The problem isn’t the problem. The problem is the response.

November 1st, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Stuff happens (you may have seen this phrase as a bumper sticker with a different “S” word). That’s right, things happen. Lightning strikes. Gremlins materialize. In our trial consulting work, there are frequent technical issues that lead to problems. With competent staff, they are kept to a minimum, but there are times when, for example, the closed circuit TV feed is bad because a cable is having a bad day. (I say bad day because inevitably we’ll switch the cable, and then, when we are back at the office after the project, try to replicate the problem, only to have

What a Popular Reality TV Show Teaches Us about Jury Trials

October 29th, 2018|The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)|

Part 1 of a multi-part series. I have a shameful secret: I watch NBC’s ‘The Voice.’ In fact, to come entirely clean, I guess I should say, “I faithfully watch ‘The Voice.’” The revelation of this guilty pleasure would come as a surprise to people who know me because of both my specific contempt for “reality TV” and my more general disdain of formulaic dreck. Ironically, ‘The Voice’ is both – in spades. Apart from the musical performances, there is a surfeit of contrived drama: the competition and bantering between the judges, and the often cloying back stories of the performers.

Voir Dire: Account for Both Presumptions and Expectations

October 29th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: A newly-published study about the effects of voir dire in capital cases suggests that social scientists and the courts may need to reconsider a long-held tenet. For at least the past 35 years, the belief has been that jurors exposed to the process of jury selection in capital cases, known as “death qualification” of the jury, are more prone to convict. This was based on research (Haney, 1984) showing that the focus on the penalty phase (unusual in criminal voir dire) led to a significant increase in research participants’ willingness to presume that the defendant is probably

How to Get Your Demonstratives Admitted in Federal Court, Part Two

October 25th, 2018|Cogent Legal|

My goal is to never create an image for my clients that they cannot use. As a former litigator, I understand that creating a beautiful, concise, compelling image is only half the battle – you still have to be able to use it. And for that reason, we here at Cogent Legal know the law that governs the admission of the images we create, and we share it with you. In this latest series of posts, I discuss the relevant law in federal courts. For the general rules, see Part One.  In this concluding Part Two, we address a few

Consider the Upside of Outrage

October 25th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It is almost election time again. But the normally low-turnout midterm may not be in the cards this time around, owing to the outrage on both sides of the political spectrum. And some believe that it’s a shame that we have these levels of moral outrage: It diminishes our civility and exaggerates the already-extreme polarization of society. But does it get people to vote? The social science says it does. In a new research article (Spring, Cameron & Cikara, 2018), a team from Penn State focusing on moral psychology note that the research is starting to show that

Getting the Most from Research – Digging In

October 25th, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

A recent Wall Street Journal article (August 11-12, 2018) entitled “To Get the Most Out of Polls, Delve Deeper” prompted this post. Though this post was about political polls and pollsters, there were several points relevant to the world of trial consulting. One quote caught my attention, “…, remember that neither a candidate’s polling percentage nor any other single number will give you the full picture—any more than a price tag really tells you how a bottle of wine will taste,….”. We have often worked with seemed attorneys who were, perhaps, new to using mock trials, and who focus on