Archive | Jury Deliberations

Almost Like Cheating

I keep a list of things clients have said during or after working with us on mock jury research. These tidbits illustrate the eye opening reactions some attorneys have when observing jurors deliberate. One of my favorites was from (now retired) Pete Burkert in Fort Myers, FL. After a series of mock juries, he said, […]

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Pete Burkert’s quote is memorable, even after many years have passed.  Until his and his partner, Kim Hart’s, retirement, Magnus enjoyed decades of working with these 2 extremely fine attorneys.  Mr. Hart had worked with us several times before we worked with his law partner, Mr. Burkert, and Kim called to tell me what Pete […]

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Not Everyone in Purple Thinks the Same Way

Maybe it wasn’t really purple, more like lavender. The polo style shirts by 2 male senior citizens on one of our mock jury panels were very similar. I wasn’t present to witness the events first hand, but I have seen the video of the deliberations many times. The venue was a community where many senior […]

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I know several people who adore the color purple (I am not among them).  It is rare, however, to see 2 male senior citizens wearing purple clothing in the same room.  In fact, the mock jury David is referring to is the only time I have ever seen 2 men of any age wearing purple […]

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Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I make mistakes, a lot of them. A few minutes ago, David pointed out my most recent mistake, for which I apologized. I almost always take responsibility for my mistakes and I try to correct them when it is possible to do so. Fortunately, none of my mistakes have resulted in seriously negative outcomes for […]

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Some of the lessons learned at the top of my list are not really mistake driven, but lessons learned due to many of the unique aspects of doing trial consulting work, including working with highly successful, demanding clients (attorneys) on difficult and complex cases.  And, further, while we are not doing “rocket science,” there are […]

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Are They Paying Attention?

My post about whether the mock jurors take it seriously reminded me of another aspect of this client related surprise. Watching a group of people, mock jurors, listen to the case arguments in a mock trial can sometimes be misleading. Some mock jurors are clearly engaged, others have their eyes closed, others are frantically taking […]

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Similar to some attorneys’ concern about whether the mock jurors take their participation seriously is their concern about whether the mock jurors are paying attention.  And, just as it pertains to the issue of the mock jurors taking the case, and their participation, seriously, I have found that most of them pay attention. There is […]

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Do They Always Take it Seriously?

A client, who had never observed a Magnus mock trial, asked the question which is the title of this post during a recent mock trial. The “they” is the mock jurors. The “it” is the case. The answer is YES! The rest of the story is that, despite the mock jurors knowing they are only […]

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It is difficult for new clients to understand the seriousness with which most of Magnus’ mock jurors conduct themselves during mock jury research.  Everyone who attends a mock jury, of course, knows they are part of a research exercise, thus, the word “mock” precedes the word “jury.”  Not only do the attorneys recognize we are […]

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Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 3

In the 3rd post in the commercial litigation series, I want to bring some points together. We’ve discussed that executives are accustomed to being in charge, to being the “boss,” and that as litigants, it is often frustrating for them not to be. Also discussed is the fact their perspective may not align with decision […]

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When executives make important business decisions, they must have all available data in order to make the correct decision.  When making the correct decision has an impact on the company’s bottom line, it is imperative to assess every nuance that could impact the company’s future.  In the world of litigation, the bottom line of a […]

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Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 2

This is part 2 of the benefits of a jury or trial consultant in commercial litigation. As noted in the prior post, in commercial litigation, high powered people are often involved. We have been involved in many cases in which these parties were “out for blood.” Even though the cases were “only about money,” the […]

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Magnus has worked on numerous commercial cases in which things between or among the parties became personal.  Some people wrongly believe that, because commercial cases are mostly about money (as opposed to compensating someone for an injury), they are boring and impersonal.  This belief is a misconception because, although commercial cases involve a plaintiff suing […]

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Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 1

I had a conversation with a friend/client recently. He previously hired us in a personal injury case, but now works in a firm that does mostly commercial litigation. The question arose about what we, at Magnus, do in commercial cases. I explained that a high percentage of our cases are commercial cases. Sometimes, clients or […]

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I have worked with many witnesses during my career.  As with many things in life, my first experience is memorable.  The case was a high profile case in my hometown and the key witness was the owner of a well known and well respected corporation.  Both the corporation and its owner were defendants in the […]

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False Positives

False positives are research or test results that are inaccurate and make one think the result is positive, when in fact, it is negative. With a medical test, for example, it could mean a blood test result indicates a problem when there isn’t one. There are, of course, false negatives, but I think in the […]

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In my world of science and statistics, a false positive result is called a Type I error, leading to a rejection of the null hypothesis.  For example, if the null hypothesis is that, absent changing one’s theory of a case, the case will be won, then improper research is conducted, leading the case to be […]

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COVID-19 Jury Composition Conjecture

As trial consultants we try to stay current by reading lots of newspapers, journals, and magazines. Recently, I’ve noticed people writing about the composition of juries post COVID-19 (not that COVID-19 is over, “post” in this context merely indicates a world where COVID-19 came into being). Because of the politicization of COVID-19, vaccines, masks, etc., […]

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I guess speculating about the composition of juries gives people something to discuss.  And, at least it’s better, in my opinion, than listening to people drone on about their experiences as jurors.  (The latter discussions, when I am unwittingly involved, remind me of “One time, in band camp…” and are just as uninteresting!) I don’t […]

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