Archive | Litigation Consultants

Hiring an Unqualified Consultant is Like…

As I write this, David is attending a series of out of town marketing meetings. David is meeting with clients, as well as with prospective clients, in the never ending task of obtaining new business for Magnus. Even though my career is nothing new and I have been working in the field of litigation consulting […]

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This topic is a bit of a recurring one for us, in some variation. For a number of reasons, our profession has been under appreciated regarding what it means to be a qualified professional. Though many professions require credentials, qualifications, licenses, and tests, ours does not. This leaves the customer to sometimes buy from less […]

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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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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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10,000 Hours

There is considerable research on what level of effort is required to perform at “master” or “expert” level at a variety of skills. Malcolm Gladwell expounded on this concept in his 2008 book, Outliers. Much of the focus of this research has revolved around becoming expert at a skill like chess or mastering a musical […]

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I don’t know how many hours it takes to gain expertise on something, but I do know expertise cannot be achieved without effort and experience. The characterization of an attorney as a “trial lawyer” is, in my opinion, misplaced unless the attorney has considerable courtroom experience. These days, many attorneys who call themselves “trial lawyers” […]

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