Archive | Magnus Insights

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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Fatal Resumé Flaws

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 14, 2019

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Magnus Insights, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

I’m thinking back to the thousands of resumés I have seen over the years about several that doomed the applicant from the time it was received. The impression one makes with a resumé is critical. Standing out in a crowd can be difficult. Fundamentally, the resumé should be well structured, organized, and easy to read. […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 14, 2019

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Magnus Insights, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

One’s resumé (or in the case of someone like me, one’s curriculum vita) should be a concise overview of one’s professional career and accomplishments.  However, due to the fact that things other than mere words can convey important information about a person, attention to detail when preparing one’s resumé is essential.  For example, a resumé […]

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Comforts of home – travel candle

In a previous post, I mentioned my use of earplugs to mask unwanted sounds while sleeping, particularly, in hotel rooms (where I spend a lot of my time!). In this, related, post, I will mention another helpful travel aid that I employ on a frequent basis: a small, scented candle. I have entered many hotel […]

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This is another example of learning from others.  Those who have been there, done that, and survived to tell about it, can be invaluable teachers.  And, travel candles are quite popular when you begin looking for them.  They are often in a tin jar with a lid that makes them easy to travel with, easy […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Which Path?

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 31, 2019

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Consultants, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

I was recently contemplating a question commonly asked by our clients – which alternative is best? For example, a client recently asked, “We can call the situation a complication, we can call it unforeseen, we can call it an accident; which is best?” For whatever reason that day, my mind did, as it often does, […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 31, 2019

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Consultants, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

Kudos to David for quoting lyrics of a Led Zeppelin song!  Yes, there are two (or more) paths one can take, such that deciding which path will result in the best litigation outcome is often difficult for Magnus’ clients and other attorneys.  Generally speaking, Magnus is in the business of using social science research to […]

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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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Unpaid Work

As entrepreneurs, Melissa and I often work without getting paid.  The most common example from “my department” is talking with a prospective client about a new case, preparing a proposal, following up, only to hear that the project is a no go.  Perhaps the price was beyond their budget, or the client wanted to use […]

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People who lack the entrepreneurial mindset often can’t relate to David’s and my perspective regarding doing copious amounts of work for which we are not compensated.  As an example, I have made hundreds of presentations to attorneys’ and insurance companies’ associations, most of which have involved zero payment to me.  Why would I do such […]

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Ask Me a Question, then LISTEN to My Answer

Recently, I have had several experiences in which someone asked me one or more questions, then constantly interrupted me while I attempted to answer the question(s). This has happened more times than I can count, however, it happened several times in the period of a few days, both in business and personal situations. One of […]

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I think part of the listening dilemma is an occupational hazard. Our clients are mostly attorneys and attorneys are paid to talk. Listening seems more difficult for some, not all, of them. This manifests itself during jury selection when some seem to have difficulty actively listening to the responses to the questions they are asking. […]

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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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