High Anxiety

Magnus’ clients are attorneys involved in high stakes litigation. Whether they represent the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s), they are under a great deal of pressure to get the best result for their clients.  Even when they don’t show it, we know this is a high stress situation.  Putting together a mock jury research project is intense.  After we get past the proposal and engagement agreements, we have to handle numerous logistical details.  From securing the case documents, booking the research facility, even planning the lunch and dinner menus, there is much to be done.  A goal we’ve had at Magnus since the beginning is stated in all of  our proposals “Our goal is to make the logistics of the research trouble-free for our client.”  We know our clients are busy (we don’t get hired by attorneys who are just sitting around).  It was particularly satisfying to hear from a recent client today who indicated we met this goal.  I’ll let Melissa say more, because it was she whom he told.  But, I’ll say it is rewarding to know that we accomplished this goal because we try, diligently, to do so.  Each case is unique; all of our cases involve challenges.  There are many challenges about which we are often not told.  For example, “political” maneuvering amongst the various members of a trial team, and, as mentioned in another recent post, the actual political issues faced by our clients when governments are involved.  Answering to a client, be it a corporation/insurance company, a board of directors, or an injured party/plaintiff, creates stresses.  Attorneys for corporations and insurance companies know they are being scrutinized by their client.  Injured parties often, for various reasons, act irrationally.  We know these things.  As a result, we know we need to help our clients achieve their research objectives without adding to their burden. Sure, we have to “herd cats” and chase documents and identify meal restrictions, among other things.  We have to “hold their hands” through a process that we know well, but which they are often less familiar, even if they have done mock trials with our competitors.  And, our job is stressful enough for us to avoid any conflicts or drama.  Making things easy on our clients, or as easy as possible, helps keep them coming back.  We were thrilled to get the reminder today!

David’s title, “High Anxiety,” instantly reminded me of the 1977 Mel Brooks movie of the same name.  However, that’s where the similarity both begins and ends.  While Mel Brooks’ movie was a farcical comedy, Magnus’ cases are anything but comedic.  Many of our cases are tragic and all of them involve high stakes.  The attorneys who retain Magnus have every reason to be anxious; they have a lot to lose, including their and their clients’ money; their reputation; and loss of future revenue as a result of being on the losing end of a jury verdict.  Magnus’ clients in  criminal law have their clients’ lives at stake, resulting in even more anxiety than their colleagues who represent clients in civil actions.  Today’s compliment came from a client with whom Magnus has worked on few occasions.  At the end of our conversation, which also involved my client’s client, this attorney thanked me for the excellent work performed by the Magnus team and me.  He said one of the things he enjoys about working with Magnus, as opposed to our competitors, is our ability to help him while minimizing his anxiety and overall stress.  He said many of Magnus’ competitors’ business practices add to his and his law partners’ stress, which is already at a high level due to the demands involved in preparing for the mock trial, by bothering them unnecessarily about petty details; by being ill prepared to overcome technological failures that invariably happen during the research day; and in general, by not knowing enough about their case to provide insights to the trial team.   The client congratulated me for always being helpful and for ensuring my employees are helpful as well.  I thanked him for the compliment and ensured him that “the Magnus way” of performing our work on behalf of our clients is a large part of what differentiates us from other trial consultants.

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