Archive | Litigation Research

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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If someone isn’t nice to me, they won’t see me again, ever.

My time is valuable. It is valuable to me, if not to anyone else. (In that Magnus’ clients compensate my company, and thus, me, in relatively high amounts of money, I would argue that my time is perceived as valuable to someone other than me. But, I digress.) Because I value my time and my […]

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Fortunately, as we wrote in the prior related post, our clients are usually nice, professional, even kind and friendly.  We all know we’re working together for a common goal and egos usually stay in check.  But, there are exceptions. I used the example of a particularly toxic client we once had who, with our help, […]

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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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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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I’m happiest when I have a new data set

One of Magnus’ former employees once remarked that the times he saw me at my happiest were the days when I was analyzing a new data set. How true! There are few things in life I enjoy more than delving into a raw data file from a recently conducted survey of potential jurors. I eagerly […]

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Some girls get excited about diamonds; Melissa gets excited about data (well, diamonds too). Data sets give her the chance to use her favorite computer program – SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). She fires up SPSS and digs in whenever she can. Sometimes the data sets are large and she can really poke […]

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Trial Consultant as Secret Weapons

Over the years Melissa and I have been working as trial consultants, we have often been called “a secret weapon” numerous times. In reality, the fact that we, or any trial consultant, is working on a case, at least in conducting pre-trial research, preparing witnesses and the like, is secret. It is confidential attorney work […]

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It is interesting for me to be frequently called a “secret weapon” by my clients. As long time readers of David’s and my posts know, the client who utilized Magnus’ services most effectively is Kim Hart, from my hometown, Fort Myers, Florida. Kim Hart “gets it,” he really does. He, along with many other of […]

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Talk to the Boss

Many years ago when we were first starting Magnus, we learned a lesson, the hard way, about trusting clients, even prior clients, or their associates, when making research plans. We met with a client from our prior employer, at his request, and we came up a research plan for one of his cases. After the […]

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“Talk to the boss” was an early, and painful, lesson learned in the early days of Magnus Research Consultants. Related to this learning experience was the realization that, when a client says, “The check is in the mail” or something similar, the check might not actually be in the mail (or sent via overnight delivery […]

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“What’s the next case going to be?”

Glass laminates, carpet glue, yacht paint, windshield wiper technology, medical negligence, accounting malpractice, legal malpractice, burns, brain damaged babies, dog bites, hurricane damage – to coffee, hurricane building damage, construction defects, government taking of land (eminent domain), murder, rape, cruise ship based crimes, cruise ship excursions gone wrong, toxic chemicals, environmental damage, celebrities accused of […]

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As the old saying goes, “been there, done that.” There are probably some types of lawsuits on which I have not consulted, but right now, I can’t think of one! A potential client asked me recently if I’d ever worked on: (1) a big case; (2) a professional malpractice case; or (3) a securities case. […]

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