Archive | Litigation Tips

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Illumination

A client who has made several comments that have prompted prior blogs mentioned recently that, sometimes, things look great in the war room, but in the bright lights of the courtroom, they fall flat. I think he made a great point. As a photographer, I know that one of the keys to success in photography […]

Continue Reading

People differ in their ability to see things from other people’s point of view.  I am in the process of becoming a circuit civil mediator and I recently completed the training program that is a required part of this process.  As I expected, most of my co-students were attorneys and I was the only psychologist […]

Continue Reading

“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 […]

Continue Reading

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. […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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,” […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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” […]

Continue Reading

Confirmation Bias, Part 2

In thinking about my prior post on confirmation bias, I thought about one aspect of being hired as a professional trial consultant. It happens that I recently saw an announcement of a bar association seminar on do it yourself (DIY) mock trials. I know that mock trials are often expensive when conducted by a qualified […]

Continue Reading

I’ll begin my part of this topic by saying that, if social psychologists, who study confirmatory bias and are, therefore, presumed to be experts on it, are subject to confirmation bias in their decision making, then almost anyone can engage in this type of biased information processing. Attorneys may be more educated and more intelligent […]

Continue Reading

Confirmation Bias, Part 1

I read an article recently about confirmation bias and how it negatively impacts social science research and progress. Confirmation bias is “the tendency to seek, interpret, and create information in ways that verify existing beliefs.” (Brehm & Kassin, Social Psychology, 1989. Which is, coincidentally, a textbook for which Melissa co-authored the Instructor’s Manual and Study […]

Continue Reading

David’s post is interesting to me in two regards. First, it is interesting that David, and not I, chose a topic related to my background as a social psychologist. Second, it is interesting that David focused his post on confirmation bias in social science research. Recently, the media have frequently mentioned confirmation bias, as if […]

Continue Reading

Jury Consultants Are Not Just for Jury Trials

In the vein of prior posts, this is an attempt to clarify another misconception about what we do as trial or jury consultants. Usually in the context of an introduction, I hear what might be called “sales objections.” There are varieties of these objections, but one is this, if introduced as a “jury consultant” I […]

Continue Reading

I prefer the term, “litigation consultant” to other terms more frequently used to describe the kind of work I perform. When I am asked what I do for a living, I rarely say I am a “jury consultant” or a “trial consultant.” Few laypersons know the meaning of any of these expressions and surprisingly, some […]

Continue Reading

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes