Archive | Trial Consultants

Ghost Notes

I’ve been thinking recently about how one ever demonstrates that nothing happened because something did happen. Specifically, with regard to the protests over police shootings, police abuse, etc., how does one demonstrate that new policies make a difference? The difference is noticed only when nothing happens. Undoubtedly, most police officer shootings happen because the officer […]

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David’s reference to ghost notes is quite impressive!  Ghost notes are important to me, as a bass player.  They are place holders, serving to keep the rhythm while not making a discernable musical sound.  On the thick strings of a bass guitar, ghost notes sound like a mini cymbal, leading the way to the playing […]

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We Do Our Jobs Even When Others Don’t

Recently, we at Magnus had what appeared, at first, to be a promising new business opportunity. This new opportunity was planned as a joint venture among 3 companies, including Magnus. Another company is a company that has been a long time vendor of ours, with the other company being known only to our vendor and […]

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As we write this, the fallout from this experience has continued.  There are some hurt feelings amongst all, especially those with whom we planned to partner.  But, the underlying objective we have at Magnus is to get the job done, and get it done well.  (I’d add that anything Melissa and I undertake is done […]

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Customers: Happier when they leave

We recently visited with our friend Ms. Debbie at Sweet Delights in Homestead. During our conversation, she commented that she wants her customers to be happier when they leave than when they arrived. She has much to offer in that regard with her wonderful cakes and pies, which are truly sweet delights. Her effervescent personality […]

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Magnus is in the trial consulting business, not the bakery business.  Our clients come to us to obtain our expert assistance in solving significant problems, not because they want something sweet to eat.  However, despite the vast differences between Magnus and Ms. Debbie’s company, Sweet Delights, we share a common goal: Keeping the customer satisfied.  […]

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Hurricanes and Jury Selections

Recently, residents of Florida were threatened by another hurricane. In Florida, hurricanes are as much a part of our existence as that famous mouse in Orlando. Sooner or later, we Floridians will have to stop what we are doing and prepare, whether we like it or not, whether we have something better to do, or […]

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I’m writing this following another hurricane non-event.  A near miss – really near, less than 100 miles.  We did get some wind and rain, but we were ready.  We spent a full day preparing, a “wasted” Saturday effort as it turns out, and a full day resetting everything, a “wasted” Sunday.  I can only say […]

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Nuclear Verdicts: Part 2

Face it, some trials are bad, there is liability, there are real damages. Evaluating those honestly and without bias is what we, as trial consultants, help our clients accomplish. And, that said, the other issue in mock jury research when we work for the defense is that the plaintiff’s argument, when presented during the mock […]

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Over the years, I have heard some interesting remarks from defense attorneys and insurance adjusters following their observations of mock juries deliberating on their case.  One client, who is a defense attorney but who was, for reasons unknown to me, hired to represent numerous plaintiffs in a billion dollar class action case, told me that […]

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Nuclear Verdicts: Part 1

Boom – the verdict is in and it is explosive, shocking everyone involved. These verdicts are referred to “nuclear verdicts,” with the implication that they are both large and unreasonable. I read about this phenomenon regularly. It is a trend that frightens one side of the “v.” – the defense side, and emboldens the other […]

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When David and I founded Magnus in 1993, we used a slogan in our marketing materials, “Reducing Uncertainty.”  We know, based on our experience in conducting mock trials, focus groups, and attitude surveys, that our research results provide our clients with information about which they would have never known without our help.  Knowing this information […]

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We Don’t Have to do Anything

I meet a lot of people in my work as a jury/trial consultant and in my “other life” as a musician. David says I don’t often respond to meeting new people very well, however, I believe many people I meet aren’t the kind of people with whom I would like to become further acquainted. A […]

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From time to time I’ve observed these “have to do” clients and Melissa is right, it is a negative mindset.  We’ve had clients call and say they have to do a mock trial because their client is making them do it.  (With that attitude, I think the clients are on to something about how the […]

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Front of the house and back of the house

David and I are fortunate to have excellent restaurants located near our home in south Florida. To us, an excellent restaurant is not a chain restaurant; rather, it is a local, family owned restaurant whose proprietors take as much pride in their food and libations as we take in owning and operating our business. An […]

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Melissa’s comparison to front of house and back of house is interesting as we often struggle to figure out the division of labor.  But, she’s right in that though I participate in day of research duties and report writing, that’s her bailiwick. She, like the chef, creates the “meat” of what we do as trial […]

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Dr. John C. Brigham

I have been planning to write this post for a long time. Today is the day. As I mentioned in my previous post, my major professor is Dr. John C. “Jack” Brigham. As hard as it is for me to believe, I met Jack in 1980, 40 years ago, when I was trying to decide […]

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One never knows the future impact of making connections.  Jack has been a great mentor to Melissa, and others, for a long time.  In the academic world, these connections are like family trees.  I didn’t always know that,  but I learned it years ago by getting to know Jack and many others in Melissa’s psychology […]

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Racial Attitudes in America

Racial Attitudes in America is a scholarly book published in 1972 and written by Dr. John C. “Jack” Brigham. Dr. Brigham is not only one of the most highly regarded social psychologists in the world, he is my major professor. (For non academic readers of this post, a major professor is the primary professor of […]

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Little did I know, when I met Melissa, how immersed in the world of psychology, specifically social psychology, I would become.  It has been quite an education, and a positive one at that!  I took psychology 101, and another psychology course or two in college; more in grad school.  But, my real psychological education has […]

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