Archive | Litigation Consultants

Whistleblowing isn’t easy

Much has been in the news lately about people blowing whistles on allegations of corruption and abuse. Without discussing these specific situations, I want to address the act of sounding an alarm, or blowing a whistle. I have written something on this previously, but it warrants revisiting. I will start by saying that, if you […]

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To the uninitiated, whistle blower means the same thing as tattletale.  In fact, dictionary definitions of both terms list them as synonyms, along with others, such as betrayer, informant, nark, rat fink, and snitch.  In my view, there are different circumstances that lead to the characterization of people who “tell on” others.  For example, in […]

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Pro bono work – why do it

In the almost 30 years David and I have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants, we have been privileged to work on several high profile pro bono cases. Pro bono means “for the public good” and it is usually performed by attorneys for free, that is, at no cost to their clients. Many lawyers are […]

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The pro bono cases on which we’ve worked have been some of the most personally rewarding cases we have handled.  While the intellectual rewards of the work we do are often felt, in these cases, it has been something special.  The cases have been unique, cases with questions no one has had to answer previously, […]

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Social Media Monitoring doesn’t end when the jury is seated

Background checks conducted of prospective jurors are becoming, or should be becoming, routine. We’ve written about this before, see http://magnusinsights.com/2019/01/juror-background-checks/. Though there are some constraints on these practices imposed by courts and each state’s bar rules, they are here to stay. When I say “background checks,” I am referring to searches of both public information […]

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I spoke with an attorney not long ago who told me that, if he were a judge, no one would be permitted to perform social media searches or background checks of prospective jurors.  It’s a good thing he is not a judge because the judges who preside over the court cases in which I am […]

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No one hires me for a happy event

Just as none of Magnus’ clients retain us for easy cases, none of our clients retain us for anything remotely happy. In order for Magnus to become involved with an attorney and his/her client, something terrible has happened. We have worked on cases involving tragic deaths, including murder and multiple fatalities in accidents; horrific burns; […]

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My mother once asked why I didn’t make a calendar of nice things instead of courthouses (which I did for 20 years).  She said she thinks only bad things happen in courthouses.  We then had a discussion about the good things that happen there such as weddings, and, most importantly, people seeking and getting justice.  […]

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Most lawyers who hire me are nice to me

People are people, regardless of their profession. There are some people who are popular and well liked and there are others who are not well liked. Attorneys, of course, are people and, as such, there are some attorneys who are well liked and well respected by their colleagues and then, there are others, whom no […]

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Many of our clients are feared by their opponents, and sometimes, their own staff and litigation team.  I don’t know if the latter is a good thing, but I’ve seen it as an overall positive.  Being feared by the opposition is probably generally positive as long as the fear is because the attorney’s litigation skills […]

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Why I like spending time with lawyers

Many people, including mock jurors and other research participants, courthouse personnel, friends, and attorneys, ask me if I am an attorney. Invariably, when this happens, I am wearing a dark, conservative business suit, the attire preferred by many attorneys with whom I am acquainted. I always answer, “No, I am not an attorney. I am […]

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I share Melissa’s enjoyment of working with attorneys and on their challenging cases.  We’ve written before about the intellectual stimulation of doing so.  Neither of us grew up in a family of lawyers, as many of our clients did, but we grew up with a familiarity with lawyers, law enforcement (me), and courthouses (Melissa).  Either […]

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If you want something done right…

I recently heard a program on NPR involving an incredible story that the host presented as a situation when the person involved should have “done it himself.” The story was from China, where someone hired a hitman to eliminate a competitor. The hitman subcontracted the job to someone else and that person hired someone else […]

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The DIY attitude is another example of many people’s inability to recognize their limitations.  I was searching for flooring not too long ago and discovered numerous references to DIY flooring, including instructional videos on how to install all types of flooring, from laminate to tile.  I didn’t want to know how to install flooring (by […]

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Blue Intake Forms

As someone who thrives on forms and checklists, I also know that it is critical to improve them, as well as update them. I learned this practice from my photography mentor, Jon Peters. I’ve adapted what I did as a photographer, that is, providing a service to clients, to what I/we do as trial consultants, […]

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David loves forms.  He enjoys devising them and he enjoys having everyone who works at Magnus complete them.  He even has forms prepared for our clients to complete, to ensure we are doing everything they want us to do on their behalf.  For the most part, I don’t share David’s fondness for forms.  Although I […]

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No one hires me for an easy case

On numerous occasions throughout my career as a jury/trial consultant, prospective clients, not to mention family members and friends, have asked me if I have ever worked on a “big” case or a “difficult” case. I used to bristle when asked this question, due to its implication that I am not intelligent, experienced, or good […]

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The fact that we are called on to work on large, difficult, challenging, and unique cases is one of the intellectual thrills of working as trial consultants.  And, what were once challenges are not as intimidating as they might have been years ago.  The money involved in some of the cases is part of the […]

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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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