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Social Psych = Groups = Juries

Over the years, many people have asked me what makes me qualified to work as a jury/trial consultant. I explain that I have a Ph.D. in social psychology, which is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people and situations. Social thinking, social influence, and social behavior are […]

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I have certainly learned a lot about social psychology, by osmosis and directly from Melissa, as well as in a graduate course, taken before I had any intent of working in the trial consulting world, that helped me more than I knew it would.  It is interesting to explain the principles of psychological science to […]

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Herding Cats

I am sure most people have heard the expression that something is like “herding cats.” I am sure herding felines would be nearly impossible based on my experience with having 1 in the house. Herding any of our cats, even 1 at a time, is quite a challenge. Even though our Siamese cats know their […]

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My job involves herding lots of cats, metaphorically speaking.  Not only do I “herd” attorneys, including timing their presentations during mock trials, getting a trial team to work together on trial strategies, and convincing multiple clients to listen to me and follow my advice during jury selection, I herd numerous other cats during my working […]

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The World is Round, I’ll Get There

For inexplicable reasons, I randomly remember various tag lines from television commercials and other types of advertising. Many times I can’t recall the product or service being advertised, but I remember the tag line or catch phrase. One of those I recall is “The world is round, I’ll get there.” The commercial involved a hippie […]

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I’ve heard David use the expression, “The world is round, I’ll get there” on many occasions, but I never knew, until reading his part of this post, its origin.  Before commenting on this quote, I will point out the amazing impact the TV commercials that aired in childhood had on us.  I can still recall […]

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Grace Under Pressure

What does it mean to have grace under pressure? Grace under pressure can mean several things to people, but to me, it means having a calm demeanor and an overall presence of mind in a stressful or highly demanding situation. My job as a trial/jury consultant is stressful. I often remark to people who are […]

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“Grace Under Pressure” is the title of the 10th album, a 1984 release, by RUSH.  The readers of these posts know that RUSH is my favorite band.  Though there is no song on the album entitled “grace under pressure,” the album had many references to being under pressure, especially in terms of the Cold War […]

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Completion Satisfaction

I played hooky this morning for a couple of hours in order to complete some tasks on my to do list. These were things that had been lingering at home for some time and I finally had the parts in hand to do the repairs, thanks to a big trip to Home Depot and several […]

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Hooray for David in, as I like to say, “gittin’ er dun”!  It’s always nice to accomplish tasks on the “to do” list.  As David said, our professional lives do not offer the same sense of satisfaction that comes from other people’s jobs. Our work takes a long time to complete, and often, our clients […]

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Have Something to Live for

Have something to live for. It doesn’t matter what it is; having a goal or an event to look forward to is enough to keep most people moving ahead, even in times of strife. For some people, the anticipation of their next golf game among friends brings happy thoughts until game day happens. For other […]

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Having an interest in something or some things that challenge one, or are intrinsically rewarding, is not as difficult to do as perhaps, saving the world from polio or malaria (goals of the Gates Foundation).  But, having interests, an outlet for mind and body, is a positive thing.  I recently had someone, for whom English […]

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Premature Decisions

Several recent client/case events prompted this post. My biased view of litigation is that it is best done when as much input (a.k.a. data) is considered. This includes data from various experts, but also data from mock juries used to evaluate the risks of litigation. The first example is with a case that settled prior […]

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I prefer things to be done in an orderly, not a chaotic, manner.  When I make a decision about whether or not a particular person will be a “good” juror for a client’s case, I don’t merely look at the person and say, “Yeah, that one looks pretty good to me.”  Instead, my decisions regarding […]

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Things Easy for You Are Real Hard for Me

As anyone who knows me soon realizes, I am not a “normal person.” I never have been and I never will be. My mom used to marvel that, despite the many differences between people my age and me, I had the ability to make, and keep, friends. I have usually been accepted by people who […]

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I think sometimes about how the life Melissa and I share personally and professionally is built on trade offs of strengths and weaknesses.  Long ago, a client/friend remarked “David must be here to carry Melissa’s luggage.”  We were attending a conference where she was speaking, and this client/friend had invited her to speak.  He was […]

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Things Hard for You Are Easy for Me

Everyone is different from everyone else. Some people find it easy to do certain things, while other people have to work hard to accomplish a particular task, and others can’t do it at all. It just depends. I perform high level work, in a challenging occupation, that most people cannot do, while some people who […]

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I remember my mother quoting an elderly neighbor, who became a good friend of hers, saying “Mrs. Beach says, isn’t it good we are not all alike, life would be so boring.”  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and it is the combination of peoples’ strengths that move society forward, if not as a whole, in […]

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Know What You Don’t Know

Many years ago, a college professor of mine told me that knowing what you don’t know (or that you don’t know something) is an important sign of intelligence. It was an enlightening discussion and I think I’ve mentioned this in another post. But, it bears further discussion because we seem to live in a world […]

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