Archive | Trial Consulting

Don’t let them see you panic

We keep a list of topics for these posts; this one was added to the list several years ago and I’m just getting around to writing about it. I preface the post with that because the incident(s) which inspired it were even longer ago and happened with former, not current, team members. The incidents usually […]

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Over the years I have been working as a trial consultant, I have had many reasons to panic.  I have also had many opportunities to observe my staff members panic.  There are numerous things that can, and do, go wrong, including things over which we have no control and things that occur from mistakes, carelessness, […]

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Ghost Notes

I’ve been thinking recently about how one ever demonstrates that nothing happened because something did happen. Specifically, with regard to the protests over police shootings, police abuse, etc., how does one demonstrate that new policies make a difference? The difference is noticed only when nothing happens. Undoubtedly, most police officer shootings happen because the officer […]

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David’s reference to ghost notes is quite impressive!  Ghost notes are important to me, as a bass player.  They are place holders, serving to keep the rhythm while not making a discernable musical sound.  On the thick strings of a bass guitar, ghost notes sound like a mini cymbal, leading the way to the playing […]

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Keep a wide angle on marketing

By now, readers of this blog know photography is a big part of my life. I got my first camera with a “normal” lens in 1978. My 2nd photography purchase, a few months later, was a wide angle lens. I love wide angle lenses and the all encompassing viewpoints they provide. I use them heavily […]

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Within our company, Magnus Research Consultants, marketing is, clearly, David’s job.  After all, he does have a college degree in marketing, as well as a master’s degree in business.  I know almost nothing about business, but I do know that marketing involves some psychology, for example, finding out about what factors are important in people’s […]

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We Do Our Jobs Even When Others Don’t

Recently, we at Magnus had what appeared, at first, to be a promising new business opportunity. This new opportunity was planned as a joint venture among 3 companies, including Magnus. Another company is a company that has been a long time vendor of ours, with the other company being known only to our vendor and […]

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As we write this, the fallout from this experience has continued.  There are some hurt feelings amongst all, especially those with whom we planned to partner.  But, the underlying objective we have at Magnus is to get the job done, and get it done well.  (I’d add that anything Melissa and I undertake is done […]

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Customers: Happier when they leave

We recently visited with our friend Ms. Debbie at Sweet Delights in Homestead. During our conversation, she commented that she wants her customers to be happier when they leave than when they arrived. She has much to offer in that regard with her wonderful cakes and pies, which are truly sweet delights. Her effervescent personality […]

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Magnus is in the trial consulting business, not the bakery business.  Our clients come to us to obtain our expert assistance in solving significant problems, not because they want something sweet to eat.  However, despite the vast differences between Magnus and Ms. Debbie’s company, Sweet Delights, we share a common goal: Keeping the customer satisfied.  […]

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Hurricanes and Jury Selections

Recently, residents of Florida were threatened by another hurricane. In Florida, hurricanes are as much a part of our existence as that famous mouse in Orlando. Sooner or later, we Floridians will have to stop what we are doing and prepare, whether we like it or not, whether we have something better to do, or […]

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I’m writing this following another hurricane non-event.  A near miss – really near, less than 100 miles.  We did get some wind and rain, but we were ready.  We spent a full day preparing, a “wasted” Saturday effort as it turns out, and a full day resetting everything, a “wasted” Sunday.  I can only say […]

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Nuclear Verdicts: Part 2

Face it, some trials are bad, there is liability, there are real damages. Evaluating those honestly and without bias is what we, as trial consultants, help our clients accomplish. And, that said, the other issue in mock jury research when we work for the defense is that the plaintiff’s argument, when presented during the mock […]

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Over the years, I have heard some interesting remarks from defense attorneys and insurance adjusters following their observations of mock juries deliberating on their case.  One client, who is a defense attorney but who was, for reasons unknown to me, hired to represent numerous plaintiffs in a billion dollar class action case, told me that […]

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Melissa the Drill Sgt.

Among my family members and friends, I am usually the quietest, most introverted, person in the room. I do not enjoy idle chit chat as a way of passing the time, nor do I enjoy telling (not to mention listening to!) long winded stories with off the point digressions. When I have something to say, […]

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The “Melissa as drill sergeant” is one of the most lasting stories in the history of Magnus.  Henry Latimer was such a gentleman, but he was tough.  As a former Marine, and former judge, he was a master of handling difficult cases and clients.  He quickly became a favorite of ours and was a pleasure […]

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Nuclear Verdicts: Part 1

Boom – the verdict is in and it is explosive, shocking everyone involved. These verdicts are referred to “nuclear verdicts,” with the implication that they are both large and unreasonable. I read about this phenomenon regularly. It is a trend that frightens one side of the “v.” – the defense side, and emboldens the other […]

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When David and I founded Magnus in 1993, we used a slogan in our marketing materials, “Reducing Uncertainty.”  We know, based on our experience in conducting mock trials, focus groups, and attitude surveys, that our research results provide our clients with information about which they would have never known without our help.  Knowing this information […]

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We Don’t Have to do Anything

I meet a lot of people in my work as a jury/trial consultant and in my “other life” as a musician. David says I don’t often respond to meeting new people very well, however, I believe many people I meet aren’t the kind of people with whom I would like to become further acquainted. A […]

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From time to time I’ve observed these “have to do” clients and Melissa is right, it is a negative mindset.  We’ve had clients call and say they have to do a mock trial because their client is making them do it.  (With that attitude, I think the clients are on to something about how the […]

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