Do You Want My Opinion or My Tacit Agreement?

May 30th, 2023|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Many people ask me for my opinions. My opinions are solicited by family, friends, and clients, and sometimes, even by strangers. I would go as far as saying I am a professional giver of opinions, in that my clients retain me primarily for my expert opinions and advice about their high stakes lawsuits. Sometimes, however, my friends ask me for my opinion when, in reality, they want me to do nothing more than give my tacit agreement to a course of action upon which they have already decided to embark. A recent experience with a childhood friend brought this,

Does victim crying while testifying affect verdicts in rape cases? | Online Jury Research Update

May 26th, 2023|ComCon (Kathy Kellermann Communication Consulting)|

When recounting traumatic events, victims often cry, although not always in the courtroom. In the courtroom, some victims are stoic while others are emotional. The 'emotional witness effect' is a phenomenon in which listeners are affected by the emotional manner in which an alleged victim recounts what happened to them. For example, distressed female rape complainants (i.e., those crying or sobbing) are perceived by psychologists, police officers, judges and students to be more credible than controlled or neutral rape complainants (Nitschke et al., 2019). Do jurors similarly find alleged rape victims who cry to be more credible? do jurors respond

Assessing Your Jurors’ Politics? Look for Conspiracy Thinking As Well

May 25th, 2023|Your Trial Message|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: When it comes to sizing up our potential jurors, we are used to looking at their politics. Both conventional wisdom and practical experience suggest that conservatives are more likely to prioritize individual responsibility while liberals focus on social responsibility. That means that in many cases — not all, but many — political leaning plays a role in how a juror might assign responsibility in a civil case. Increasingly, though, there is a need to look beyond the liberal/conservative binary to see meaningful divisions within the two sides of the spectrum. Particularly among Republicans, there is an

Damages Defense: Carefully Set the Smaller Anchor

May 22nd, 2023|Your Trial Message|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Here’s one area where there’s a conflict between social science and practical intuitions: Should the civil defendant offer their own damages number to anchor jurors on a lower amount? The social science on the subject is relatively clear: If the jurors get to the point of awarding damages, a lower number from the defense will help keep the award lower than it otherwise would have been. But in practice, defendants can be reluctant to offer that number, fearing that it will look like the defense concedes the point that damages should be awarded, with the alternate

12 Digits

May 18th, 2023|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Many of the posts we write are inspired by recent events, though our list has many titles we created as far back as 10 years ago at the inception of the Magnus Insights, 2’s Company blog. I’ll admit that there are many DF titles I haven’t written yet. I’m writing today, while smiling a bit, at one of the minor details that have a major impact in our work, that is, calculators. That’s right, this post is about calculators. I titled this post “12 Digits,” because 8 is not enough (despite that it was on the 1970s era TV show).

Take a Note from Ed Sheeran: Show, Don’t Just Tell

May 17th, 2023|Your Trial Message|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: After threatening that me might end his musical career if the jury went the other way, popular musician Ed Sheeran can now continue his line of work. According to a federal jury in New York earlier this month, Sheeran’s 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” did not copy the musical structure of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic, “Let’s Get It On.” As one of the most highly-watched artistic copyright cases in many years, the trial was broadly seen as setting the course for other cases. Sheeran, however, succeeded in convincing the jury that his song was made up of “common building