Pay to Play

January 20th, 2022|

I’m writing this post after having recently received a solicitation from an attorney group asking for speakers for a big annual event. The “invitation” included a price list of what they expected speakers to pay. Despite the fact the audience would be perfect for us, marketing wise, Melissa immediately rejected the idea as something prohibited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Who knows when the pay to play issue heated up in the academic world, but it was in the last 25 years or so that it seemed to grow when university professors were paying to publish academic papers

COVID-19 Jury Composition Conjecture

January 13th, 2022|

As trial consultants we try to stay current by reading lots of newspapers, journals, and magazines. Recently, I’ve noticed people writing about the composition of juries post COVID-19 (not that COVID-19 is over, “post” in this context merely indicates a world where COVID-19 came into being). Because of the politicization of COVID-19, vaccines, masks, etc., and because of the CDC guidelines, courthouse closures, the world of jury trials has been shaken. The practice of law has changed in many ways, some permanently. The willingness of ordinary citizens who are called for jury duty has been impacted as well. People

What is Old is New Again

December 23rd, 2021|

A client recently told me about a continuing legal education program he attended and the new information contained in the seminar. He kindly shared the information on the use of visual evidence and my reaction was, despite his enthusiasm for this “new” information, it isn’t new. What struck me is how often, in the more than 30 years of working with and around lawyers, this phenomenon occurs. Sometimes it is a search for a short cut to get certain results. But, often it is an indication of how far apart the fields of law and psychology remain. Meaning that,

What’s Your Alibi?

December 16th, 2021|

Do you have an alibi? Do you need an alibi? We’ve all seen it on TV. If you are innocent, you have an alibi. If you don’t have an alibi, you are suspect #1. What were you doing on the evening in question? Do you remember? Probably not. In life one goes from hour to hour, day to day, doing whatever things one does. Unless there is something exceptional, one probably does not remember the activities that occurred on any particular day. The exceptions become salient and memorable; normal and routine activities are not. A creative research study illustrates

Elegantly Forceful

November 30th, 2021|

Magnus Research Consultants recently worked in Miami, where we have worked numerous times throughout the decades we have been in business. Most of the time when we are conducting mock jury research, the research participants/mock jurors are respectful toward one another, the Magnus staff, and me. Once in a while, however, one or more of them will overstep the line of decency, which is a guarantee they will be sent home, immediately. On this day in Miami, one of the mock jurors, who had volunteered to be the jury foreperson, refused to follow the instructions he was given by

Things Back to Normal! Water Fountains, Crowded Elevators, Smiling Faces

October 12th, 2021|

Hooray! Hooray! I had the privilege of selecting 2 juries, for 2 different clients, in 2 different courthouses, recently. Usually, this would be nothing to write about, however, these jury selections were noteworthy due to the fact that they were the first, and second, jury selections for me since the world shut down in March of 2020 because of the pandemic. I was thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to be back in a courthouse, wearing a dark suit and high heels, carrying a briefcase, and providing help to my clients as they faced challenging lawsuits. Things almost seemed like they were

Brave New World

September 30th, 2021|

Recent conversations with several attorneys prompted this post. The title many will recognize is from a 1931 book by English author Aldous Huxley, and I have to say, I’ve never read it. But, here we are in the 3rd quarter of 2021 and I have to say that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other factors, we may be at a stage in the world where changes are occurring, or have occurred, that have altered “normal” and changed it forever. My post “Quantifying Change” (https://magnusinsights.com/?p=2921) was a part of the story. Demographics have changed, as quantified by the 2020

Quantifying Change

September 23rd, 2021|

It is an exciting time to be a data nerd – the 2020 Census data are trickling out. And, apologies to Bob Dylan, with the times, the data are a-changing! The key data points released thus far confirm the growing diversity of America. I’ve been looking at some of the numbers for Florida, with a population now of over 20 million. Cities like Jacksonville have seen major racial and ethnic changes as well as population growth. Growing up in Jacksonville, I remember when the population of Duval County/Jacksonville was about ½ a million – and that seemed large. Now

Trial team members, not vendors or facilitators

September 3rd, 2021|

I’m writing this on a Monday, so I’m going to vent a little. This is a topic I’ve had on my list to write about for quite some time; I just never got to it, in part, because I don’t like to venture into areas of self importance. But, here I go. As trial consultants, we at Magnus believe that, when we are retained, we become professional members of the trial team, offering our perspectives and expertise which come from a different place than the perspectives of the lawyers who are litigating the case. For example, Melissa has more education

Trial team members, not vendors or facilitators

August 30th, 2021|

I’m writing this on a Monday, so I’m going to vent a little. This is a topic I’ve had on my list to write about for quite some time; I just never got to it, in part, because I don’t like to venture into areas of self importance. But, here I go. As trial consultants, we at Magnus believe that, when we are retained, we become professional members of the trial team, offering our perspectives and expertise which come from a different place than the perspectives of the lawyers who are litigating the case. For example, Melissa has more education