Archive | Getting the Job Done

PowerPoint Exhibits: Good-Bad-Ugly

I had an interesting conversation today with a client who was preparing a PowerPoint presentation for an upcoming mock trial. As we discussed his plan, he mentioned that he was planning to use 20 slides for a 10 minute presentation. I tactfully suggested that 1 slide every 30 seconds is too many. This led to […]

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Death by Powerpoint.  That’s what I call the majority of Powerpoint and other, similar, electronic presentations.  I have witnessed countless attorneys “kill” their audience with electronic presentations that contain words, then more words, then even more words.  These well meaning attorneys, in their quest to educate the jury about their case, put everything they can […]

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Say “Thank you!”

David and I have written about gratitude in previous posts. Some people are quick to say, “Thank you” when someone gives them a gift or does something nice, while other people rarely, if ever, show their appreciation. This post is prompted by a recent experience with someone with whom I have been acquainted for many […]

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I recall a fairly regular cause for a letter to “Dear Abby” or “Ann Landers” was the complaint that grandchildren never wrote thank you notes.  My Mom drilled that into me by buying special stationery to use for just such occasions.  And, doing so timely was expected.  It was always a bit difficult to me […]

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Entrepreneurial Addiction

It is well known that gamblers must occasionally win in order to keep playing their games. The easiest example is that slot machines are programmed to give back a penny or a quarter based on some number of pulls of the handle (or, push of the button). I was thinking about this phenomenon recently when […]

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Interestingly to me, both David and I wrote this post on December 17, 2020, the anniversary of our first retainer check.  Although David and I are in two different cities today, we must both be thinking of Magnus’ beginnings and the hope we had for our continued success.  As anyone who knows me will verify, […]

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Listen as Much as, or More Than, You Talk

Sometimes, these posts almost write themselves. This is one of those times. I am a regular reader of advice columnists in newspapers. (Yes, I still read newspapers, several, in fact, on a daily basis.) “Dear Abby” recently provided some sage advice that included a suggestion for the reader to “listen as much as you talk.” […]

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To borrow from Alex Lifeson of Rush – “Blah blah blah.  Blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah.”  Some of you may recognize this from Alex’s speech following Rush’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It was an amazing thing to hear and watch – because one could, or at least I could, […]

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I’ll ask my parents

One source of material for these posts over the years has been the things Melissa and I have heard from employees that took us by surprise. This one is among my favorites, after the fact. We usually hire recent college graduates for our Research Associate position. Many years ago, we hired a typical, fresh from […]

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Many people have asked me if I have any kids.  I don’t know why they ask this personal question, but I always respond with, “Yes, I have had between 40 and 50 kids; they are of were my employees.”  As David said, recent college graduates have been Magnus’ Research Associates since we founded Magnus in […]

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Dancing in the Rain

My friend, Diana, gave me a lovely plaque with the following quote: “Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about dancing in the rain.” I placed this plaque in an area in my home where I see it multiple times a day. I often pause to reflect upon the meaning of this saying, […]

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We’ve all sure had more than our share of rain this year.  Literally and figuratively.  Thinking of the literal type, we’ve had storms, with and without names in a long time.  Hawaiians have 200 words for rain – and different types of rain.  Jake Shimabukuru, ukelele player extraordinaire, talked about them at a concert we […]

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When things don’t make sense: 28 days off

The work we do as trial consultants requires us to work closely with our attorney clients for several weeks or months, or even years. Clients are typically respectful and courteous. But, as we have written before, there are a few outliers – clients who abuse everyone around them, including us. We have had a few […]

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One of the most interesting aspects in my career as a jury consultant is unrelated to the expertise I provide to my clients on things such as trial strategy, jury selection, and witness preparation.  This interesting aspect of my job happens when my clients, all of whom are educated and intelligent attorneys, forget I am, […]

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Technology simplifies our lives, right?

Another clean out story. In purging the old equipment to prepare for the Magnus’ move to new office, we came across VCRs, VHS tapes, cassette recorders, cassette tapes, DVD duplicators, and more. These are a history of the technology evolution in our lives. Yet, it was also a reminder of simpler times. When we first […]

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I don’t endorse the premise that technology simplifies our lives. Sometimes, it does, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes, there is no noticeable difference between old and new technology within the realm of simplicity.  I don’t mind change; in fact, I thrive on it.  And, it is relatively easy for me to learn new ways of […]

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Altruists and Narcissists

As a follow up to my last post containing the self assessment survey, I will outline several characteristics that differentiate altruists from narcissists. First of all, some definitions are in order, lest there be any doubt about these terms. An altruist is a person who has concern for other people’s welfare. He or she can […]

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Givers or takers.  Perhaps that is another way to relate to this topic.  The world has too many examples of narcissists; it is easy to identify many of them in the political realm.  Because politics is public, it is easiest to see them, though narcissists are certainly not limited to politics.  Examples from the business […]

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Putting Technology to Use

I was prompted to write this, and the prior post, because of Magnus’ recent move. The move necessitated discarding many tools which have been useful during our careers in trial consulting. When we started Magnus in late 1993, Melissa began to receive invitations to speak to groups of lawyers, insurance adjusters, and law school students. […]

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Thanks, in large part, to David, Magnus has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to using the most up to date technology.  I have been making presentations to large audiences for my entire career.  In the old days, when I was Director of Marketing Research at a large urban hospital, an A/V […]

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