Archive | Trial Consultants

Run of the House

I booked a hotel room recently and, while navigating the rates, I came across one that said “run of house.” I know this means “you get what we’ve got left.” It is doubtful that this would ever be an exciting upgrade, but maybe. In my experience, upgrades rarely happen even when I’m paying higher rates. […]

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The expression, “run of the house” does not have a positive connotation for me.  I prefer to know what I am getting and even more than that, I prefer to know I am getting the best I can possibly get.  I dislike most surprises because many people are not as discerning as me, therefore, what […]

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” is a phrase used to suggest one should relax, chill out, and not worry about the little things, things which sometime seem out of one’s control. Well, that’s great. But, our “day job” as trial consultants doesn’t allow it. Neither does my prior advocation, photography. For example, when photographing people […]

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This topic, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” came up recently during a slightly heated debate David and I were having about the proper way to prepare something we were having for dinner.  (As the reader might imagine, David and I have many debates, some over trivial matters, on an almost daily basis.)  I don’t recall […]

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Are They Paying Attention?

My post about whether the mock jurors take it seriously reminded me of another aspect of this client related surprise. Watching a group of people, mock jurors, listen to the case arguments in a mock trial can sometimes be misleading. Some mock jurors are clearly engaged, others have their eyes closed, others are frantically taking […]

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Similar to some attorneys’ concern about whether the mock jurors take their participation seriously is their concern about whether the mock jurors are paying attention.  And, just as it pertains to the issue of the mock jurors taking the case, and their participation, seriously, I have found that most of them pay attention. There is […]

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If You Won’t Practice, Don’t Bother Learning

As I mentioned in my previous post, “practice makes perfect,” my childhood piano teacher, Corella Johnson, insisted that all her piano and organ students practice their instrument(s) at least 30 minutes a day. The first thing she did at every lesson was ask her students to play the piece of music they were learning, so […]

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Childhood music lessons didn’t work well for me.  I tried guitar and piano but found I’d much rather go fishing or tromp through the woods than hone those skills.  Perhaps it was also because my early music lessons focused too much on fundamentals, rather than playing a song, these music experiences were not attractive to […]

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Do They Always Take it Seriously?

A client, who had never observed a Magnus mock trial, asked the question which is the title of this post during a recent mock trial. The “they” is the mock jurors. The “it” is the case. The answer is YES! The rest of the story is that, despite the mock jurors knowing they are only […]

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It is difficult for new clients to understand the seriousness with which most of Magnus’ mock jurors conduct themselves during mock jury research.  Everyone who attends a mock jury, of course, knows they are part of a research exercise, thus, the word “mock” precedes the word “jury.”  Not only do the attorneys recognize we are […]

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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect. How many times have we heard this phrase? I have heard it too many times to count! I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. I started playing the organ when I was 11. My piano and organ teacher was a wonderful friend and neighbor, Corella Johnson, who had […]

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I can attest to Melissa’s commitment to practice.  She takes it seriously and is religious about it, as long as her “day job” doesn’t interfere.  But practice gets a bad rap, that is a bad name.  Melissa’s practice time is often better characterized as “playing” as in “playing the bass.”  Practice seems repetitive and punitive.  […]

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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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Magnus’ Women Power

In the almost 30 years that David and I have co-owned Magnus Research Consultants, we have employed many people of both sexes. We have had several long term employees, 2 of whom are men and 2 of whom are women. In addition, there have been 3 women who are former Magnus employees who have gone […]

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On the day I started writing this post, Melissa was wearing a pink t-shirt that said “Pretty Good for a Girl.”  I bought it for her at a Mindi Abair jazz concert.  Mindi has a song by that title because it is a phrase she’s heard many times over her career.  She decided to embrace […]

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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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