Archive | Litigation Tips

The Problem With This Case is the Client.

An attorney client of ours recently told Melissa that his client is a problem. He said, “the problem with this case is my client.” He was pretty direct, but we’ve heard this, or some variation thereof, countless times. In this case, the client is wealthy (and accustomed to getting his way as a result). He’s […]

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I often wonder if  “problem clients” know their attorney considers them to be a problem.  Or, are they demanding, arrogant, and self centered to the point they have no idea of the impact they have on other people?  Many times, the end client (defined as one of the primary parties in the lawsuit, that is, […]

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Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 3

In the 3rd post in the commercial litigation series, I want to bring some points together. We’ve discussed that executives are accustomed to being in charge, to being the “boss,” and that as litigants, it is often frustrating for them not to be. Also discussed is the fact their perspective may not align with decision […]

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When executives make important business decisions, they must have all available data in order to make the correct decision.  When making the correct decision has an impact on the company’s bottom line, it is imperative to assess every nuance that could impact the company’s future.  In the world of litigation, the bottom line of a […]

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Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 2

This is part 2 of the benefits of a jury or trial consultant in commercial litigation. As noted in the prior post, in commercial litigation, high powered people are often involved. We have been involved in many cases in which these parties were “out for blood.” Even though the cases were “only about money,” the […]

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Magnus has worked on numerous commercial cases in which things between or among the parties became personal.  Some people wrongly believe that, because commercial cases are mostly about money (as opposed to compensating someone for an injury), they are boring and impersonal.  This belief is a misconception because, although commercial cases involve a plaintiff suing […]

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Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 1

I had a conversation with a friend/client recently. He previously hired us in a personal injury case, but now works in a firm that does mostly commercial litigation. The question arose about what we, at Magnus, do in commercial cases. I explained that a high percentage of our cases are commercial cases. Sometimes, clients or […]

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I have worked with many witnesses during my career.  As with many things in life, my first experience is memorable.  The case was a high profile case in my hometown and the key witness was the owner of a well known and well respected corporation.  Both the corporation and its owner were defendants in the […]

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False Positives

False positives are research or test results that are inaccurate and make one think the result is positive, when in fact, it is negative. With a medical test, for example, it could mean a blood test result indicates a problem when there isn’t one. There are, of course, false negatives, but I think in the […]

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In my world of science and statistics, a false positive result is called a Type I error, leading to a rejection of the null hypothesis.  For example, if the null hypothesis is that, absent changing one’s theory of a case, the case will be won, then improper research is conducted, leading the case to be […]

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Calculated Risk

For a number of years, Melissa spoke to law students at Stetson University at the invitation of the late Professor Mickey Smiley. Professor Smiley did his students a favor, which I hope they later appreciated, of inviting successful trial lawyers, and at least 1 trial consultant, (Melissa) to speak to his trial skills class to […]

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Professor McKinley, “Mickey,” Smiley was a beloved law professor at Stetson University.  He passed away in 2016, following a lengthy tenure at Stetson.  Beginning in 1997 and continuing until Professor Smiley’s retirement in 2005, I had the honor of being an Adjunct Professor in the College of Law, where I lectured to students in his […]

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Illuminating Litigation

Many years ago an attorney shared with me why he liked conducting mock trials on his cases. He said that litigation without jury research is like driving in the dark without headlights. I’m not willing to say that trial lawyers are always driving in the dark, but I agree with his premise: mock jury research […]

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I frequently observe people driving in the dark with no headlights.  It is a dangerous thing to do because not only can the driver not see where he/she is going, but other drivers can’t easily see the “ghost vehicle” either.  On the few occasions when David and I went boating after dark, we saw boats […]

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COVID-19 Jury Composition Conjecture

As trial consultants we try to stay current by reading lots of newspapers, journals, and magazines. Recently, I’ve noticed people writing about the composition of juries post COVID-19 (not that COVID-19 is over, “post” in this context merely indicates a world where COVID-19 came into being). Because of the politicization of COVID-19, vaccines, masks, etc., […]

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I guess speculating about the composition of juries gives people something to discuss.  And, at least it’s better, in my opinion, than listening to people drone on about their experiences as jurors.  (The latter discussions, when I am unwittingly involved, remind me of “One time, in band camp…” and are just as uninteresting!) I don’t […]

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What is Old is New Again

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 23, 2021

Category: Jury Consultants, Jury Research, Litigation Consultants, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

A client recently told me about a continuing legal education program he attended and the new information contained in the seminar. He kindly shared the information on the use of visual evidence and my reaction was, despite his enthusiasm for this “new” information, it isn’t new. What struck me is how often, in the more […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 23, 2021

Category: Jury Consultants, Jury Research, Litigation Consultants, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

I do not expect attorneys and other non psychologists to be informed about psychological phenomenon.  Just as I, a psychologist, am not up to date about the latest advances in astrophysics, it comes as no surprise that most people are relatively ignorant about psychology.  Our well meaning client shared with David the latest drivel about […]

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What’s Your Alibi?

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 16, 2021

Category: Jury Behavior, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consulting

Do you have an alibi? Do you need an alibi? We’ve all seen it on TV. If you are innocent, you have an alibi. If you don’t have an alibi, you are suspect #1. What were you doing on the evening in question? Do you remember? Probably not. In life one goes from hour to […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 16, 2021

Category: Jury Behavior, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consulting

I am thrilled that David not only read an article from one of the psychology publications to which I subscribe, but enjoyed it to the point it inspired this post!  It’s wonderful to me to share psychology with someone who appreciates the unique perspective it offers!  As for alibis, the media have done another disservice […]

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