Archive | Jury Research

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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The day after a research day is not a holiday

Conducting mock jury or focus group research is hard work. I am the first to admit this. After working as a jury/trial consultant for 30 years, I know everyone who works with Magnus does a great job, for long hours, in difficult environments, with demanding clients. I get it. I really do. I am right […]

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It is interesting, and often frustrating, working with new hires whose perspectives on work have been formed in less demanding environments, if they have even worked in a professional environment. The day(s) after research are critical for assimilating the data collected, the videos uploaded, and addressing client concerns which emerged on the research day. As […]

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Confirmation Bias, Part 1

I read an article recently about confirmation bias and how it negatively impacts social science research and progress. Confirmation bias is “the tendency to seek, interpret, and create information in ways that verify existing beliefs.” (Brehm & Kassin, Social Psychology, 1989. Which is, coincidentally, a textbook for which Melissa co-authored the Instructor’s Manual and Study […]

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David’s post is interesting to me in two regards. First, it is interesting that David, and not I, chose a topic related to my background as a social psychologist. Second, it is interesting that David focused his post on confirmation bias in social science research. Recently, the media have frequently mentioned confirmation bias, as if […]

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Travel to maximize office/work time

The late Wayne Huizenga, who founded several major corporations and owned several professional sports teams, was quoted in a news article many years ago as endorsing the view that he and his employees traveled on business during the time most people are home, spending time with their families. For Mr. Huizenga, it was more important […]

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There is certainly a balance in scheduling work and work travel to meet the clients’ needs. Without imposing on our employees’ personal time or incurring too much expense related to overtime work, the clients’ needs must come first. And, one thing, I suspect, is not taught at law school is that the life of a […]

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Jury Consultants Are Not Just for Jury Trials

In the vein of prior posts, this is an attempt to clarify another misconception about what we do as trial or jury consultants. Usually in the context of an introduction, I hear what might be called “sales objections.” There are varieties of these objections, but one is this, if introduced as a “jury consultant” I […]

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I prefer the term, “litigation consultant” to other terms more frequently used to describe the kind of work I perform. When I am asked what I do for a living, I rarely say I am a “jury consultant” or a “trial consultant.” Few laypersons know the meaning of any of these expressions and surprisingly, some […]

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Have Brain-Will Travel

“Have Gun-Will Travel” was a Western radio and TV series starring Richard Boone that was broadcast from 1957 to 1963. The lead character was named Paladin; he was a gunfighter who traveled around the old west while working for people who needed his help solving their problems. Paladin charged a lot of money for his […]

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Many jobs require a lot of “stuff.” The tools of many professions such as Melissa’s, however, require a sharp, focused mind, and little else. A pen and paper for note taking are probably the minimum in these occupations. However, despite the fact that Magnus is essentially paid for brainpower, certain aspects of the work we […]

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Trial Consultants Are Not Just for Trials

It happened again. I am introduced to a new, prospective client, a lawyer at a very large firm – one with a nationwide presence, hundreds of lawyers, and many offices. This is the kind of attorney whom I assume understands the concept of what a trial consultant does. But, no. I send an email introduction […]

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There are many people who believe they know more than they, in reality, actually know. Prospective clients who presume to know more than I know about the field in which I have been employed for the past 30 years are, in my opinion, rarely going to become Magnus clients. The misnomer “trial consultant” notwithstanding, it […]

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Analytics

Melissa and I had lunch with a long time client recently during which he brought up a “new” thing he hears from his clients. That is, give us the “analytics” on the case. Analytics is a concept that gets lots of airplay in various contexts. The business world has long focused on numbers to indicate […]

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It is interesting to me that what is old to me is new to other people. And, it is also interesting that words have different meanings to different people. I have been analyzing scientific data since 1977. Analytics are, therefore, what I do; it is what I did in college and grad. school and what […]

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Like “Bull,” but without the Bull

At the time of this writing, there is a popular television show that is loosely based on the life of a well known celebrity who used to work as a jury/trial consultant. The title of the show is “Bull,” and based on what I have seen, the show contains more “bull” than truth. However, because […]

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“Bull” has been fun for Melissa and me in the sense that it provides awareness of the existence of jury consultants. It’s not like we’ve been hiding though. There was at least one episode of “L.A. Law” portraying a trial consultant in a not too favorable manner. And, then there was OJ. Much of the […]

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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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