Archive | Litigation Tips

Things Back to Normal! Water Fountains, Crowded Elevators, Smiling Faces

Hooray! Hooray! I had the privilege of selecting 2 juries, for 2 different clients, in 2 different courthouses, recently. Usually, this would be nothing to write about, however, these jury selections were noteworthy due to the fact that they were the first, and second, jury selections for me since the world shut down in March […]

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As the one who watches the business side of our business, it is great for Melissa to be back in the courthouse again.  Non functioning courts have been terrible for our business as clients have had little perceived need or motivation to hire a trial consultant if there can be no trials.  So, having trials […]

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It’s a Big Job!

Melissa and I have mentioned we are undergoing a big home improvement project this year. It is not one we wanted to undertake: a new roof! We first heard “It’s a big job” when securing bids for the roof project. “It’s a big roof, it’s a big job….” Well, yes it is. Isn’t that great? […]

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I’m proud to say that, in almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus, David and I have never had a job that was too big to accept.  When prospective clients ask me if I have ever worked on a “big” case, implying that I might not have the expertise to work on their case, […]

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Brave New World

Recent conversations with several attorneys prompted this post. The title many will recognize is from a 1931 book by English author Aldous Huxley, and I have to say, I’ve never read it. But, here we are in the 3rd quarter of 2021 and I have to say that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other […]

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As David and I have written before, there are some people (like us) who thrive on change and there are others who prefer the status quo and/or wish things were “like they used to be.”  The latter types of people are, for the most part, boring to me.  Change is part of human existence and, […]

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All the World’s a Stage

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players… (William Shakespeare, As You Like It). All the world’s indeed a stage and we are merely playersPerformers and portrayers, Each another’s audience outside the gilded cage (Neil Peart, RUSH, Limelight). I know the origin of this thought was the Bard, but it […]

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David ended his part of this post by saying, “Let the show begin,” which reminds me of a song written by Rolf Kempf, sung by Judy Collins, then popularized in 1973 by one of my all time favorite bands, Alice Cooper.  The song is “Hello Hooray” and it begins with the lyrics “Hello.  Hooray.  Let […]

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Now I get it…

I’ve noticed a phenomenon when working with clients who have never utilized a trial consultant. The only thing I can think of as a way to describe this is “Now I get it…” Attorneys/clients do not always hire us because they want to. There are times they are “encouraged to,” told to, or forced to […]

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Some people find it difficult to understand things unless they have directly experienced them.  One might say these people lack imagination or perhaps, foresight, however, when it comes to understanding the services provided by trial consultants, it is often hard for the average attorney to comprehend how we do what we do.  Some of Magnus’ […]

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Leadership styles

Many people wonder how leaders emerge. Some people endorse the view that certain people are “born leaders,” while others believe leadership is a skill that is acquired. Organizational psychologists have studied leaders, leadership, and leadership styles for decades to determine what traits separate effective leaders from leaders who lack effectiveness, the situations in which leadership […]

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I often learn new things in reading what Melissa has written.  As someone whose graduate work was in the Organizational Behavior field (the business school version of I/O psychology), leadership is a familiar topic.  But, considering her perspective on how leadership plays out in the jury decision making process is enlightening.  Melissa is the expert […]

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Do You Still Need to Practice?

Recently, I remarked to my bass guitar teacher, Phill Fest, that many of my friends question my need to take bass lessons, due to the fact I have been playing the bass guitar for over 20 years. (This was the subject of a previous post, in which I mentioned that, although I have been playing […]

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I took piano lessons as a child, but fishing seemed much more fun than piano, so I didn’t play piano long!  But, call it what you want, practice, playing, fishing, getting better, and staying strong at anything takes time and effort.  I’ve written about Dr. Fran Kinne before. She started playing piano at age 3 […]

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The Major League

My family is a baseball family. My dad, the late Park T. Pigott, Sr. played baseball, coached baseball, and generally speaking, lived much of his life for baseball. I am not usually fond of sports analogies, however, recent experiences with clients of Magnus Research Consultants have reminded me of baseball. Almost all of Magnus’ clients […]

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This minor leaguer experience was one of the strangest situations we have had in years.  We had been, to keep up with the baseball analogy, “scouted” by the end client (that is the entity/person paying our bill).  Our ability to work with the lawyer was limited until that scouting was completed.  Admittedly, this process was […]

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Heuristical thinking

Biases and heuristics often, but not always, go hand in hand. While bias is attributed to the absence of reflective thought, leading to limitations in judgment, heuristics are used intentionally when making inferences. Heuristics are common sense reasoning strategies employed by laypersons. They are “shortcuts” that accelerate the decision making process. Heuristics may or may […]

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Magnus’ reports often contain a section entitled “Heuristics” and, when I’m showing our sample report to prospective clients, I usually have to explain what a heuristic is and why it is important.  I typically explain that heuristics are the ways that the jurors relate to a case – in their own language.  Whether it is […]

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Social desirability

Social desirability has important implications in jury selection. Social desirability refers to the phenomenon of saying or doing something because “everybody else” does. For example, when an attorney or a judge asks a prospective juror whether he/she can put aside all biases, predisposed beliefs, and personal feelings and instead, be an impartial judge of the […]

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Answering a question in a socially desirable way implies there is a “right” or expected answer, to some degree.  In the basic courtroom questioning of prospective jurors as to whether they “can be fair,” it is pretty obvious that one is not expected to say “no”.  Being fair is a fundamental trait that most people […]

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