Archive | Litigation Consultants

2020

Well, here we are. It’s 2020. Lots of celebrations, talk about the new decade, and the roaring 20s. But, many of us think of it with the term “hindsight” attached, as in “hindsight is 20/20,” meaning that when looking backward, things that were once unclear become clear. Monday morning quarterbacking is related. If we see […]

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As we enter into a new year and a new decade, many people enjoy reminiscing about the past, while others eschew the past and focus their sights on the unknowns that will occur in future times.  As business owners, David and I spend some time reflecting on our past successes and failures (and their have […]

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You have control over your reactions

David and I have attended hundreds of meetings with attorneys and their clients in the decades we have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants. Usually, these meetings are non eventful. Their purpose is often to explain to the end client (the person involved in the lawsuit) the advantages of retaining a litigation consultant to assist […]

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Litigation is stressful!  Having been there ourselves, Melissa and I know about the stress, the lost sleep, the lost focus on “real work,” and the time required to be an active participant in one’s case.  I get it.  I also know the costs of sticking one’s neck out – even if one must do it […]

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Don’t Confuse Expenses with Investments

This post is prompted by a comment made by someone with whom we frequently work in our litigation consulting business. He remarked how he hoped clients would recognize the value of our work, and his work, and see it as an investment, not just another litigation expense or cost. As I explained to someone yesterday, […]

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The quote David mentions was made by Bob Howe, who is an investigator with whom I have had the pleasure of working during jury selection.  A mutual client retained Bob for an upcoming case but was initially undecided about whether to retain me.  It seems that, in today’s litigation world, the services of a private […]

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I spend more time with lawyers than psychologists/colleagues

I have been a social psychologist for my entire career, however, my occupation has not been in the traditional trajectory within my field. Most social psychologists are university professors. In fact, it is somewhat frowned upon for social psychologists to work in occupations outside academia. My major professor has always looked down upon my work […]

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Melissa has introduced me to more psychologists, and types of psychologists, than I ever knew existed when we first met.  At that time, I was hanging around colleagues in my world of photography.  While the photographers were visually creative, I came to learn and appreciate the creative minds of her psychology colleagues.  Their conceptualization of […]

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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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