountered him, is upbeat and full of energy.  He is always ready to help David and me, particularly in our early days of business ownership when we took a long time to pay him for his excellent work.  Mark is one […]

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When to stop, for now

I am a high energy person. I move very fast in getting my work accomplished, whether it is at the office or at home. My late mother used to say, “You have to get up way before breakfast to stay ahead of Melissa” and “Just hearing about your schedule makes me tired.” When I wake […]

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Knowing your limits is important in many ways.  Knowing when to stop is as important as knowing when to get started.  I don’t accelerate off the line as fast as Melissa does, but I, too know a wall will appear if I go too long, hard, or fast.  Pushing beyond the line results in dramatically […]

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Connections: Ron Lit

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 22, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

In today’s world we work, we go home and we stay inside.  We often never even meet our neighbors and as a result, we never know what we may be missing.  Fortunately for Melissa and me, we met Ron under unique circumstances which are beyond the scope of this post.  I don’t have a big […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 22, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

Our dear friend and long time neighbor, Ron, was an amazing person David and I will never forget.  He was smart, resourceful, a curmudgeon, often silly, and a very private person who led a “double life” in many ways, that, as David said, are beyond the scope of this blog.  Ron lived next door to […]

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No, I’m not that interested in your personal life

Even though my spouse and I own a small, “mom and pop” business, we are consummate professionals who prefer to keep the lines between business and personal interactions clearly delineated. Our employees have often seemed confused about our formal approach to business, due to our small office environment and our casual attire when working in […]

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We have heard some strange, and somewhat extreme, things from employees and having operated small businesses, it is hard for me to know whether this sometimes sharing of extremely personal information is “normal” in larger environments.  I find it hard to believe that it would be, especially given the hierarchy in large businesses; that is, […]

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Connections: Jack Suchocki

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 15, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

Even with college and graduate degrees in business, figuring out how to run a business, with the changes we face on almost a daily basis, but certainly an annual basis, or on a slower evolutionary, basis, is challenging. I could say no one writes a book on how to run a business, but there are […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 15, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

David met Jack over 20 years ago when they were both members of a networking organization comprised of litigation consultants. The networking organization eventually ran its course, but the friendship between David and Jack remains until the present. Fortunately for Jack, but unfortunately for David and me, Jack moved to California two years ago, but […]

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Be smart, but act clever

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 2, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

A long time ago, when I first began my career as a jury/trial consultant, my very tough minded boss told me something that has always resonated with me as I have pursued my long career. He said, “The clients know you/we are smart, after all, we all have Ph. D.s, but what you/we must always […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 2, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

Being clever as a trial consultant requires the ability to view the case issues from perspectives beyond those of the clients.  Time and time again clients tell us they had never thought of their cases in the ways we helped them see the case.  These clever insights come from being attuned to both the reactions […]

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Benchmarks for Lawyers, part 2

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 25, 2014

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

When writing part 1 of the post on benchmarks, it occurred to me that some people might ask if there are other benchmarks for service businesses/practices.  In fact, we have been asked many times over the past 20+ years about our “success rate.”  This is always a difficult question to answer because the answer, as […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 25, 2014

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

David mentioned the benchmark of client satisfaction as an indicator of our success on a particular case. As in any service based business, Magnus’ satisfied clients are the best source of revenue for our business.  The primary way we have always obtained new cases on which to consult is from past clients whom we helped […]

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Benchmarks for Lawyers, part 1

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 20, 2014

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Trial Consulting

In the business world, the concept of benchmarks is well understood.  A benchmark is a way to measure productivity and performance.  A benchmark may take the form of a production or sales quota.  But, when dealing with performance in a service based practice – trial consulting or practicing as a lawyer – conceiving of benchmarks […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 20, 2014

Category: Getting the Job Done, Litigation Tips, Trial Consulting

Many attorneys have asked me to provide a list of cases on which I have worked that proved the case outcome was improved due to my and my company’s involvement.  As David points out, there is are no available means for me to provide this information because I do not know what would have happened […]

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Hawaii

From December, 2007 through January, 2008, my husband and I spent one glorious month in Hawai’i. We were able to celebrate two milestones, a wedding anniversary and a “big” birthday (mine) while we were there; these events were, of course, the reasons for this fantastic trip. Due to the fact that my husband and I […]

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Being able to do something like we did, spending a month in Hawai’i, is one of the major benefits of owning the company.  Though it is true in some countries that 4 week vacations are the norm, it is not so in the U.S.A.  Thus, being able to get away and absorb the culture is […]

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Resource People: Jon W. Peters

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 12, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

There are people in our lives who make a lasting impression or teach a lesson or just help us get through life. Jon W. Peters was one of these people in my life. Jon was a photographer. But, he was also a business person who figured out ways to do things efficiently and in ways […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On June 12, 2014

Category: Business personalities, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Small Business Success

It is amazing to me that, after all these years, I still see a lot of Jon Peters in the way my spouse/business partner operates our business.  Although the businesses are vastly different, in that Jon’s was a photography business and ours is a trial consulting business, the manner in which David approaches our work […]

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