Archive | Litigation Tips

Social Psych = Groups = Juries

Over the years, many people have asked me what makes me qualified to work as a jury/trial consultant. I explain that I have a Ph.D. in social psychology, which is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people and situations. Social thinking, social influence, and social behavior are […]

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I have certainly learned a lot about social psychology, by osmosis and directly from Melissa, as well as in a graduate course, taken before I had any intent of working in the trial consulting world, that helped me more than I knew it would.  It is interesting to explain the principles of psychological science to […]

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Almost Like Cheating

I keep a list of things clients have said during or after working with us on mock jury research. These tidbits illustrate the eye opening reactions some attorneys have when observing jurors deliberate. One of my favorites was from (now retired) Pete Burkert in Fort Myers, FL. After a series of mock juries, he said, […]

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Pete Burkert’s quote is memorable, even after many years have passed.  Until his and his partner, Kim Hart’s, retirement, Magnus enjoyed decades of working with these 2 extremely fine attorneys.  Mr. Hart had worked with us several times before we worked with his law partner, Mr. Burkert, and Kim called to tell me what Pete […]

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Premature Decisions

Several recent client/case events prompted this post. My biased view of litigation is that it is best done when as much input (a.k.a. data) is considered. This includes data from various experts, but also data from mock juries used to evaluate the risks of litigation. The first example is with a case that settled prior […]

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I prefer things to be done in an orderly, not a chaotic, manner.  When I make a decision about whether or not a particular person will be a “good” juror for a client’s case, I don’t merely look at the person and say, “Yeah, that one looks pretty good to me.”  Instead, my decisions regarding […]

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Not Everyone in Purple Thinks the Same Way

Maybe it wasn’t really purple, more like lavender. The polo style shirts by 2 male senior citizens on one of our mock jury panels were very similar. I wasn’t present to witness the events first hand, but I have seen the video of the deliberations many times. The venue was a community where many senior […]

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I know several people who adore the color purple (I am not among them).  It is rare, however, to see 2 male senior citizens wearing purple clothing in the same room.  In fact, the mock jury David is referring to is the only time I have ever seen 2 men of any age wearing purple […]

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Probing Questions and Difficult Answers

I went to my primary care physician recently for my annual check up. (As an aside, my physician is smart: He has a Ph. D. in addition to an M. D.) My physician is committed to helping medical students with their education. He has mentored medical students from The University of Miami for decades and […]

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I loved hearing the story Melissa related about the young medical student shortly after her check up.  It was a classic example of how Melissa’s interactions with the world are sometimes more than what people bargained for on any given day.  I hope that, not only did this make a lasting  impression on this future […]

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What’s the Rush?

Lately, it seems that we have one rush job after another. On the one hand, I’m glad we have jobs of any sort, especially after the impact COVID-19 related chaos on the legal system, and as a result, our business. But, it is a frustration that never diminishes when clients wait to the last minute […]

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As usual, David’s post has reminded me of a song.  As soon as I read the title, “What’s the rush?” I thought of a song by Leon Russell and Marc Benno called “Learn How to Boogie.”  It’s lyrics include:   What’s the hurry? What’s everybody hurrying for? Don’t worry What’s everybody worrying for?   If […]

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Shortcuts

I recently read a newspaper article in a business/legal publication that prompted this post. The premise of the article was that women are more likely to be plaintiff prone on juries than men. Prominent and successful lawyers espoused their preference for having women on juries. A jury consultant (of whom I’ve never heard) reported research […]

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Some things change and some things remain the same.  Over the years of my career as a trial consultant, there have been several constant factors, including many attorneys’ search for “a magic bullet,” “an easy way out,” or as David says, “a shortcut.”  Instead of spending some time learning about how people make decisions, why […]

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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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