About this blog

After more than 25 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 30 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

What is Old is New Again

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 23, 2021

Category: Jury Consultants, Jury Research, Litigation Consultants, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

A client recently told me about a continuing legal education program he attended and the new information contained in the seminar. He kindly shared the information on the use of visual evidence and my reaction was, despite his enthusiasm for this “new” information, it isn’t new. What struck me is how often, in the more […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 23, 2021

Category: Jury Consultants, Jury Research, Litigation Consultants, Litigation Research, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Research, Trial Consultants

I do not expect attorneys and other non psychologists to be informed about psychological phenomenon.  Just as I, a psychologist, am not up to date about the latest advances in astrophysics, it comes as no surprise that most people are relatively ignorant about psychology.  Our well meaning client shared with David the latest drivel about […]

Continue Reading

Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness

I’m not certain why there is a stigma surrounding mental illness and those who suffer from it. Perhaps the stigma originates from social pressures to conform, that is, to act like “everyone else.” Obviously, when someone is mentally ill, he/she cannot act like everyone else, even if we wish this could happen; even if we […]

Continue Reading

It seems strange to me that some things have stigmas when they should not.  Mental illness is one of those things families like to hide in a closet.  A few years ago, when Melissa and I lived in a small city in Broward County, we had occasion to interact with our little police department.  We […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Mental Illness is in Every Family

This topic has been on my list of things to write about since 2015, but today is the day I will discuss this serious issue. The issue is mental illness. As much as many people would prefer not to talk about mental illness, it is a pervasive part of almost every family, such that we […]

Continue Reading

What does it mean to be normal versus mentally ill?  I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know.  But, as an observer of human behavior, I believe “normal” is a pretty broad description that probably includes many people who function pretty well despite some degree of mental abnormality.  Thus, the question becomes, where is the […]

Continue Reading

You Will Get Fired if: You Steal!

This is the last in the “you will get fired” series (I hope). Even when the employee does something bad, like stealing, going through the conflict of termination is unpleasant, not satisfying. In owning a small business, there are ways employees “steal” from the company. I’ve been remembering about a direct financial theft we suffered […]

Continue Reading

Reading this series of posts about reasons for firing an employee might give the reader the impression that David and I have had terrible luck with our employees.  If so, I want to explain that, to the contrary, we have had many wonderful employees in our almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus.  I […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Champagne on 1st

David and I celebrate life. If we look around, there is something to celebrate every day. One event David and I have always celebrated is our anniversary. We were married on New Year’s Day, January 1. We selected January 1 because it is a holiday and, therefore, we would never have to work on our […]

Continue Reading

The sound of the pop of a cork always brings a smile to our faces.  Opening our many bottles of champagne (or non-French “sparkling wine”) has made me pretty good at it.  I have only had a cork fly away 1 or 2 times in all these years.  We try to keep well stocked so […]

Continue Reading

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes