Archive | Trial Consulting

Judges are People: Some are nice and others, not so nice

Judges are people, just like the rest of us. There are many types of judges, young, old, women, men, smart, not so smart, nice, and not nice. In my years of working as a jury/trial consultant, I have encountered many judges. I have met judges during hundreds of jury selections; I have made presentations with […]

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I’m sure in most professions there are good and bad.  I can’t think of any profession without such outliers at the extremes.  I don’t get to observe many judges in action, I’ve met plenty, but seeing them in action is in Melissa’s bailiwick, not mine.  Most judges I know are courteous and professional, but I […]

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Trial Team Crew

Once again, I was reminded about the people who support the lead trial attorney. The lead attorney and 2nd chair attorneys get the attention, like the rock star. Like Ozzy, Mick, or Geddy, who are lead singers, the lead attorneys are in the spotlight (or hot seat). But, behind them, there is often a small […]

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I have had the pleasure of working with attorneys and their trial teams for several decades.  It never ceases to amaze me that almost all of Magnus’ clients have a small army of professionals working with them on behalf of our mutual clients.  When I am involved in selecting a jury for a client, I […]

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Excuses versus Legitimate Reasons for Jury Duty Dismissal

This is the third, and final, post about my recent experience with jury duty in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. As readers of David’s and my blog know, I have spent much of my career as a jury/trial consultant assisting attorneys selecting hundreds of juries. In addition, I have conducted numerous scientific studies of jury […]

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Not only have Melissa and I heard the question, “How do I get off of jury duty?” too many times to count, but Melissa hears the excuses on a regular basis.  And, I’ve taken random calls, from strangers, asking how to “get off” jury duty on several occasions.  Melissa reports to me that some judges […]

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Free Advice on Selecting a Jury

As a follow up to my previous post regarding my day of jury duty, this post will involve some free advice to attorneys. I rarely provide free advice, but my observations during my jury service warrant it. When the plaintiff’s attorney in the automobile accident case on which I was a prospective juror began to […]

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Because I don’t do in court jury selection consultation, my critique of the attorneys I’ve observed is more limited.  But, for the jury on which I was selected, I had a few observations.  The primary one was the fact that the attorneys for the prosecution and the defendant – a public defender, did a POOR […]

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A Jury Consultant’s View of Jury Duty

I recently had the privilege of being summoned to appear for jury duty in Broward County, Florida, where I have lived for almost 30 years. Unlike almost everyone I know, I was not dismayed, afraid, or angry to receive my jury summons. I was, in fact, somewhat happy about it, as well as hopeful that, […]

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I’m not certain, but I think I’ve been called for jury duty about 5 times since moving to Broward County in 1991.  On two occasions, after arriving at a very early hour, and spending several hours in the jury assembly room enduring the tedious process, I was sent home without going to a courtroom.  On […]

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Neil Peart: Best of the Best

I’m writing this a week after the death of the rock and roll icon, drummer, lyricist, author, motorcyclist, and very private Neil Peart of RUSH. I’ve mentioned RUSH before in posts, and the fact that I’m a big fan, since about 1980. Neil’s impact on music is much more than his status as one of […]

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Because of David and his status as a die hard RUSH fan, I have been listening to RUSH music, at loud volumes, for over 30 years.  In addition, due to a rather bizarre set of circumstances, David and I have had the pleasure of meeting, on several occasions, one of the members of the band.  […]

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2020

Well, here we are. It’s 2020. Lots of celebrations, talk about the new decade, and the roaring 20s. But, many of us think of it with the term “hindsight” attached, as in “hindsight is 20/20,” meaning that when looking backward, things that were once unclear become clear. Monday morning quarterbacking is related. If we see […]

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As we enter into a new year and a new decade, many people enjoy reminiscing about the past, while others eschew the past and focus their sights on the unknowns that will occur in future times.  As business owners, David and I spend some time reflecting on our past successes and failures (and their have […]

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You have control over your reactions

David and I have attended hundreds of meetings with attorneys and their clients in the decades we have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants. Usually, these meetings are non eventful. Their purpose is often to explain to the end client (the person involved in the lawsuit) the advantages of retaining a litigation consultant to assist […]

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Litigation is stressful!  Having been there ourselves, Melissa and I know about the stress, the lost sleep, the lost focus on “real work,” and the time required to be an active participant in one’s case.  I get it.  I also know the costs of sticking one’s neck out – even if one must do it […]

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Don’t Confuse Expenses with Investments

This post is prompted by a comment made by someone with whom we frequently work in our litigation consulting business. He remarked how he hoped clients would recognize the value of our work, and his work, and see it as an investment, not just another litigation expense or cost. As I explained to someone yesterday, […]

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The quote David mentions was made by Bob Howe, who is an investigator with whom I have had the pleasure of working during jury selection.  A mutual client retained Bob for an upcoming case but was initially undecided about whether to retain me.  It seems that, in today’s litigation world, the services of a private […]

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I spend more time with lawyers than psychologists/colleagues

I have been a social psychologist for my entire career, however, my occupation has not been in the traditional trajectory within my field. Most social psychologists are university professors. In fact, it is somewhat frowned upon for social psychologists to work in occupations outside academia. My major professor has always looked down upon my work […]

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Melissa has introduced me to more psychologists, and types of psychologists, than I ever knew existed when we first met.  At that time, I was hanging around colleagues in my world of photography.  While the photographers were visually creative, I came to learn and appreciate the creative minds of her psychology colleagues.  Their conceptualization of […]

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