Archive | Trial Consulting

Tell no one what we do

An oddity of my job as a jury/trial consultant is not being able to share the details of my work with family, friends, or anyone, ever. All of the cases in which Magnus consults are high stakes matters, regardless of whether they are civil or criminal trials. Everyone who is employed by Magnus, including David […]

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In the past two weeks, news about several cases on which we have worked have appeared prominently in the news. The cases, and the results of their trials, were newsworthy. This is, no doubt, common for trial consultants and it is, admittedly, exciting to be involved in high profile or noteworthy cases. Yet, from the […]

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Feed the Photographer

Many years ago, my first career path was photography. I specialized in corporate media, including annual reports, public relations, event coverage, portraits, families (including a few dogs – the 4 legged kind) and I photographed quite a few weddings. Photographing a wedding is unique when compared to most of these other types of photography. But, […]

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Let’s face it. Some people are thoughtless. Withholding food from someone is rude, slightly mean, and for some people, can be dangerous. Many of my friends are professional musicians who, like David when he worked as a professional photographer, often work while others are having fun. I have heard countless stories from my musician friends […]

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Leverage

One uses a lever to gain leverage in order to be able to move something easier than moving it without the lever. I don’t know a great deal about physics, but I get this. And, it is important to look for leverage in life, in business, and in our world, the world of litigation. There […]

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I have lost count of the number of times in my career when an attorney retains Magnus in order to gain leverage over his/her client regarding the value of a lawsuit. We have worked on cases for plaintiffs’ attorneys whose clients believe that, because the insurance (or other) company has the financial resources to pay […]

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Vitamins

Do you take vitamins? (I do, especially vitamin C, after meeting Dr. Linus Pauling, and spending a day photographing him, during a visit he made to Jacksonville University. He got a Nobel prize for his research on Vitamin C.) How about a baby aspirin? (I do that too, why not, it’s cheap and it is […]

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Taking vitamins is a health precaution some, but not all, people believe in. In addition, there are certain types of people who avoid going to see a medical doctor, dentist, or psychologist, or who avoid taking their beloved pet to a veterinarian, until they are on “death’s door,” then there are other types of people […]

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Crazy Courthouse Story #4 911

I have studied the phenomenon known as autobiographical memory since I was in graduate school. Autobiographical memory is a distinct type of memory due to its shared meaningfulness to many people. For example, most people of a certain age can remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated. This tragic event was shared by […]

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Also sometimes called “flashbulb” memories, events such as 911 tend to stay with us with some degree of accuracy. I was attending a meeting near the Broward County Courthouse on that fateful morning. We were meeting in an office which had considerable video capabilities. Though the news was not turned on in the conference room […]

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Cindy’s Question

We recently experienced one of our worst nightmares in our trial consulting business. A case on which we had been working for many months, and for which we had been planning a large scale mock trial, settled a few weeks before the mock trial was scheduled. I’m sure it was a good result for the […]

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The expression, “easy come, easy go” has no applicability to the situation David just described when we have been preliminary retained for a case that will bring in sizable revenue, only to have it cancel due to the settlement of the case. Although we always charge a sizable portion of our fees as a retainer, […]

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Crazy Courthouse Story #2 calendars idea

Second in the series on crazy courthouse stories is the Courthouses of Florida™ idea I had while working in courthouses all over my home state of Florida. Over the years when I have worked for attorneys during the jury selection process, I have observed their fondness for courthouses. They often regale me with stories about […]

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The crazy idea wasn’t that crazy and it turned into a challenging and mostly fun adventure. The phenomenon of associations, mostly positive, made by our clients with a particular courthouse has been interesting to observe. There are probably negative associations with some courthouses, but what we hear are, “That’s where I won my first big […]

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Internet Based/Virtual Jury Research: Part 2

My previous post outlined the reasons why online “mock jury” research is not in reality “mock jury” research. In this, related, post, I will discuss additional constraints and limitations of online “mock jury” research. I will also add that I have concerns about confidentiality with online research. Confidentiality is more than just having a confidentiality […]

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David is passionate about this topic! It was the longest post he has ever written since we have been blogging in June, 2013, and it was so long, it had to be broken into two parts. David’s second part of the posts on online “mock jury” research pertains to a crucial, but often overlooked, aspect […]

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Crazy Courthouse Story #1 Client on other side of this case

Long time readers of David’s and my blog may remember the 5 part series we wrote, entitled “Crazy Mock Juror Story” and/or the 5 part series we wrote on “Crazy Lawyer Story.” We are always eager to share some of our funny, or at a minimum, entertaining, stories about the serious work we do on […]

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The other attorney didn’t stop calling us because of this incident. He had other control issues that made working together impossible, specifically, he’d demand that Melissa be available for jury selection every day of his often 4 to 6 week trial dockets or else he wouldn’t hire us. And, of course, he wanted to do […]

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Internet Based/Virtual Jury Research: Part 1

Technology is not the answer to everything. I have recently been reminded of this when talking with more than one potential client who was curious about using internet based “jury research.” Specifically, we’ve recently been asked to bid on mock jury research only to learn that the competitor’s bid was for an online “mock jury.” […]

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Social psychology is the study of group behavior, among other things. By definition, a group is comprised of two or more people who assemble together. A jury, is of course, a unique type of group that is tasked with making important decisions that have a substantial impact on other people’s lives. When an individual or […]

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