Archive | Trial Consulting

No One Has Ever Said They Wish Their Jury Research Had Been Later

In almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus Research Consultants, David and I have been fortunate to have few complaints from clients. When there have been complaints, they have been of the following type: (1) “Your report is too long and comprehensive; it took too long for me to read”; (2) ”The charts summarizing […]

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This topic is salient because I had the discussion again recently, “What is your lead time for conducting research? My client wants to put it off as long as possible, because maybe they can settle…”  I patiently explained that the ramp up period, once we’ve provided a proposal, agreed on the research design, gotten approval […]

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Juggling

I shot a photograph of a juggler a couple years ago when I was wandering the streets of New York City while there to work on a client’s case. My eye was drawn to the colorful balls flying in the air so I walked toward the area behind the main NYC library. Turns out, several […]

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Most people have a difficult time “walking in someone else’s shoes.”  We live our daily lives, caught up in dealing with our personal issues, rarely giving much thought to what other people are going through.  David and I have a dear friend who, for as long as we have known her, has been battling a […]

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Listen as Much as, or More Than, You Talk

Sometimes, these posts almost write themselves. This is one of those times. I am a regular reader of advice columnists in newspapers. (Yes, I still read newspapers, several, in fact, on a daily basis.) “Dear Abby” recently provided some sage advice that included a suggestion for the reader to “listen as much as you talk.” […]

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To borrow from Alex Lifeson of Rush – “Blah blah blah.  Blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah.”  Some of you may recognize this from Alex’s speech following Rush’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It was an amazing thing to hear and watch – because one could, or at least I could, […]

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When is the Last Time You Learned Something?

One of the strangest objections I have heard, relatively often, during my career as a jury/trial/litigation consultant goes something like this: “Well, I have been a VERY successful trial lawyer for many, many years and I have never, ever, hired a trial consultant. What in the world could I possibly learn from you, or another […]

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This phenomenon exists in many contexts, but given that Melissa and I have spent decades working with attorneys, it hits us from time to time, right between the eyes.  One of my college professors told me that a sign of intelligence is knowing what you don’t know.  I think about this whenever I hear the […]

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When things don’t make sense: 28 days off

The work we do as trial consultants requires us to work closely with our attorney clients for several weeks or months, or even years. Clients are typically respectful and courteous. But, as we have written before, there are a few outliers – clients who abuse everyone around them, including us. We have had a few […]

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One of the most interesting aspects in my career as a jury consultant is unrelated to the expertise I provide to my clients on things such as trial strategy, jury selection, and witness preparation.  This interesting aspect of my job happens when my clients, all of whom are educated and intelligent attorneys, forget I am, […]

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Technology simplifies our lives, right?

Another clean out story. In purging the old equipment to prepare for the Magnus’ move to new office, we came across VCRs, VHS tapes, cassette recorders, cassette tapes, DVD duplicators, and more. These are a history of the technology evolution in our lives. Yet, it was also a reminder of simpler times. When we first […]

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I don’t endorse the premise that technology simplifies our lives. Sometimes, it does, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes, there is no noticeable difference between old and new technology within the realm of simplicity.  I don’t mind change; in fact, I thrive on it.  And, it is relatively easy for me to learn new ways of […]

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Altruists and Narcissists

As a follow up to my last post containing the self assessment survey, I will outline several characteristics that differentiate altruists from narcissists. First of all, some definitions are in order, lest there be any doubt about these terms. An altruist is a person who has concern for other people’s welfare. He or she can […]

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Givers or takers.  Perhaps that is another way to relate to this topic.  The world has too many examples of narcissists; it is easy to identify many of them in the political realm.  Because politics is public, it is easiest to see them, though narcissists are certainly not limited to politics.  Examples from the business […]

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Putting Technology to Use

I was prompted to write this, and the prior post, because of Magnus’ recent move. The move necessitated discarding many tools which have been useful during our careers in trial consulting. When we started Magnus in late 1993, Melissa began to receive invitations to speak to groups of lawyers, insurance adjusters, and law school students. […]

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Thanks, in large part, to David, Magnus has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to using the most up to date technology.  I have been making presentations to large audiences for my entire career.  In the old days, when I was Director of Marketing Research at a large urban hospital, an A/V […]

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How Well do You Know Yourself?

One of the things I enjoy most in life is designing scientific research, including experiments and surveys. Now that I, like most people I know, have more free time than usual, due to worldwide circumstances beyond my control, I decided to devise a personality inventory to allow people to conduct a self assessment. The short […]

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Strange times have caused many strange reactions and behaviors.  Melissa’s survey asks some pertinent questions.  We have friends and family members who are coping with the pandemic, and with politics, in very different ways.  These are, without a doubt, tough times and our country, our world, is incredibly divided.  How we manage our stresses and […]

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Show Don’t Tell

Trial exhibits are a big part of all properly conducted litigation. Most lawyers learned long ago that showing, and not just telling, is important. Some lawyers are more effective than others with this but most of them seem not to think visually. Once again, it’s Rush to the rescue. The first track on their 1989 […]

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Remember when we, as children, were subjected to “show and tell” by well meaning teachers?  I had little use for these trivial displays, finding most of my classmates’ showing and telling dreadfully boring.  However, this being said, the “show and tell” experiences from many people’s childhood illustrates the fundamental concept that a visual representation of […]

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