Archive | Trial Consulting

If you want something done right…

I recently heard a program on NPR involving an incredible story that the host presented as a situation when the person involved should have “done it himself.” The story was from China, where someone hired a hitman to eliminate a competitor. The hitman subcontracted the job to someone else and that person hired someone else […]

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The DIY attitude is another example of many people’s inability to recognize their limitations.  I was searching for flooring not too long ago and discovered numerous references to DIY flooring, including instructional videos on how to install all types of flooring, from laminate to tile.  I didn’t want to know how to install flooring (by […]

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Blue Intake Forms

As someone who thrives on forms and checklists, I also know that it is critical to improve them, as well as update them. I learned this practice from my photography mentor, Jon Peters. I’ve adapted what I did as a photographer, that is, providing a service to clients, to what I/we do as trial consultants, […]

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David loves forms.  He enjoys devising them and he enjoys having everyone who works at Magnus complete them.  He even has forms prepared for our clients to complete, to ensure we are doing everything they want us to do on their behalf.  For the most part, I don’t share David’s fondness for forms.  Although I […]

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No one hires me for an easy case

On numerous occasions throughout my career as a jury/trial consultant, prospective clients, not to mention family members and friends, have asked me if I have ever worked on a “big” case or a “difficult” case. I used to bristle when asked this question, due to its implication that I am not intelligent, experienced, or good […]

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The fact that we are called on to work on large, difficult, challenging, and unique cases is one of the intellectual thrills of working as trial consultants.  And, what were once challenges are not as intimidating as they might have been years ago.  The money involved in some of the cases is part of the […]

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My job is to help people

Sometimes, when I am asked what I do for a living, I answer, “I help people.” Although the details of my job description have changed over the years, my entire career has been devoted to helping people. In my job as Director of Marketing Research at a large hospital, I was tasked with helping improve […]

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A client called for help this week.  He faces a unexpected challenge of a case that he didn’t think would get to trial – then the judge set a trial date.  With a trial looming, and some extra challenges on the part of his client, he called.  It helped that he is a regular reader […]

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Illumination

A client who has made several comments that have prompted prior blogs mentioned recently that, sometimes, things look great in the war room, but in the bright lights of the courtroom, they fall flat. I think he made a great point. As a photographer, I know that one of the keys to success in photography […]

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People differ in their ability to see things from other people’s point of view.  I am in the process of becoming a circuit civil mediator and I recently completed the training program that is a required part of this process.  As I expected, most of my co-students were attorneys and I was the only psychologist […]

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Which Path?

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On October 31, 2019

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Consultants, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

I was recently contemplating a question commonly asked by our clients – which alternative is best? For example, a client recently asked, “We can call the situation a complication, we can call it unforeseen, we can call it an accident; which is best?” For whatever reason that day, my mind did, as it often does, […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On October 31, 2019

Category: Getting the Job Done, Jury Consultants, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

Kudos to David for quoting lyrics of a Led Zeppelin song!  Yes, there are two (or more) paths one can take, such that deciding which path will result in the best litigation outcome is often difficult for Magnus’ clients and other attorneys.  Generally speaking, Magnus is in the business of using social science research to […]

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I’m happiest when I have a new data set

One of Magnus’ former employees once remarked that the times he saw me at my happiest were the days when I was analyzing a new data set. How true! There are few things in life I enjoy more than delving into a raw data file from a recently conducted survey of potential jurors. I eagerly […]

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Some girls get excited about diamonds; Melissa gets excited about data (well, diamonds too). Data sets give her the chance to use her favorite computer program – SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). She fires up SPSS and digs in whenever she can. Sometimes the data sets are large and she can really poke […]

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Unpaid Work

As entrepreneurs, Melissa and I often work without getting paid.  The most common example from “my department” is talking with a prospective client about a new case, preparing a proposal, following up, only to hear that the project is a no go.  Perhaps the price was beyond their budget, or the client wanted to use […]

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People who lack the entrepreneurial mindset often can’t relate to David’s and my perspective regarding doing copious amounts of work for which we are not compensated.  As an example, I have made hundreds of presentations to attorneys’ and insurance companies’ associations, most of which have involved zero payment to me.  Why would I do such […]

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Ask Me a Question, then LISTEN to My Answer

Recently, I have had several experiences in which someone asked me one or more questions, then constantly interrupted me while I attempted to answer the question(s). This has happened more times than I can count, however, it happened several times in the period of a few days, both in business and personal situations. One of […]

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I think part of the listening dilemma is an occupational hazard. Our clients are mostly attorneys and attorneys are paid to talk. Listening seems more difficult for some, not all, of them. This manifests itself during jury selection when some seem to have difficulty actively listening to the responses to the questions they are asking. […]

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Trial Consultant as Secret Weapons

Over the years Melissa and I have been working as trial consultants, we have often been called “a secret weapon” numerous times. In reality, the fact that we, or any trial consultant, is working on a case, at least in conducting pre-trial research, preparing witnesses and the like, is secret. It is confidential attorney work […]

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It is interesting for me to be frequently called a “secret weapon” by my clients. As long time readers of David’s and my posts know, the client who utilized Magnus’ services most effectively is Kim Hart, from my hometown, Fort Myers, Florida. Kim Hart “gets it,” he really does. He, along with many other of […]

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