Source of article 2's Company - Magnus Insights.
I’ve been on a bit of a “tear” lately about caveat emptor. Hiring a trial consultant requires due diligence because, unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to hold oneself out as a trial consultant. A lawyer, a physician, a plumber, an electrician or a hairstylist has to be tested and licensed. We don’t. While there has been a debate about this in a few states, I have concluded that licensing or “accrediting” would do little good and it certainly would not indicate whether the consultant would be a good hire for a given client/case. Instead, it is left to the consumer of the trial consulting services to do his/her homework. Check references, meet or talk with them, look at websites/brochures, determine how they approach the consulting or research assignment, etc. But, as pointed out in my post #418 “Is your consultant qualified? How do you know?”, deeper digging is required. Over the years, I’ve heard many “horror” stories of what I’m calling Shaman Trial Consultants for this post. Those with “fake” credentials – that is, those who mislead, or lie, about their credentials are the top of the list. There are consultants who don’t know how to minimize biases are on the list – like those who use in house employees, family and friends for the mock jurors. Some encourage one attorney to present both the plaintiff and defense side of a case – talk about confusing the jury! I’ve heard of some consultants who use the same batch of mock jurors for 2 or 3 cases in a row on the same day for 2 or 3 different cases, without ever revealing this to the client (who was not present). Why not just the same blood collection vials from patient to patient? I know of a trial consultant who changed a mock jury verdict because she thought it was out of line. Snake oil anyone? You probably get the idea by now. Do you want to bet your life, your client’s life, and your client’s case on someone who is a good salesperson or a solid, credentialed consultant? So, caveat emptor and good luck. Or just call Magnus. (I couldn’t resist!)