Just in Time Jury Consulting

June 22nd, 2023|

A series of recent experiences pertaining to a case on which we were ramping up made me consider the timeline of jury consulting. In the world of business, and especially manufacturing, there is a concept of just in time production. With just in time production, the raw materials for a “thing” arrive at the production facility only when they are needed. Things, often generically called “widgets,” are then assembled with the ingredients which have arrived on time. In the last several years, throughout the economic changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion about supply chain

Team Players and Other People

June 13th, 2023|

The concept of team work receives considerable attention in many types of situations, from the workplace, to education, to sports. At Magnus, David and I wholeheartedly endorse team work among our employees and including ourselves. Although, in sports terms, I am the “team captain” at Magnus, I cannot perform my job absent help from other team members. This being said, I am always happy to help others when my schedule permits. Does the trash need to be emptied and taken to the outside bin? Do we have case documents that need to be shredded? Does the floor need to be

Paid Versus Free Opinions

June 6th, 2023|

To follow up on my previous post about people asking for my opinions, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. Although it is far from universal, I have observed that people, such as friends and family, who ask for my opinion with no intention of paying me for my time or expertise, often devalue or discount what I have to say. Some of them even go as far as arguing with me when my opinions, based on scientific research, do not comport with their everyday, commonsense, notions. In contrast, most (but certainly not all) of my clients, who pay me for

Do You Want My Opinion or My Tacit Agreement?

May 30th, 2023|

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,

12 Digits

May 18th, 2023|

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).

The Ability to Understand Others’ Perspectives

May 2nd, 2023|

I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. This includes me. When conducting mock jury or other social psychological research, I almost always encourage the open expression of differing views by informing our research participants that “There are no wrong opinions or points of view.” I know some people who enjoy verbal sparring, however, I am not among them. I was brought up by loving parents who allowed me the freedom of sharing my point of view. They did not try to dissuade me, scold me, or tell me my opinion was wrong on the numerous occasions it differed from

Pay Your Own Way Marketing

April 20th, 2023|

Marketing is a big topic. It covers many things including advertising, sales, strategy, research and more. It was one of my 3 undergraduate majors and though some things have changed, for example, the transition from traditional advertising to social media advertising, the basics have long been the same. Getting yourself or your company known for what you do, how you do it, and why your company should be hired or your product should be bought are the goals. In our world of selling a service, this entails demonstrating knowledge and expertise. One of the ways we have done this over

Constant Reinvention

April 6th, 2023|

Much of what we do as trial consultants remains constant over time. Social science research is well established in terms of methodologies such that the changes are in the margins. Technological changes are not a major factor in our world, yet, we constantly look at processes and technologies to improve our work. Among those have been things like moving from analog (VHS tapes) to digital (DVDs and now .mp4 video files shared by computer). We’ve been at this long enough to remember lugging giant laptops (when they became available) to research projects. Laptops, then iPads, have largely replaced the

A Matter of Perspective

March 30th, 2023|

A recent discussion with a client about his client’s (an insurance adjuster) reluctance to engage us for mock jury research is stuck in my mind. The adjuster, whose multiple bosses overruled in authorizing the expenditure on the mock jury research, remained adamantly against it as he did not believe the defendant had an liability such that the case was a slam dunk. When overruled, he stated that the only good outcome of the mock jury research would be a defense win to prove him right. To me, that is the ultimate bad outcome. The point of a mock trial

10 Years After, Part 2

March 23rd, 2023|

Working as a trial consultant has many unique factors that keep our lives interesting, and sometimes, frustrating. One factor is the time between when we are called on a case and when we actually do our work, such as a mock trial, and when that case goes to trial. I sometimes have attorneys ask me when they should call us about a case. My answer is EARLY. Call, put it on my radar and I’ll try to keep track of the case’s progress to know when it is ready for research. As I wrote this post, I thought of