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Tell no one what we do

March 5th, 2019|

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 and me, are required by our clients to maintain strict confidentiality regarding their cases. Some of our clients, in fact, require everyone at Magnus who works on their case to sign confidentiality and non disclosure agreements as a prerequisite to our retention. Our work is

Leverage

February 14th, 2019|

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 are multiple forms of leverage that come into play at various points in litigation. But, the one that prompts me to write this post is mock jury research results. I recently had lunch with a prospective client who was intrigued at how a colleague of

Cindy’s Question

January 31st, 2019|

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 end client, but for us, and the lawyers involved, it meant that all the billings stopped abruptly. For us, the six figure project was over, done. All of the sudden, the work that would keep us busy, and the cash flowing, was gone. We suddenly

Crazy Courthouse Story #3 Bombscare

January 29th, 2019|

My first crazy courthouse story happened in the Lee County Courthouse in my hometown, Fort Myers, Florida and this post, the third in the series, is also about an event that happened in the Lee County Courthouse. As with rental cars, airplanes, hotels, and other places and things I frequent, I spend a lot of time in courthouses. I once had to count the number of jury selections in which I had been involved in order to testify as an expert witness and that count, many years ago, was almost 200. I have since lost count of the number of

Juror Background Checks

January 24th, 2019|

The only universal recommendation we make to clients these days regarding trial strategies is to be prepared to have background checks conducted on the potential jurors. Though this practice must be done with some care, and with the observation of a few Bar rules, it is important to prepare for background checks early. I have become aware of several firms offering this service as an ancillary to the work of trial consultants. I also know that some law firms prefer to use their staff to do this, to save money or to create additional billable hours. However it is done,

Crazy Courthouse Story #2 calendars idea

January 22nd, 2019|

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 a case they once had, or a judge they once knew, or a jury they once had on a big case, but, in addition, many of my clients express a nostalgic feeling about a certain courthouse due to its architecture or another feature. These expressions

Internet Based/Virtual Jury Research: Part 2

January 17th, 2019|

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 agreement signed. With online research, controlling the ability of the participants to capture information through such things as screen shots, or the use of, for example, a cell phone camera, is minimal. Further, putting the information “out there” on the internet creates hacking risks, or

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

January 15th, 2019|

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 behalf of the attorneys who are our clients. In this 5 part series, I will share some of my more memorable “Crazy Courthouse Stories.” Some of these stories are funny, while others are tragic, but they all have in common their true life experience. The

Internet Based/Virtual Jury Research: Part 1

January 10th, 2019|

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.” In another case, the client wanted an online “mock jury” for reasons that did not really make sense; I’ll get back to that. The reason I’m putting parentheses around mock juries relative to the online variety is that these are not really mock juries. There

Origin of the Jurors

December 27th, 2018|

Mock jurors may seem like a species unto themselves, but, when properly recruited, they are everyday people who are representative of the trial venue. Following the post on why Magnus controls research videos, I am commenting on the origin of the mock jurors because of another subtle detail I picked up recently in reading a competitor’s proposal. I’ll add, “Where do you get your mock jurors?” is #1 our all time frequently asked questions list. Therefore, the topic is appropriate for discussion of best and worst practices in recruiting. Magnus is, or I should say, Melissa is, a stickler for