Archive | Trial Consulting

Social Psych = Groups = Juries

Over the years, many people have asked me what makes me qualified to work as a jury/trial consultant. I explain that I have a Ph.D. in social psychology, which is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people and situations. Social thinking, social influence, and social behavior are […]

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I have certainly learned a lot about social psychology, by osmosis and directly from Melissa, as well as in a graduate course, taken before I had any intent of working in the trial consulting world, that helped me more than I knew it would.  It is interesting to explain the principles of psychological science to […]

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Almost Like Cheating

I keep a list of things clients have said during or after working with us on mock jury research. These tidbits illustrate the eye opening reactions some attorneys have when observing jurors deliberate. One of my favorites was from (now retired) Pete Burkert in Fort Myers, FL. After a series of mock juries, he said, […]

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Pete Burkert’s quote is memorable, even after many years have passed.  Until his and his partner, Kim Hart’s, retirement, Magnus enjoyed decades of working with these 2 extremely fine attorneys.  Mr. Hart had worked with us several times before we worked with his law partner, Mr. Burkert, and Kim called to tell me what Pete […]

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Completion Satisfaction

I played hooky this morning for a couple of hours in order to complete some tasks on my to do list. These were things that had been lingering at home for some time and I finally had the parts in hand to do the repairs, thanks to a big trip to Home Depot and several […]

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Hooray for David in, as I like to say, “gittin’ er dun”!  It’s always nice to accomplish tasks on the “to do” list.  As David said, our professional lives do not offer the same sense of satisfaction that comes from other people’s jobs. Our work takes a long time to complete, and often, our clients […]

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Premature Decisions

Several recent client/case events prompted this post. My biased view of litigation is that it is best done when as much input (a.k.a. data) is considered. This includes data from various experts, but also data from mock juries used to evaluate the risks of litigation. The first example is with a case that settled prior […]

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I prefer things to be done in an orderly, not a chaotic, manner.  When I make a decision about whether or not a particular person will be a “good” juror for a client’s case, I don’t merely look at the person and say, “Yeah, that one looks pretty good to me.”  Instead, my decisions regarding […]

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Things Easy for You Are Real Hard for Me

As anyone who knows me soon realizes, I am not a “normal person.” I never have been and I never will be. My mom used to marvel that, despite the many differences between people my age and me, I had the ability to make, and keep, friends. I have usually been accepted by people who […]

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I think sometimes about how the life Melissa and I share personally and professionally is built on trade offs of strengths and weaknesses.  Long ago, a client/friend remarked “David must be here to carry Melissa’s luggage.”  We were attending a conference where she was speaking, and this client/friend had invited her to speak.  He was […]

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Things Hard for You Are Easy for Me

Everyone is different from everyone else. Some people find it easy to do certain things, while other people have to work hard to accomplish a particular task, and others can’t do it at all. It just depends. I perform high level work, in a challenging occupation, that most people cannot do, while some people who […]

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I remember my mother quoting an elderly neighbor, who became a good friend of hers, saying “Mrs. Beach says, isn’t it good we are not all alike, life would be so boring.”  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and it is the combination of peoples’ strengths that move society forward, if not as a whole, in […]

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Dress for the Interview

Job interviews are something with which Melissa and I have had considerable experience over the last 30 years. We’ve revised our procedures over time, but we have always utilized an in-person interview as a final part of the process. Regardless of the position for which we are interviewing, we, as a professional practice serving a […]

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I love people!  I really do!  I am constantly entertained and surprised by the things people do and say.  Never a dull moment, that’s for sure!  David’s post was prompted by our most recent job interview, which was of the shortest duration in the history of Magnus.  Why?  Because the job candidate, a young male, […]

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Not Everyone in Purple Thinks the Same Way

Maybe it wasn’t really purple, more like lavender. The polo style shirts by 2 male senior citizens on one of our mock jury panels were very similar. I wasn’t present to witness the events first hand, but I have seen the video of the deliberations many times. The venue was a community where many senior […]

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I know several people who adore the color purple (I am not among them).  It is rare, however, to see 2 male senior citizens wearing purple clothing in the same room.  In fact, the mock jury David is referring to is the only time I have ever seen 2 men of any age wearing purple […]

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What’s the Rush?

Lately, it seems that we have one rush job after another. On the one hand, I’m glad we have jobs of any sort, especially after the impact COVID-19 related chaos on the legal system, and as a result, our business. But, it is a frustration that never diminishes when clients wait to the last minute […]

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As usual, David’s post has reminded me of a song.  As soon as I read the title, “What’s the rush?” I thought of a song by Leon Russell and Marc Benno called “Learn How to Boogie.”  It’s lyrics include:   What’s the hurry? What’s everybody hurrying for? Don’t worry What’s everybody worrying for?   If […]

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Share The Positives

I observed Melissa do something today that is worth comment. She complimented our clients for the professional and supportive ways they have worked with us, and as a team, to prepare for a jury research project. The clients seemed taken aback to hear a compliment, and they were surprised their behavior was noteworthy. It is […]

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I believe in giving credit where and when credit is due.  When I notice something good, I usually say something about it.  In fact, I try, diligently, to compliment people and situations more than I complain.  I have found complaining rarely results in positive attitude or behavior change.  (If you don’t believe me, ask yourself […]

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