Archive | Litigation Consultants

Hiding behind Email

Prompted by my posts about “different direction” and “ghosting,” a related phenomenon is hiding behind email, especially as a way to deliver bad news. Maybe it is just me, but it seems a matter of professionalism and fairness that, if one asks someone else to do something like prepare a proposal for consulting services, the […]

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I love to discuss, and write about, etiquette.  As a social psychologist, I am keenly aware of the social norms involved in etiquette, which involves far more than knowing which fork to use.  There is a certain etiquette involved in communicating with others, in both professional and personal settings.  This includes “responding in kind” to […]

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I’m a Professional Judge of Character – Trust my 1st Impression

There have been several notable examples of my, and others’, questioning my first impressions of someone. On all of these occasions, my first impression was correct and unfortunately, questioning it caused negative turns of events. In that, as a psychologist, I am what most people would consider “a professional judge of character,” I have tried […]

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One aspect of owning a business never gets easier – hiring.  I feel like it is always a gamble.  And, I’m apparently not a good gambler because I’ve taken chances on hiring people who turned out to be ill equipped to do our work, or worse, a really bad fit, a bad choice, maybe a […]

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Sorting out responses and non responses

A few months ago, Melissa and I were talking with one of our favorite clients, Buddy Schulz, when he commented that Melissa’s job during jury selection involved sorting out responses, and non responses, of potential jurors. He was noting that it is one thing to evaluate what someone says during jury selection (or perhaps with […]

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Jury selection involves, at least for me, interpreting and de-coding the things people say and do and the things they don’t say or do.  In fact, I spend just as much time observing the nuances of people’s behavior as I do in listening to the words they say.  When a potential juror is being questioned […]

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Ghosting

Ghosting. This is a relatively new term used to indicate what might otherwise be called “radio silence,” that is, a loss of communications. Despite the many ways we can now communicate, via email, text, direct messaging, “zoom” calls, or even the good old phone or maybe “snail” mail, it amazes me that we often end […]

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Ghosting is rude, unprofessional, and, when it comes to friends and family, mean.  I have been ghosted on several occasions, by long time friends who chose to cut me out of their lives for unknown reasons.  One of these friends remained out of touch for about 20 years, another, for 7 years, and another, 6 […]

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Listen as Much as, or More Than, You Talk

Sometimes, these posts almost write themselves. This is one of those times. I am a regular reader of advice columnists in newspapers. (Yes, I still read newspapers, several, in fact, on a daily basis.) “Dear Abby” recently provided some sage advice that included a suggestion for the reader to “listen as much as you talk.” […]

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To borrow from Alex Lifeson of Rush – “Blah blah blah.  Blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah.”  Some of you may recognize this from Alex’s speech following Rush’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It was an amazing thing to hear and watch – because one could, or at least I could, […]

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When things don’t make sense: 28 days off

The work we do as trial consultants requires us to work closely with our attorney clients for several weeks or months, or even years. Clients are typically respectful and courteous. But, as we have written before, there are a few outliers – clients who abuse everyone around them, including us. We have had a few […]

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One of the most interesting aspects in my career as a jury consultant is unrelated to the expertise I provide to my clients on things such as trial strategy, jury selection, and witness preparation.  This interesting aspect of my job happens when my clients, all of whom are educated and intelligent attorneys, forget I am, […]

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Putting Technology to Use

I was prompted to write this, and the prior post, because of Magnus’ recent move. The move necessitated discarding many tools which have been useful during our careers in trial consulting. When we started Magnus in late 1993, Melissa began to receive invitations to speak to groups of lawyers, insurance adjusters, and law school students. […]

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Thanks, in large part, to David, Magnus has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to using the most up to date technology.  I have been making presentations to large audiences for my entire career.  In the old days, when I was Director of Marketing Research at a large urban hospital, an A/V […]

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Show Don’t Tell

Trial exhibits are a big part of all properly conducted litigation. Most lawyers learned long ago that showing, and not just telling, is important. Some lawyers are more effective than others with this but most of them seem not to think visually. Once again, it’s Rush to the rescue. The first track on their 1989 […]

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Remember when we, as children, were subjected to “show and tell” by well meaning teachers?  I had little use for these trivial displays, finding most of my classmates’ showing and telling dreadfully boring.  However, this being said, the “show and tell” experiences from many people’s childhood illustrates the fundamental concept that a visual representation of […]

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Clipped Wings

Due to recent world events, most people’s lives have changed in ways that would, previously, have been unimaginable. Although some of my retired friends and family members tell me that they stayed home, often alone, before the pandemic and thus, haven’t noticed many changes in their daily lives, the rest of us have noticed lots […]

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Melissa and I have posted much about travel for work or pleasure, including a list of places we’ve been (https://magnusinsights.com/2016/06/ive-been-everywhere/). And, we have generally enjoyed our travels.  Sure, it is tiring and stressful, but the rewards are many.  Our work requires travel to the trial venue so that our case assessments are conducted based on people […]

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Panic codes – “Buddy”

This is the 3rd and final post about panic at the mock jury research. Things happen. Bad things. Some are technical, some may involve the client, and some may involve the mock jurors. But, there are things about which some people would panic, which are better discussed outside the presence of the clients or mock […]

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As David mentioned, we at Magnus had the privilege to work with the late Buddy Payne first, as a client, and then, upon his retirement from the practice of law, as our very own advisor.  Although Buddy passed away many years ago, his spirit is still among us, from the beautiful ring he gave me […]

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