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.

Those little annoyances

Someone told me long ago that he lacked the personality characteristic to be able to tolerate performing mundane tasks, including dealing with automated telephone systems; working out problems with a bank; balancing a checkbook; etc. I share this absence of the personality trait that obviously includes having patience to handle being placed on hold for […]

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It’s not easy being OK to Handle.  I think we’ve written about that story before.  But, in the recent example, I was dealing with one of our banks.  I don’t enjoy that kind of experience, but I know I can get through it; I have to.  Melissa could not.  I just have to persevere.  This […]

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COVID-19 Jury Composition Conjecture

As trial consultants we try to stay current by reading lots of newspapers, journals, and magazines. Recently, I’ve noticed people writing about the composition of juries post COVID-19 (not that COVID-19 is over, “post” in this context merely indicates a world where COVID-19 came into being). Because of the politicization of COVID-19, vaccines, masks, etc., […]

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I guess speculating about the composition of juries gives people something to discuss.  And, at least it’s better, in my opinion, than listening to people drone on about their experiences as jurors.  (The latter discussions, when I am unwittingly involved, remind me of “One time, in band camp…” and are just as uninteresting!) I don’t […]

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Try it – once

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On January 11, 2022

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, RoadWarrior, Travel, Work-Life

How does one know if he/she will like something absent trying it, at least once? This isn’t limited to trying new and/or unfamiliar foods, however, that is certainly one area in which people with varying personality types differ greatly. Some people are risk adverse, while others are open to taking risks, to some degree or […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 11, 2022

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, RoadWarrior, Travel, Work-Life

Perhaps it is because Melissa and I share the “try it” attitude that we are generally compatible.  I am more adventurous than she is in some ways – I like SCUBA diving for example, though I haven’t been underwater like that in some time.  For me, the mold was broken when I accepted the opportunity […]

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Ramifications of “You’re Fired”

I’ll start with the obvious: anyone can be fired. As long as someone works for someone else, they can be fired and, in many states, with or without reason. (If someone is self employed, they can be fired by clients, but that is a different situation.) Some people seem to think, so what if I’m […]

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This topic has been on David’s list of things to write about for many years, however, recent events evidently inspired him to write about it.  During the almost 30 years Magnus has been in business, David has always performed the human resources functions in our company, including hiring, training, disciplining, and firing employees.  More people […]

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Get Back

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On January 4, 2022

Category: Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Work-Life

“Get Back” is the name The Beatles wanted as the title of their second to last album, however, the album ended up being called “Let It Be.” (As many people know, the “Let It Be” album was the final studio album released by The Beatles, however, it was recorded prior to “Abbey Road,” which was […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 4, 2022

Category: Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Work-Life

I had not seen Melissa as excited about anything as she was anticipating and then watching Get Back.  Well, that is since going to Abbey Road Studios and Liverpool a couple years ago that is!  Anyway, it was fascinating to observe how this televised event played out.  As changes were made in the movie production, […]

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Helping without Realizing

Sometimes in life people make a difference without even realizing it. Without trying to make a difference. “Leading by example” is the term often used to describe this phenomenon. Melissa was pleasantly surprised when the owner of a small hotel and conference facility “comp’d” our stay at the hotel for a non-work event. The woman, […]

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As corny as it sounds, I try to “let my light shine” in my dealings with everyone.  When I was growing up, my parents treated everyone with respect, whether they were dealing with the lowest or highest members of society.  Mom always told me to watch what I was doing because I never know when […]

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Helping People Who Don’t Believe They Need Help

Sometimes, the people who need our help the most do not think they need any help, from anyone. These individuals may thwart our efforts to help them in various ways: (1) they try to cover up their problem(s); (2) they deny a problem exists; (3) they cancel appointments we make with medical providers or providers […]

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Helping those needing help is especially challenging when that person is an adult, a parent perhaps, as Melissa noted.  Our experience with my parents was certainly difficult because, for a long time, neither of them realized what the rest of us did – they needed help.  They needed help to move, while they were still […]

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What is Old is New Again

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 23, 2021

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

A client recently told me about a continuing legal education program he attended and the new information contained in the seminar. He kindly shared the information on the use of visual evidence and my reaction was, despite his enthusiasm for this “new” information, it isn’t new. What struck me is how often, in the more […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 23, 2021

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

I do not expect attorneys and other non psychologists to be informed about psychological phenomenon.  Just as I, a psychologist, am not up to date about the latest advances in astrophysics, it comes as no surprise that most people are relatively ignorant about psychology.  Our well meaning client shared with David the latest drivel about […]

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Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness

I’m not certain why there is a stigma surrounding mental illness and those who suffer from it. Perhaps the stigma originates from social pressures to conform, that is, to act like “everyone else.” Obviously, when someone is mentally ill, he/she cannot act like everyone else, even if we wish this could happen; even if we […]

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It seems strange to me that some things have stigmas when they should not.  Mental illness is one of those things families like to hide in a closet.  A few years ago, when Melissa and I lived in a small city in Broward County, we had occasion to interact with our little police department.  We […]

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What’s Your Alibi?

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 16, 2021

Category: Jury Behavior, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consulting

Do you have an alibi? Do you need an alibi? We’ve all seen it on TV. If you are innocent, you have an alibi. If you don’t have an alibi, you are suspect #1. What were you doing on the evening in question? Do you remember? Probably not. In life one goes from hour to […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 16, 2021

Category: Jury Behavior, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consulting

I am thrilled that David not only read an article from one of the psychology publications to which I subscribe, but enjoyed it to the point it inspired this post!  It’s wonderful to me to share psychology with someone who appreciates the unique perspective it offers!  As for alibis, the media have done another disservice […]

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