Archive | Jury Research

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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I’m happiest when I have a new data set

One of Magnus’ former employees once remarked that the times he saw me at my happiest were the days when I was analyzing a new data set. How true! There are few things in life I enjoy more than delving into a raw data file from a recently conducted survey of potential jurors. I eagerly […]

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Some girls get excited about diamonds; Melissa gets excited about data (well, diamonds too). Data sets give her the chance to use her favorite computer program – SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). She fires up SPSS and digs in whenever she can. Sometimes the data sets are large and she can really poke […]

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Trial Consultant as Secret Weapons

Over the years Melissa and I have been working as trial consultants, we have often been called “a secret weapon” numerous times. In reality, the fact that we, or any trial consultant, is working on a case, at least in conducting pre-trial research, preparing witnesses and the like, is secret. It is confidential attorney work […]

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It is interesting for me to be frequently called a “secret weapon” by my clients. As long time readers of David’s and my posts know, the client who utilized Magnus’ services most effectively is Kim Hart, from my hometown, Fort Myers, Florida. Kim Hart “gets it,” he really does. He, along with many other of […]

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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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10 Years After

No, not the band 10 Years After. This is a post of about a pleasant surprise. Something that worked as hoped, as intended. I recently got a call from a client with whom we worked 10 years ago. She was not the primary client then; she represented one of several defendants in a large case. […]

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Having just finished typing a report for the client David mentions, I will say I’m glad our clients read, then save, our reports. It takes many days of deep thought and concentration for me to write reports for Magnus’ clients. And, due to the so called modernization and high tech nature of our work environment, […]

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Sunk Costs

I recently had a conversation with a potential first time client who requested a proposal, a request I granted as always. I followed up with a call and the discussion quickly moved to the price. That’s not uncommon. But, what struck me in this conversation was that he stated that he, and his partners, had […]

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When attorneys, such as the one David has described, contact us about the possibility of retaining us, I believe they should understand there is a cost of doing business with us. (The old biker saying is applicable to many things in life, including working with a trial consultant: No one rides for free.) It astounds […]

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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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Watch What You Say – You Never Know Whose Feelings Will be Hurt

My first job upon earning my Ph. D. was Director of Marketing Research at a large hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Soon after I began working, I met an influential staff member who escorted me throughout the entire campus, introducing me to all of the high level executives whom he believed would help me in this […]

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I would add to Melissa’s elevator concerns the adage of “lose lips sink ships.” Beyond healthcare with its HIPPA rules, there are many environments where confidentiality is a concern. And, not just for the risk of hurt feelings. In fact, this is an area we make special efforts to train employees when hiring. And, we […]

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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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The Show Must Go On – Even With a Concussion

In the three decades I have been working as a jury/trial/litigation consultant, I have never missed attending a mock trial, focus group, or other research due to an injury or illness. Although I have been injured and sick (the latter, numerous times) on some research days, I have kept my health issues to myself. Instead […]

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Even though we’ve heard Atlanta Rhythm Section’s music for many years, listening to their songs still amazes when one listens to Paul Goddard’s bass lines. The show now goes on without him (sadly, he passed away in 2014), and I am sure he is a hard act for his successors to follow. The last time […]

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