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.

Elegantly Forceful

Magnus Research Consultants recently worked in Miami, where we have worked numerous times throughout the decades we have been in business. Most of the time when we are conducting mock jury research, the research participants/mock jurors are respectful toward one another, the Magnus staff, and me. Once in a while, however, one or more of […]

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Elegantly forceful is a great description and a smart way of handling a difficult, tense situation, ESPECIALLY when all eyes are on you.  When clients are involved, the stakes are much higher still.  The way this mock juror was handled set the tone for the entire group.  Yelling, screaming, cursing, as we’ve observed some trial […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Forget to Press Record!

Few things are as important in our mock trials or focus groups as recording the presentations and, more importantly, the deliberations or participant discussions. We’re not in the video production business, but it sometimes seems that way because we have to capture the video, and particularly, audio, from our research sessions. This is a pretty […]

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Oh my!  Words I never want to hear during a mock trial, focus group, or any other type of research for a client are “Dr. Pigott, I forgot to press record when the mock jurors started deliberating.”  I particularly dislike hearing these words via a walkie-talkie while I am in the presence of the clients […]

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Champagne on 1st

David and I celebrate life. If we look around, there is something to celebrate every day. One event David and I have always celebrated is our anniversary. We were married on New Year’s Day, January 1. We selected January 1 because it is a holiday and, therefore, we would never have to work on our […]

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The sound of the pop of a cork always brings a smile to our faces.  Opening our many bottles of champagne (or non-French “sparkling wine”) has made me pretty good at it.  I have only had a cork fly away 1 or 2 times in all these years.  We try to keep well stocked so […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Can’t do the Job!

This will be the first post in a series about being fired. I can’t believe I didn’t write these sooner, but it is not a happy topic. I put it on the list of things to write about many years ago, just never bothered until I, once again, had to terminate someone. For some people, […]

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Here we go again.  I frequently quote the psychological phenomenon regarding the requirement of both ability and effort to achieve successful task completion.  If one or both components are lacking, a task will not be completed successfully.  That is, if one has the ability to perform a given task, but one puts forth no effort […]

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Varying Types of Concert Fans

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 16, 2021

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

I have attended concerts since 1972. Going to concerts is something I really enjoy! I gone to hundreds of concerts over the years. (Although I have a list, I have never taken the time to count the number of concerts I have attended or the number of performers I have had the pleasure of seeing […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 16, 2021

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

Yes, RUSH shows are unique.  Head bobbing to their irregular time signatures is much more common than dancing to RUSH music.  But, that is probably true of most prog-rock bands.  Still, there are variations – some people “dance” by thrusting their fists or arms in the air like they are cheering.  Others stand on the […]

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Technical Difficulties

Many of us are old enough to remember when one of the 3 television networks (yes, there were only 3 at one point) had technical difficulties and the screen went gray with a sign that said something like, “Please stand by. We are having technical difficulties.” The world has changed; now we have lots of […]

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I can’t believe we are writing a blog about a blog!  Things have gotten so bad with our blog that, after 8 years of bi-weekly posts, I’m close to throwing in the towel.  There are lots of things that happen behind the scenes after David and I write our respective parts of each post.  One […]

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Just Answer the Question

When I write some of these posts, Mom’s words come to mind and I can hear these words spoken in her voice. This is another one of those times. Some people are direct in their speaking style and in general, in their approach to life. In contrast, other people, as Mom used to say “beat […]

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I chuckled when I saw the title of this post, and not in a good way.  I was recently frustrated by a recently terminated employee’s inability to give a straight answer.  I will admit there are times when a “yes” or “no” is inadequate and a more detailed explanation is warranted.  However, in the midst […]

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Being Rich

Two recent things prompted me to write this post. This post is mostly about the first of these, the loss of a long time friend of over 40 years named Vince. COVID cut his rich life short. The second thing was a conversation I had with another friend who is rich – financially. These things […]

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Characterizing someone as rich only because he or she has a lot of money misses the point, in my opinion.  My mom used to describe herself as “rich” because to her, she was rich as a child of God while she lived her life on Earth awaiting her heavenly home with streets paved of gold.  […]

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Christmas with Mom

Many people I know celebrate Christmas by spending their time with immediate family members, opening gifts together, and enjoying a special meal. My family used to do that, until 1972, when my beloved dad passed away. Daddy was the center of my family and without his large presence in our lives, Mom and I were […]

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I love pecans, and pecan pie is one of my favorite things, so that was a big plus as I assimilated into Melissa’s and Leola’s world of Christmas routines.  Most of the visits Melissa mentioned had ended prior to my joining Leola’s traditions due to life changes, but I do remember a few of the […]

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Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know

“Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know.” This was the text of Facebook post I saw recently. And, my first thought was, of course they do, they know their name, address, hometown and many other personal details. But, as I thought about it, I realized how true this is on many levels. Everyone has […]

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David’s writing reminds me of the childhood taunt, “I know something you don’t know.”  It’s true; I do know something, many things, you don’t know.  It is equally true that you know something I don’t know.  It isn’t possible for any of us to know everything about everything.  Meeting someone in one’s field of study […]

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