Archive | Jury Deliberations

It’s a Big Job!

Melissa and I have mentioned we are undergoing a big home improvement project this year. It is not one we wanted to undertake: a new roof! We first heard “It’s a big job” when securing bids for the roof project. “It’s a big roof, it’s a big job….” Well, yes it is. Isn’t that great? […]

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I’m proud to say that, in almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus, David and I have never had a job that was too big to accept.  When prospective clients ask me if I have ever worked on a “big” case, implying that I might not have the expertise to work on their case, […]

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Quantifying Change

It is an exciting time to be a data nerd – the 2020 Census data are trickling out. And, apologies to Bob Dylan, with the times, the data are a-changing! The key data points released thus far confirm the growing diversity of America. I’ve been looking at some of the numbers for Florida, with a […]

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I’m thrilled that David decided to write about this topic!  I am the embodiment of the definition of “science nerd” and “data nerd.”  I love both science and the data obtained from research more than almost anything.  (The recent refusal of some people to believe in science, particularly medical science, is mind numbing to me, […]

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Leadership styles

Many people wonder how leaders emerge. Some people endorse the view that certain people are “born leaders,” while others believe leadership is a skill that is acquired. Organizational psychologists have studied leaders, leadership, and leadership styles for decades to determine what traits separate effective leaders from leaders who lack effectiveness, the situations in which leadership […]

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I often learn new things in reading what Melissa has written.  As someone whose graduate work was in the Organizational Behavior field (the business school version of I/O psychology), leadership is a familiar topic.  But, considering her perspective on how leadership plays out in the jury decision making process is enlightening.  Melissa is the expert […]

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Nuclear Verdicts: Part 2

Face it, some trials are bad, there is liability, there are real damages. Evaluating those honestly and without bias is what we, as trial consultants, help our clients accomplish. And, that said, the other issue in mock jury research when we work for the defense is that the plaintiff’s argument, when presented during the mock […]

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Over the years, I have heard some interesting remarks from defense attorneys and insurance adjusters following their observations of mock juries deliberating on their case.  One client, who is a defense attorney but who was, for reasons unknown to me, hired to represent numerous plaintiffs in a billion dollar class action case, told me that […]

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Nuclear Verdicts: Part 1

Boom – the verdict is in and it is explosive, shocking everyone involved. These verdicts are referred to “nuclear verdicts,” with the implication that they are both large and unreasonable. I read about this phenomenon regularly. It is a trend that frightens one side of the “v.” – the defense side, and emboldens the other […]

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When David and I founded Magnus in 1993, we used a slogan in our marketing materials, “Reducing Uncertainty.”  We know, based on our experience in conducting mock trials, focus groups, and attitude surveys, that our research results provide our clients with information about which they would have never known without our help.  Knowing this information […]

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Excuses versus Legitimate Reasons for Jury Duty Dismissal

This is the third, and final, post about my recent experience with jury duty in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. As readers of David’s and my blog know, I have spent much of my career as a jury/trial consultant assisting attorneys selecting hundreds of juries. In addition, I have conducted numerous scientific studies of jury […]

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Not only have Melissa and I heard the question, “How do I get off of jury duty?” too many times to count, but Melissa hears the excuses on a regular basis.  And, I’ve taken random calls, from strangers, asking how to “get off” jury duty on several occasions.  Melissa reports to me that some judges […]

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Free Advice on Selecting a Jury

As a follow up to my previous post regarding my day of jury duty, this post will involve some free advice to attorneys. I rarely provide free advice, but my observations during my jury service warrant it. When the plaintiff’s attorney in the automobile accident case on which I was a prospective juror began to […]

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Because I don’t do in court jury selection consultation, my critique of the attorneys I’ve observed is more limited.  But, for the jury on which I was selected, I had a few observations.  The primary one was the fact that the attorneys for the prosecution and the defendant – a public defender, did a POOR […]

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A Jury Consultant’s View of Jury Duty

I recently had the privilege of being summoned to appear for jury duty in Broward County, Florida, where I have lived for almost 30 years. Unlike almost everyone I know, I was not dismayed, afraid, or angry to receive my jury summons. I was, in fact, somewhat happy about it, as well as hopeful that, […]

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I’m not certain, but I think I’ve been called for jury duty about 5 times since moving to Broward County in 1991.  On two occasions, after arriving at a very early hour, and spending several hours in the jury assembly room enduring the tedious process, I was sent home without going to a courtroom.  On […]

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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 https://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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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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