Archive | Jury Deliberations

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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How serious are you about winning?

Continuing the discussion started in the post entitled How much risk can you take off the table?, the conversation took another turn when our client mentioned another question he asks certain clients, “How serious are you about winning?”. He usually works for sophisticated and/or wealthy clients on commercial cases – those without physical injuries. Many […]

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It amazes me that some clients are more interested in winning their cases than others, in that I believe winning one’s case should be a desirable goal for everyone who becomes involved in litigation. In fact, if I were an attorney who worked on high stakes civil litigation, I would consider asking all of my […]

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How much risk can you take off the table?

A recent lunch with a client involved an interesting discussion of how to convince “end” clients to spend money on mock jury research. For those who don’t know, in some cases, the lawyers advance the expenses, including expenses for things such as mock trials, and in others, they expect the actual client, the “end client,” […]

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In the early days of Magnus, our slogan used to be “reducing uncertainty.” We soon learned this was an ineffective slogan in that most attorneys don’t appear to be uncertain about anything. They may be wrong, quite wrong, but they are certain nonetheless! The idea of reducing risk is, perhaps, a better way to frame […]

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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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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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Trials and Photography

I was writing a report recently and recommended that a client “focus” the jurors’ attention on a certain point. Given my 40+ years of photographic experience, I decided to test myself with this post to see if I can come up with analogies and metaphors between photography and litigation/trials. Focus is the starting point because […]

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David’s comparisons of photography and trials is an interesting perspective on two, very different, things. I will continue using his analysis with my interpretations of these areas of David’s interest by saying, from the outset, that photography and trials have one thing in common: they are not very interesting to people who are not photographers […]

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Confabulation

I recently learned a new word, confabulation. I learned it in the context of a memory test I observed. The test was to listen to a short story about a woman who was grocery shopping, lost her wallet, couldn’t pay at checkout, then a little girl found the wallet and called the woman who lost […]

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Just as David makes a musical reference, followed by an apology, to Carly Simon, I will first reference, then apologize to, the great band, The Traveling Wilburys. (For the reader who does not know, the Traveling Wilburys was a “super group,” that is, a band comprised of immensely famous musicians. Its members were George Harrison, […]

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