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.

Show Don’t Tell

Trial exhibits are a big part of all properly conducted litigation. Most lawyers learned long ago that showing, and not just telling, is important. Some lawyers are more effective than others with this but most of them seem not to think visually. Once again, it’s Rush to the rescue. The first track on their 1989 […]

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Remember when we, as children, were subjected to “show and tell” by well meaning teachers?  I had little use for these trivial displays, finding most of my classmates’ showing and telling dreadfully boring.  However, this being said, the “show and tell” experiences from many people’s childhood illustrates the fundamental concept that a visual representation of […]

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Try new food

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 24, 2020

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, RoadWarrior, Travel, Trial Consulting

I’m not sure why, but many people are unwilling to try foods they have never tasted before. Several years ago, David and I took some friends to a deli, which, to us, is not very exotic, given that we live in South Florida (and I grew up eating at Wolfie’s a sorely missed Miami Beach […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 24, 2020

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, RoadWarrior, Travel, Trial Consulting

Apropos of Melissa’s post, she and I just tried a new (to us) cuisine yesterday – Turkish.  With kebabs and wraps, of lamb, beef, and more, it reminds me of Greek or Lebanese food, – but don’t ever tell the Turks, Greeks, or Lebanese that!  It was a wonderful experience  and I’m sure it will […]

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Gaffer’s Tape

Perhaps it seems a bit silly to write about something as low tech as tape, but here I go. Gaffer’s tape is a special tape that looks somewhat like duct tape. And, yes, it is “duct” tape, not “duck tape; it originated as a product to use for HVAC duct work. Duct tape is the […]

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I am a huge fan of gaffer’s tape.  It protects Magnus’ mock jurors, clients, employees, and me from tripping over all of the wires and cords that would, absent it, cause a tripping hazard.  I like the fact that it sticks on the heavy industrial carpet found in most hotel and research facility conference rooms.  […]

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Bob

There are lots of people named Bob. And, there are lots of others who are named Bobby, Robert, Robbie, or Rob. But, when I say “Bob” without mentioning a last name or when I say “my Bob,” there can never be any doubt about to whom I am referring. My Bob is Dr. Robert K. […]

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When Melissa says “I got a text message from Bob” I automatically ask “which Bob?”  We have several Bobs in our lives – all making our lives better.  I first met Bob well after Melissa and Bob finished their Ph.D. program, when Bob was teaching in Louisiana.  We had a memorable visit to his campus […]

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Chokehold of Technology

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 12, 2020

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Small Business Success, Workplace Technology

Technology is great, except when it isn’t. As written in a prior post, Magnus relocated its office. Moving furniture and artwork is one thing, moving computers, phones, etc. is quite another. We were fortunate in that our new office space was pre-wired in a way that was easily adaptable. What was unanticipated was the degree […]

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Although I am certainly not a Luddite (or, for that matter, a Neanderthal!), I am not particularly fond of technology.  In my opinion, many so called “high tech” devices are unreliable and tend to break far more often than the old devices they replaced.  For example, when Magnus moved into its original office in 1996, […]

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Don’t move to golf community then complain about golfers

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 10, 2020

Category: Common Courtesy, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Mental Health, Psychology

People are funny. Some people are funny, in the sense they are full of mirth, while others are funny, as in odd, strange, and curious. Several years ago, when David and I were looking at places to re-locate from our long time home, we arrived at the house we would ultimately buy. The owners of […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 10, 2020

Category: Common Courtesy, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Mental Health, Psychology

Fortunately, Melissa and I have the ability to laugh at things like the experience with the seller of our home saying she hated the golfers.  (For that matter, she told us, wine in hand at 2:00 p.m., that she hated the house…)  We have also looked at houses and had the ability to consider “environmental” […]

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

By now, readers of these posts know that Melissa and I often use lyrics, song titles, or music references thus, this title is borrowed from a David Bowie song. In thinking of the content for this post, I came up with several potential titles. I kept the simplest of them but also considered “Time for […]

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I am a person who thrives on change.  I dislike following the same old routine, day after day, year after year.  This being said, it amazes me that Magnus Research Consultants has been located it the same office since 1996!  That’s almost 25 years!  (Although Magnus was founded in 1993, it was based in David’s […]

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I’ve Got a Bartender Ear

There are many inspirations for David’s and my posts, but the most common source of my inspirations is music. I love music, more than I love psychology, and the interrelationship of music and psychology is fascinating to me. One of my favorite musicians is Jimmy Buffett, who wrote a song called, “School Boy Heart.” There […]

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It is fascinating to observe Melissa being approached by friends, and, with some regularity, strangers, with their problems.  Sometimes, significant problems.  She has told me that it was, in part, because of this frequent occurrence that she studied psychology.  But, beyond that bartender ear, listening is a very important skill for business and life – […]

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Exercise for the Brain

When writing the recent post on learning new things, I was reminded of several conversations I had with Dr. Frances Kinne about brain exercises. She did many things to keep her brain active, mainly due to her incredibly active schedule. It made me tired sometimes hearing about it. But, one seemingly small thing she did […]

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David is a proponent of taking varying routes to and from familiar places, while I often prefer taking “the long way home.”  Similar to the 1979 song by Supertramp, “The Long Way Home,” I often select the scenic route, instead of the faster, more direct, route when I am driving.  For example, I have lots […]

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Serendipities

Once in a blue moon, things work out better than I had ever hoped they would. I will refer to these events as serendipities. My dear sister-in-law, Jeanette, and I were recipients of a serendipitous surprise last year when we were celebrating her birthday at a lovely beachfront restaurant. In the middle of our fantastic […]

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I’ve been reading a series of books by Michael Reisig, titled Road to Key West.  They are “light reading” about treasure hunting, set in the Florida Keys and in Central and South America; nothing heavy, just fun.  Anyway, there is a recurring line in the books “Sometimes the Gods, they get bored and they throw […]

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