Archive | Trial Consulting

Illuminating Litigation

Many years ago an attorney shared with me why he liked conducting mock trials on his cases. He said that litigation without jury research is like driving in the dark without headlights. I’m not willing to say that trial lawyers are always driving in the dark, but I agree with his premise: mock jury research […]

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I frequently observe people driving in the dark with no headlights.  It is a dangerous thing to do because not only can the driver not see where he/she is going, but other drivers can’t easily see the “ghost vehicle” either.  On the few occasions when David and I went boating after dark, we saw boats […]

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COVID-19 Jury Composition Conjecture

As trial consultants we try to stay current by reading lots of newspapers, journals, and magazines. Recently, I’ve noticed people writing about the composition of juries post COVID-19 (not that COVID-19 is over, “post” in this context merely indicates a world where COVID-19 came into being). Because of the politicization of COVID-19, vaccines, masks, etc., […]

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I guess speculating about the composition of juries gives people something to discuss.  And, at least it’s better, in my opinion, than listening to people drone on about their experiences as jurors.  (The latter discussions, when I am unwittingly involved, remind me of “One time, in band camp…” and are just as uninteresting!) I don’t […]

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What’s Your Alibi?

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 16, 2021

Category: Jury Behavior, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consulting

Do you have an alibi? Do you need an alibi? We’ve all seen it on TV. If you are innocent, you have an alibi. If you don’t have an alibi, you are suspect #1. What were you doing on the evening in question? Do you remember? Probably not. In life one goes from hour to […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 16, 2021

Category: Jury Behavior, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consulting

I am thrilled that David not only read an article from one of the psychology publications to which I subscribe, but enjoyed it to the point it inspired this post!  It’s wonderful to me to share psychology with someone who appreciates the unique perspective it offers!  As for alibis, the media have done another disservice […]

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You May Be Kidding, But I’m Not

This is the second post about Magnus’ unfortunate experience with the nasty mock juror who was sent home after he threatened one of my employees. Sadly, this sort of thing has happened before. Sadder still, I expect it to happen again some day. In every instance Magnus has had in which a mock juror threatens […]

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Racial discrimination, bullying, or other abuses are certainly not something to kid about.  More than ever, this is true and employers must be vigilant in ensuring that zero tolerance is the only option.  Within an employer’s environment there are probably different ways of handling these issues, but our environment is unique.  We have to “have […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Talk Back!

Sometimes, lessons from your mother go a long way. Unfortunately, not everyone learns those lessons. As I’ve been pondering some of our termination experiences, I recall a few instances when the problem was friction between an employee and me, or more concerning, between the employee and the “big boss,” Melissa. We have had a few, […]

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David and I have told countless people about the employee who, after being fired for insubordination, refused to leave.  It is beyond me to understand why anyone, knowing he/she is unwanted, would stay around, but that is exactly what this creepy guy did.  Until the deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department showed up at […]

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Elegantly Forceful

Magnus Research Consultants recently worked in Miami, where we have worked numerous times throughout the decades we have been in business. Most of the time when we are conducting mock jury research, the research participants/mock jurors are respectful toward one another, the Magnus staff, and me. Once in a while, however, one or more of […]

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Elegantly forceful is a great description and a smart way of handling a difficult, tense situation, ESPECIALLY when all eyes are on you.  When clients are involved, the stakes are much higher still.  The way this mock juror was handled set the tone for the entire group.  Yelling, screaming, cursing, as we’ve observed some trial […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Forget to Press Record!

Few things are as important in our mock trials or focus groups as recording the presentations and, more importantly, the deliberations or participant discussions. We’re not in the video production business, but it sometimes seems that way because we have to capture the video, and particularly, audio, from our research sessions. This is a pretty […]

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Oh my!  Words I never want to hear during a mock trial, focus group, or any other type of research for a client are “Dr. Pigott, I forgot to press record when the mock jurors started deliberating.”  I particularly dislike hearing these words via a walkie-talkie while I am in the presence of the clients […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Can’t do the Job!

This will be the first post in a series about being fired. I can’t believe I didn’t write these sooner, but it is not a happy topic. I put it on the list of things to write about many years ago, just never bothered until I, once again, had to terminate someone. For some people, […]

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Here we go again.  I frequently quote the psychological phenomenon regarding the requirement of both ability and effort to achieve successful task completion.  If one or both components are lacking, a task will not be completed successfully.  That is, if one has the ability to perform a given task, but one puts forth no effort […]

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Lesson from a Roofer: “I just do my job”

I have learned some things while observing the roofers who worked on David’s and my roof for 4 months (that seemed like an eternity). I have written past posts about some of my observations, including my amazement at how happily the roofers perform their jobs. On the last day of the 14 day installation of […]

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Sebastian told me something similar when I told him it seemed unfair to make him work on a (dangerous) roof by himself.  He shrugged and said “It’s a job.”  He seemed indifferent to which roof, which tile, how many co-workers he had.  He just knew what needed to be done and went about it without […]

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Making Friends

A recent email conversation with a friend, Tom, made me think about a fact of life that has some unfortunate consequences. As adults in the working world, we typically relate to each other on a single dimension, that of work. Whatever the work relationship, co-workers, client/consultant, or otherwise, our interactions are narrow in comparison to […]

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Luckily for me, I have always made friends in every kind of situation.  David’s friend, Tom, is an attorney at a large law firm, but neither David or I knew this when we met him while sitting next to each other at a RUSH concert.  David and I also met another, prominent and high profile, […]

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