Archive | Entrepreneurship

Pro bono work – why do it

In the almost 30 years David and I have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants, we have been privileged to work on several high profile pro bono cases. Pro bono means “for the public good” and it is usually performed by attorneys for free, that is, at no cost to their clients. Many lawyers are […]

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The pro bono cases on which we’ve worked have been some of the most personally rewarding cases we have handled.  While the intellectual rewards of the work we do are often felt, in these cases, it has been something special.  The cases have been unique, cases with questions no one has had to answer previously, […]

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If someone isn’t nice to me, they won’t see me again, ever.

My time is valuable. It is valuable to me, if not to anyone else. (In that Magnus’ clients compensate my company, and thus, me, in relatively high amounts of money, I would argue that my time is perceived as valuable to someone other than me. But, I digress.) Because I value my time and my […]

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Fortunately, as we wrote in the prior related post, our clients are usually nice, professional, even kind and friendly.  We all know we’re working together for a common goal and egos usually stay in check.  But, there are exceptions. I used the example of a particularly toxic client we once had who, with our help, […]

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Hospitality

This post is about hospitality. Not the at home type, I think we’ve covered that before; but rather, the industry type. As trial consultants, we are road warriors. I don’t know how many nights we spend away from home, but I once calculated that Melissa, Melissa and I, or I, by myself, spent 75 nights […]

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Because my personal and work lives lack routine and involve many unknowns, I find it comforting to stay in the same hotels when I travel to certain cities.  In my hometown of Fort Myers, Florida, my “hotel” used to be my childhood home until 2010, when it was sold after my mother’s passing in 2009.  […]

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Most lawyers who hire me are nice to me

People are people, regardless of their profession. There are some people who are popular and well liked and there are others who are not well liked. Attorneys, of course, are people and, as such, there are some attorneys who are well liked and well respected by their colleagues and then, there are others, whom no […]

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Many of our clients are feared by their opponents, and sometimes, their own staff and litigation team.  I don’t know if the latter is a good thing, but I’ve seen it as an overall positive.  Being feared by the opposition is probably generally positive as long as the fear is because the attorney’s litigation skills […]

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The Joy of Photography, Part 2

Picking up where I left off about the joy of photography, there are at least 2 more, somewhat related, primary sources of joy in photography. The first is in taking the photos. As an aside, it is interesting to me that different terms are used for this part of photography – “taking a photograph” and […]

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Recently, David and I went on a “dream vacation” to Great Britain, the land of The Beatles, with two longtime friends.  All of us shared photos with each other, resulting in over 10,000 photos among us!  While David took professional quality photos with real (and real expensive) cameras, the rest of us busied ourselves taking […]

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Why I like spending time with lawyers

Many people, including mock jurors and other research participants, courthouse personnel, friends, and attorneys, ask me if I am an attorney. Invariably, when this happens, I am wearing a dark, conservative business suit, the attire preferred by many attorneys with whom I am acquainted. I always answer, “No, I am not an attorney. I am […]

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I share Melissa’s enjoyment of working with attorneys and on their challenging cases.  We’ve written before about the intellectual stimulation of doing so.  Neither of us grew up in a family of lawyers, as many of our clients did, but we grew up with a familiarity with lawyers, law enforcement (me), and courthouses (Melissa).  Either […]

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The Joy of Photography, Part 1

Many people know that, in addition to working as a trial consultant, I am a professional photographer. During college, and afterwards for about 5 years, this was my full time occupation. After that 5 years, I returned to graduate school, finished my M.S. degree and got into the trial consulting world; as I have told […]

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David’s photographs are lovely!  Indeed, he has brought joy to many people over the years with his beautiful images of their lives.  When people appreciate his generosity in sharing his photos, it is wonderful.  There are, thankfully, more people like Debbie who thank him for going to great lengths to send them photos than others […]

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My Armor is Chink-proof

In the over 3 decades we have known each other, David has frequently remarked that some of my long term friends have a tendency to search for “chinks in my armor.” (For readers who are unfamiliar with this expression, it has been used since the 17th century to refer to a weak spot in a […]

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It is interesting that people “snipe” at others in an attempt, I guess, to make themselves feel better about their own situation.  Such behavior was first pointed out to me by a high school classmate, Steve, during our first years in college.   He told me that his roommate was always looking for chinks in his […]

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Blue Intake Forms

As someone who thrives on forms and checklists, I also know that it is critical to improve them, as well as update them. I learned this practice from my photography mentor, Jon Peters. I’ve adapted what I did as a photographer, that is, providing a service to clients, to what I/we do as trial consultants, […]

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David loves forms.  He enjoys devising them and he enjoys having everyone who works at Magnus complete them.  He even has forms prepared for our clients to complete, to ensure we are doing everything they want us to do on their behalf.  For the most part, I don’t share David’s fondness for forms.  Although I […]

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Unpaid Work

As entrepreneurs, Melissa and I often work without getting paid.  The most common example from “my department” is talking with a prospective client about a new case, preparing a proposal, following up, only to hear that the project is a no go.  Perhaps the price was beyond their budget, or the client wanted to use […]

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People who lack the entrepreneurial mindset often can’t relate to David’s and my perspective regarding doing copious amounts of work for which we are not compensated.  As an example, I have made hundreds of presentations to attorneys’ and insurance companies’ associations, most of which have involved zero payment to me.  Why would I do such […]

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