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.

2020

Well, here we are. It’s 2020. Lots of celebrations, talk about the new decade, and the roaring 20s. But, many of us think of it with the term “hindsight” attached, as in “hindsight is 20/20,” meaning that when looking backward, things that were once unclear become clear. Monday morning quarterbacking is related. If we see […]

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As we enter into a new year and a new decade, many people enjoy reminiscing about the past, while others eschew the past and focus their sights on the unknowns that will occur in future times.  As business owners, David and I spend some time reflecting on our past successes and failures (and their have […]

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You have control over your reactions

David and I have attended hundreds of meetings with attorneys and their clients in the decades we have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants. Usually, these meetings are non eventful. Their purpose is often to explain to the end client (the person involved in the lawsuit) the advantages of retaining a litigation consultant to assist […]

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Litigation is stressful!  Having been there ourselves, Melissa and I know about the stress, the lost sleep, the lost focus on “real work,” and the time required to be an active participant in one’s case.  I get it.  I also know the costs of sticking one’s neck out – even if one must do it […]

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Don’t Confuse Expenses with Investments

This post is prompted by a comment made by someone with whom we frequently work in our litigation consulting business. He remarked how he hoped clients would recognize the value of our work, and his work, and see it as an investment, not just another litigation expense or cost. As I explained to someone yesterday, […]

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The quote David mentions was made by Bob Howe, who is an investigator with whom I have had the pleasure of working during jury selection.  A mutual client retained Bob for an upcoming case but was initially undecided about whether to retain me.  It seems that, in today’s litigation world, the services of a private […]

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Linda Foley

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On February 4, 2020

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

I met Dr. Linda Anderson Foley in 1980, soon after I began graduate school. At the time I met Dr. Foley, she was dating my major professor. Their long distance romance did not continue, however, because, at the time I met her, Dr. Foley was the chairperson of the Psychology Department at the University of […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On February 4, 2020

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

Linda Foley was one of the first psychologists to whom Melissa introduced me because they were so close.  Though I don’t like talking about her in the past tense, I will say she was kind, smart, positive and committed to her work as a teacher, researcher, and administrator.  We had lots of fun together over […]

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Know when to ask for help

We, at Magnus, recently ventured into new technological waters and various challenges surprised us. This is not about the specifics of that situation, but rather, a more global commentary on the need to be open to asking for help. In this situation, we, or rather our most excellent research assistant – tech person, got bogged […]

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Any post that includes lyrics from a Lynyrd Skynyrd song is an excellent post, in my opinion!  This being said, as David mentioned in a recent post, there are times to “do it yourself” and there are times to obtain expert advice and/or turn over a task entirely to someone who possesses greater expertise than […]

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The Mini – wacky experiences

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On January 28, 2020

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Mental Health, Work-Life

It happened again. Today, as I was filling my Mini Cooper S Roadster with petrol (after all, British cars use petrol, not gas!), a woman whom I do not know walked up to me and exclaimed, “That’s the cutest car I have ever seen!”. I thanked her and continued what I was doing. She began […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 28, 2020

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Mental Health, Work-Life

Melissa has always had fun, fast, cars since we met.  When we met, she drove a bright red Camaro – with a manual transmission that took me sometime to learn, though never master.  Next was a black Corvette which she drove for 25 years – keeping the Vette mechanic happy along the way.  Jumping to […]

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False Equivalents

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 23, 2020

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Magnus, Mental Health, Psychology

Melissa and I do our best to keep politics out of these posts, as well as our professional lives. So, this is the disclaimer, this post is not about specific politics, politicians, or even impeachment, though the topic arises from various political battles of the day. Unfortunately, I need to set the stage for my […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On January 23, 2020

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Magnus, Mental Health, Psychology

Well, David has opened the proverbial can of worms with his choice of a topic for our blog.  I will begin my part with a quote that my late Mother used to repeat, relatively often: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”  Mom was on to something.  This phrase is widely known in both rhetorical and […]

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I spend more time with lawyers than psychologists/colleagues

I have been a social psychologist for my entire career, however, my occupation has not been in the traditional trajectory within my field. Most social psychologists are university professors. In fact, it is somewhat frowned upon for social psychologists to work in occupations outside academia. My major professor has always looked down upon my work […]

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Melissa has introduced me to more psychologists, and types of psychologists, than I ever knew existed when we first met.  At that time, I was hanging around colleagues in my world of photography.  While the photographers were visually creative, I came to learn and appreciate the creative minds of her psychology colleagues.  Their conceptualization of […]

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Whistleblowing isn’t easy

Much has been in the news lately about people blowing whistles on allegations of corruption and abuse. Without discussing these specific situations, I want to address the act of sounding an alarm, or blowing a whistle. I have written something on this previously, but it warrants revisiting. I will start by saying that, if you […]

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To the uninitiated, whistle blower means the same thing as tattletale.  In fact, dictionary definitions of both terms list them as synonyms, along with others, such as betrayer, informant, nark, rat fink, and snitch.  In my view, there are different circumstances that lead to the characterization of people who “tell on” others.  For example, in […]

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Pro bono work – why do it

In the almost 30 years David and I have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants, we have been privileged to work on several high profile pro bono cases. Pro bono means “for the public good” and it is usually performed by attorneys for free, that is, at no cost to their clients. Many lawyers are […]

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The pro bono cases on which we’ve worked have been some of the most personally rewarding cases we have handled.  While the intellectual rewards of the work we do are often felt, in these cases, it has been something special.  The cases have been unique, cases with questions no one has had to answer previously, […]

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