Archive | Trial Consultants

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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Pay to Play

I’m writing this post after having recently received a solicitation from an attorney group asking for speakers for a big annual event. The “invitation” included a price list of what they expected speakers to pay. Despite the fact the audience would be perfect for us, marketing wise, Melissa immediately rejected the idea as something prohibited […]

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Psychologists are expressly prohibited from paying anyone to publish their research, lecture to any audience, or endorse their services.  Although attorneys and other professionals have different codes of conduct than psychologists, as a psychologist who works with attorneys, I am bound only by my profession’s ethical code of conduct.  It is abhorrent to me to […]

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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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Helping without Realizing

Sometimes in life people make a difference without even realizing it. Without trying to make a difference. “Leading by example” is the term often used to describe this phenomenon. Melissa was pleasantly surprised when the owner of a small hotel and conference facility “comp’d” our stay at the hotel for a non-work event. The woman, […]

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As corny as it sounds, I try to “let my light shine” in my dealings with everyone.  When I was growing up, my parents treated everyone with respect, whether they were dealing with the lowest or highest members of society.  Mom always told me to watch what I was doing because I never know when […]

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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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You Will Get Fired if: You Steal!

This is the last in the “you will get fired” series (I hope). Even when the employee does something bad, like stealing, going through the conflict of termination is unpleasant, not satisfying. In owning a small business, there are ways employees “steal” from the company. I’ve been remembering about a direct financial theft we suffered […]

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Reading this series of posts about reasons for firing an employee might give the reader the impression that David and I have had terrible luck with our employees.  If so, I want to explain that, to the contrary, we have had many wonderful employees in our almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus.  I […]

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You May Be Kidding, But I’m Not

This is the second post about Magnus’ unfortunate experience with the nasty mock juror who was sent home after he threatened one of my employees. Sadly, this sort of thing has happened before. Sadder still, I expect it to happen again some day. In every instance Magnus has had in which a mock juror threatens […]

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Racial discrimination, bullying, or other abuses are certainly not something to kid about.  More than ever, this is true and employers must be vigilant in ensuring that zero tolerance is the only option.  Within an employer’s environment there are probably different ways of handling these issues, but our environment is unique.  We have to “have […]

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Elegantly Forceful

Magnus Research Consultants recently worked in Miami, where we have worked numerous times throughout the decades we have been in business. Most of the time when we are conducting mock jury research, the research participants/mock jurors are respectful toward one another, the Magnus staff, and me. Once in a while, however, one or more of […]

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Elegantly forceful is a great description and a smart way of handling a difficult, tense situation, ESPECIALLY when all eyes are on you.  When clients are involved, the stakes are much higher still.  The way this mock juror was handled set the tone for the entire group.  Yelling, screaming, cursing, as we’ve observed some trial […]

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Champagne on 1st

David and I celebrate life. If we look around, there is something to celebrate every day. One event David and I have always celebrated is our anniversary. We were married on New Year’s Day, January 1. We selected January 1 because it is a holiday and, therefore, we would never have to work on our […]

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The sound of the pop of a cork always brings a smile to our faces.  Opening our many bottles of champagne (or non-French “sparkling wine”) has made me pretty good at it.  I have only had a cork fly away 1 or 2 times in all these years.  We try to keep well stocked so […]

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Just Answer the Question

When I write some of these posts, Mom’s words come to mind and I can hear these words spoken in her voice. This is another one of those times. Some people are direct in their speaking style and in general, in their approach to life. In contrast, other people, as Mom used to say “beat […]

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I chuckled when I saw the title of this post, and not in a good way.  I was recently frustrated by a recently terminated employee’s inability to give a straight answer.  I will admit there are times when a “yes” or “no” is inadequate and a more detailed explanation is warranted.  However, in the midst […]

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