Archive | Business Frustrations

Tell no one what we do

An oddity of my job as a jury/trial consultant is not being able to share the details of my work with family, friends, or anyone, ever. All of the cases in which Magnus consults are high stakes matters, regardless of whether they are civil or criminal trials. Everyone who is employed by Magnus, including David […]

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In the past two weeks, news about several cases on which we have worked have appeared prominently in the news. The cases, and the results of their trials, were newsworthy. This is, no doubt, common for trial consultants and it is, admittedly, exciting to be involved in high profile or noteworthy cases. Yet, from the […]

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If You Break it, Speak up!

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On February 28, 2019

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Common Courtesy, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Managing Employees

When writing these posts, Melissa and I work from a list of ideas that have come to mind over time. We often do not write them, however, in the order in which they are added to the list. This post is one of those. Knock on wood, with our current staffing, the issue I’m writing […]

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My mom used to enjoy browsing in antiques stores. I remember one store that had annoying little signs all around that said, “You break it, you bought it.” As annoying as those signs were to me, I learned, as a young child, not to touch anything, lest I break it, due to the fact I […]

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Be ready/stay packed

I have traveled far and wide for most of my life. When I was a child, my parents and I went on numerous cross country vacations, with the 2 to 3 week road trip we took every summer being the highlight of my year. In between, we regularly traveled in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, […]

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Ready, set go. A great motto for road warriors or even beginning ones. Travel, for business or pleasure, is stressful enough even when using tried and true techniques to reduce the stress, such as being ready to go at all times. I’m not talking about those who have a bag with them in a car […]

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Feed the Photographer

Many years ago, my first career path was photography. I specialized in corporate media, including annual reports, public relations, event coverage, portraits, families (including a few dogs – the 4 legged kind) and I photographed quite a few weddings. Photographing a wedding is unique when compared to most of these other types of photography. But, […]

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Let’s face it. Some people are thoughtless. Withholding food from someone is rude, slightly mean, and for some people, can be dangerous. Many of my friends are professional musicians who, like David when he worked as a professional photographer, often work while others are having fun. I have heard countless stories from my musician friends […]

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Cindy’s Question

We recently experienced one of our worst nightmares in our trial consulting business. A case on which we had been working for many months, and for which we had been planning a large scale mock trial, settled a few weeks before the mock trial was scheduled. I’m sure it was a good result for the […]

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The expression, “easy come, easy go” has no applicability to the situation David just described when we have been preliminary retained for a case that will bring in sizable revenue, only to have it cancel due to the settlement of the case. Although we always charge a sizable portion of our fees as a retainer, […]

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Hotel Fires Reveal Personalities

I have been traveling for work, and, therefore, staying in hotels across the USA, for many years. I have lost count of the number of nights I have spent in hotels, however, I know this number must be in the thousands by now. I have a “been there, done that” attitude when it comes to […]

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Melissa’s travels for work are far greater than mine, yet, on one occasion, she and I were together when the fire alarm sounded. Fortunately, we were in a much warmer climate and our response to the alarm had the benefit of learning from her prior experience. We dressed for the weather, which though warm, was […]

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We can find Another Driver, but we can’t Replace Me

On a recent Sunday morning, David and I, along with a Magnus staff member, were on the way to the Miami airport for a very early flight to the destination where our research project was scheduled the next day. We always try to arrive on site the day before our research projects, due to the […]

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The adage “the show must go on” is one for which we can prepare, but the reality is that, without the lead singer, it won’t be the same. Clients pay considerable amounts of money for the presence of our “lead singer.” (Well, actually, Melissa is a bass player who is happy to be in the […]

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Plan B isn’t All Bad

Plan B carries a connotation that it is second best and, therefore, less desirable than Plan A. I guess it is, by definition, but that’s a bad rap as sometimes Plan B turns out just fine. Sometimes, it’s probably better. A few weeks ago while in a somewhat unfamiliar small town for a trial, Melissa […]

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I have a luggage tag that says, “I live my life according to Plan B.” I have found that life isn’t always as neat and tidy as I would prefer. Because of the nature of my job and its ever changing priorities due to fluctuating trial dates of multiple attorneys, I have learned to go […]

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Priorities as Hot Potatoes

I was recently thinking about how our report production process resembles the childhood game of Hot Potato. That’s the game where a group of children passes a hot potato, or some other object, with music playing. When the music stops, someone is left holding the hot potato. Kind of like musical chairs, without walking around […]

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I must admit that I enjoy playing “hot potato” as it relates to the process of preparing a report on behalf of a client far more than I enjoyed playing the game as a child (for that matter, the game of musical chairs was not for me, either). The concept of hot potato or passing […]

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Is your consultant qualified? How do you know?

A story in the news this election season reminded me of the relevance of this topic. A candidate for the Florida House of Representatives was “outed” for reporting she had a college degree that she could not have had – the university she reported having attended never offered the degree shown on her (fake) diploma, […]

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I have decided to adopt the writing style of the famous author, Carl Hiaassen, for my part of David’s post. For those readers of our blogs who aren’t familiar with Carl Hiaassen, I will provide a brief introduction. Carl Hiaassen is an author who has written more than 20 books, as well as a long […]

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