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

Melissa and I wrote employee policy manuals and other training materials before we had employees. I am thinking about those today because I added a small update to the policy manual yesterday, thinking that it had been a long time since I had added anything. But, while the policy manual is pretty well set, the […]

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David never ceases to amaze me.  I cannot believe he missed a perfectly good opportunity to relate his post to a song by his favorite band, RUSH.  The title of the song is “Show Don’t Tell,” which is the title David used for this post. The premise of the song, written (of course) by Geddy […]

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Psychologists Don’t Get Cheap Deals in Vegas – Lawyers Can

As a follow up to my previous post about psychologists and lawyers seeing the world differently, one particular distinction between people in these 2 professions is their understanding of statistics, including probability, and the impact of this distinction on the conferences they attend. I’m sure the reader is wondering what statistics and conferences could possibly […]

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I recall how frustrated Jack was to finally find out why no “deals” were forthcoming in Las Vegas.  And I recall being surprised that the Vegas “odds makers” went as far as to profile entire professions.  But, I suppose calculating the odds is exactly what they do.  It is interesting to think about gamblers and […]

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Fighters or Settlers

We’ve written previously about how some lawyers seem to be more willing to go the distance, that is, take a case to trial, than others. In some discussions, this becomes a comparison of trial lawyers, who are ready for trial, and litigators, who work up cases, but seem to avoid starting a trial at all […]

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David has chosen to write about one of my favorite topics, which prompts me to mention one of my favorite clients.  I agree with the premise that some attorneys are fighters, who are willing to go to trial and “battle” for their clients’ rights, while others are fearful of going to the courthouse, instead, settling […]

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Psychologists and Lawyers See the World Differently

As I have stated in previous posts, I have had an interesting career, primarily because I have spent almost all of my professional life working with attorneys instead of with colleagues. Furthermore, my definition of “colleague” is narrow, in that I consider only other social psychologists as colleagues. The field of psychology is large, with […]

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What a perfect day to write this post.  Melissa just had a call with a client who is heading to trial soon.  When it was over she couldn’t wait to let me know about one aspect of the call, which was the lawyer insisting on wrongly defining a social psychological concept.  As readers of these […]

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Hitting the Ground Running

As noted in a prior post, Melissa and I have built in a “vacation” each year during the last 2 weeks of December, returning to work just after January 1. This is, in some part, due to the reality that we cannot do our “real work” of mock juries, etc., in that time period. In […]

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During our recent vacation, David and I had lunch with childhood friends of mine, both of whom are retired.  One of these friends has been retired for several years and the other, for several months.  They both extolled the virtues of retirement, which, for them, has provided considerable benefits over their careers, which they spent […]

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Jury is Greater than the Sum of Individual Juror Parts

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people behave in groups. There are many areas of research within social psychology, however, they share a common focus on how individual and group interactions are shaped by one’s external environment, specifically, other people. Numerous research findings have demonstrated the impact of the group on individual performance, […]

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Groups are found in many environments.  Work teams, church or other volunteer groups, are the norm in our world.  But, nowhere other than juries are group efforts and group decisions more important in our society.  Juries, especially those which require unanimous verdicts, work hard to achieve their goal.  The study of juries as groups by […]

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It’s Nice to Be Appreciated

Melissa and I received an unexpected thank you note and gift from the new College of Law at my alma mater, Jacksonville University. We have been doing a little to help with the start up of that program. Out of the blue came a couple of packages with nicely designed and personalized paper weights. Goodness […]

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I was pleasantly surprised to receive the beautiful and thoughtful paperweight from Jacksonville University’s College of Law.  Rarely have my efforts been rewarded with such an appreciative gesture!  My friend, Teresa, is always thoughtful when she visits David and me.  She never leaves our house without writing a thank you note and surprising us with […]

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“Old South Carolina Sayings”

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On January 3, 2023

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research

My mother, Leola Ann Wright Pigott, was born in Elberton, Georgia, and grew up, from a young age, in Anderson, South Carolina. She considered herself a true Southern belle, in the style of Scarlet O’Hara from the movie, “Gone With the Wind.” Even though Mom spent most of her life in my hometown, Fort Myers, […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 3, 2023

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research

This post has intimidated me for some time in that Melissa wrote it effortlessly some time ago, but I haven’t thought of much to say.  I don’t recall old southern sayings having much of a place in my upbringing.  My parents were from Atlanta, so the southern part is similar, but for whatever reason, these […]

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Making It Up As You Go

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 29, 2022

Category: Business Partnerships, Entrepreneurship, Getting the Job Done, Jury Consultants, Jury Research

For no imaginable reason, one of the (heavy) rock and roll stations that Melissa enjoys on Sirius XM Radio has been playing a song by the country star, Blake Shelton. I love the line from the song, “There ain’t no map, there ain’t no plan.” The song appears to be about a romantic breakup, but […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 29, 2022

Category: Business Partnerships, Entrepreneurship, Getting the Job Done, Jury Consultants, Jury Research

The key to making things up as you go along is acting like you know what you are doing.  I have been doing this for as long as I can remember.  The first time in my career that I acted like I knew what I was doing, when I actually had no idea about the […]

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Why I Love Siamese Cats

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 27, 2022

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Giving Back, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Mental Health, Travel, Work-Life

I love cats. I really do. Dogs are great too, but I love cats. I have been fond of cats my entire life. My first cat was a domestic short hair ginger cat named Dinker. The cat who was the love of my life was, of course, Ziggy, who spent 19 years with me during […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 27, 2022

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Giving Back, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Mental Health, Travel, Work-Life

I became a cat person sometime after I met Melissa.  I had no choice.  Ziggy was there first and he was a force with which to be reckoned.  The bobcat in him was close to the surface and though he didn’t have front claws, he attacked at will and had sharp teeth.  But, he knew […]

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