Archive | Jury Behavior

Social Media Monitoring doesn’t end when the jury is seated

Background checks conducted of prospective jurors are becoming, or should be becoming, routine. We’ve written about this before, see http://magnusinsights.com/2019/01/juror-background-checks/. Though there are some constraints on these practices imposed by courts and each state’s bar rules, they are here to stay. When I say “background checks,” I am referring to searches of both public information […]

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I spoke with an attorney not long ago who told me that, if he were a judge, no one would be permitted to perform social media searches or background checks of prospective jurors.  It’s a good thing he is not a judge because the judges who preside over the court cases in which I am […]

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Magic Bullets

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 2, 2020

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Behavior, Jury Consultants, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Psychology, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

I recently read an article about a “brand new, state of the art jury selection program to bring data science to jury selection.” That is not a direct quote, but a synopsis of the news story I read about the program. (Disclaimer: I don’t really know anything about this program other than what was in […]

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A well respected attorney with whom I have been acquainted for almost 30 years alerted me to this latest attempt to make jury selection easy enough for a trained monkey to perform.  Please do not think I am, in any way, disparaging monkeys.  I have nothing against monkeys, but I do have something against humans […]

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No one hires me for an easy case

On numerous occasions throughout my career as a jury/trial consultant, prospective clients, not to mention family members and friends, have asked me if I have ever worked on a “big” case or a “difficult” case. I used to bristle when asked this question, due to its implication that I am not intelligent, experienced, or good […]

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The fact that we are called on to work on large, difficult, challenging, and unique cases is one of the intellectual thrills of working as trial consultants.  And, what were once challenges are not as intimidating as they might have been years ago.  The money involved in some of the cases is part of the […]

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My job is to help people

Sometimes, when I am asked what I do for a living, I answer, “I help people.” Although the details of my job description have changed over the years, my entire career has been devoted to helping people. In my job as Director of Marketing Research at a large hospital, I was tasked with helping improve […]

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A client called for help this week.  He faces a unexpected challenge of a case that he didn’t think would get to trial – then the judge set a trial date.  With a trial looming, and some extra challenges on the part of his client, he called.  It helped that he is a regular reader […]

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“What’s the next case going to be?”

Glass laminates, carpet glue, yacht paint, windshield wiper technology, medical negligence, accounting malpractice, legal malpractice, burns, brain damaged babies, dog bites, hurricane damage – to coffee, hurricane building damage, construction defects, government taking of land (eminent domain), murder, rape, cruise ship based crimes, cruise ship excursions gone wrong, toxic chemicals, environmental damage, celebrities accused of […]

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As the old saying goes, “been there, done that.” There are probably some types of lawsuits on which I have not consulted, but right now, I can’t think of one! A potential client asked me recently if I’d ever worked on: (1) a big case; (2) a professional malpractice case; or (3) a securities case. […]

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Faces of Jurors: “3 week trial” “Duty as Citizens” “As Pleasurable as Possible”

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On September 10, 2019

Category: Jury Behavior, Jury Consultants, Jury Deliberations, Litigation Consultants, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

In my 30 year career as a jury/trial consultant, I have assisted attorneys in the jury selection process in over 200 trials. (And, just to be clear, I really don’t want to hear about the 1 time you were on a jury. I really don’t.) All of the trials on which I have worked are […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On September 10, 2019

Category: Jury Behavior, Jury Consultants, Jury Deliberations, Litigation Consultants, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

I have not sat in the seat Melissa mentions looking into the faces of the jurors, but I have been one of those being questioned a few times. And, I’ve seen some faces made by those among the venire along the lines she described. (Some of the faces looking at the venire members were not […]

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Never Hired a Trial Consultant?

While we work with many repeat clients, once, all of our clients had a first time experience hiring a trial consultant. And, these first time experiences happen on regular basis. I’ve come to realize that things which are second nature to me are foreign to first time prospects and clients. In fact, it starts when […]

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David has developed numerous aids to help Magnus’ first time clients understand what will happen before the research day, on the research day, and after the research day. The fact that many attorneys do not understand that conducting surveys, focus groups, and mock trials is research means we have a long way to go to […]

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Confirmation Bias, Part 2

In thinking about my prior post on confirmation bias, I thought about one aspect of being hired as a professional trial consultant. It happens that I recently saw an announcement of a bar association seminar on do it yourself (DIY) mock trials. I know that mock trials are often expensive when conducted by a qualified […]

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I’ll begin my part of this topic by saying that, if social psychologists, who study confirmatory bias and are, therefore, presumed to be experts on it, are subject to confirmation bias in their decision making, then almost anyone can engage in this type of biased information processing. Attorneys may be more educated and more intelligent […]

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First impressions (do matter)

First impressions matter. They really do! Social psychologists who study impression formation and cognitive psychologists who study presentation order effects, such as the primacy effect, agree that information presented early has a greater impact than information presented later. Impression formation has been heavily researched in social psychology since the 1940s, when Solomon Asch conducted a […]

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In thinking about what to write for this post I immediately had a flashback to a time Melissa and I were scheduled to interview a young man who had recently graduated with a master’s degree in psychology and had a wealthy family background. I guess stereotypes were working in his favor, that is, until he […]

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Dr. Susan Broome

I am a social psychologist who, for the past 30 years, has been employed as a trial/jury consultant. Along the way and across the years, I have worked with many people, including several colleagues who have become long term friends. One of the most influential colleagues with whom I have ever worked is Dr. Susan […]

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Some people in life teach you things they don’t even appreciate they are teaching. Sometimes this is done by example. Melissa observed that Susan purchased bouquets of fresh flowers each week, which brought some color to her home in the dreary winter world of Boston. Melissa started doing this when we lived in Atlanta, which […]

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