About Us

Overview: About Magnus

About Magnus – Litigation Research and Consulting Services

Magnus began operation at the end of 1993. Magnus’ Director of Research has been working in the area of psychology and the law since 1980. Magnus provides consultation services to attorneys and businesses nationwide. Magnus’ research and consulting services are offered in multiple areas. The primary focus of the practice is on ADR services and trial and jury consulting, including mock trials, focus groups, jury selection, mock arbitration, mock mediation, and witness preparation. Magnus also offers a variety of trial exhibit and presentation services.

Magnus offers customized marketing research programs to law firms as well as to the general business market place. Magnus’ marketing research, such as surveys, focus groups, and mystery shopping, are specialized services to address clients’ questions about their products, services, customer satisfaction, and community image.

Magnus is a “client-driven” organization. Attorneys and other clients are encouraged to interact with Magnus to establish a unique, case specific program of research designed to obtain and interpret data. Clients bring Magnus unique questions, for which we find the answers.

All products and services are based upon sound principles of social science research. Our services, both quantitative and qualitative in nature, can be developed to address all types of research needs and budgets. Services range from database (archival) research conducted in-house to large-scale projects conducted in the field.

Magnus’ principals, Dr. Melissa Pigott and Mr. David Fauss, co-founded the firm and have a “hands on” approach with all projects. Based on their vast experience, Dr. Pigott, Mr. Fauss, and Magnus’ professional staff provide more flexibility and case or project specificity in research design than our competitors. Thus, Magnus’ emphasis on custom designed and client driven programs is a driving force within the firm.

Click here to download our brochure (Adobe Acrobat format).

The Results

The greatest benefit can be achieved when Magnus is involved during the early stages of case development. By implementing state of the art research methodologies, with emphasis on efficiency and accuracy, case outcomes are maximized.

For Litigation, Magnus can identify and evaluate:

  • Effective Arbitration Strategies
  • Effective Mediation Strategies
  • ADR Strategies
  • Key Themes
  • Variables Affecting Decision Making
  • Effective Strategies
  • Liability Evaluation
  • Damages Assessment
  • Witness Effectiveness
  • Juror Profiles
  • Voir Dire Questions
  • High Impact Demonstrative Evidence

Magnus’ findings from mock arbitration, mock mediation, mock trial or focus group research is provided via written and/or oral reports. For more information on reports, please click here.

For Marketing and Business Research the results vary depending on the nature of the specific project and include:

  • Community Image Reports
  • Business Strategy
  • Marketing and Sales Feedback
  • Client Satisfaction Reports

The Magnus Approach

  • A Needs Assessment is conducted by Magnus’ partners on each and every case Magnus discusses with clients.
  • Proposals are prepared based on discussions with the litigator and with consideration of all issues, facts, and other constraints.
  • Research Design and methodological choices are crucial to the efficacy of the research. Magnus’ methodological recommendations are a product of extensive training and many years of experience. Magnus carefully recruits eligible respondents who reflect the composition of the fact finders in the trial venue.
  • Timing of Magnus’ involvement is crucial. The maximum benefit of utilizing Magnus’ services in case preparation is achieved by early inclusion of Magnus as part of the trial team. Knowing the strength of the case prior to arbitration or mediation will maximize your negotiating position.
  • Reports are the culmination of all research efforts. Reports are formatted according to the type of research conducted; the contents of the report vary depending on methodology, case complexity, stage of litigation, and unique case factors. All reports are written on a case specific basis by, or under the direction of, Magnus’ Director of Research. Click here for more information about Magnus’ reports.
  • The Magnus Approach involves the efforts of its skilled research and graphics teams. It is Magnus’ goal to become an integral member of the trial team to enable the attorney to do everything possible to serve the interests of his or her client.
  • Results, and case outcomes, are greatly enhanced by incorporating the research and consultation services provided by Magnus. Strategies leading to the most favorable ADR and litigation resolutions are possible when our recommendations are followed. With the expertise of Magnus on your team, your clients will know you have done everything possible to assist them.
  • Magnus Research is a full service ADR/litigation research and consulting firm that provides custom designed research methodologies. The fees for most of Magnus’ services are quoted on a project basis. Consultation only services, for example, Voir Dire Consultation and Case Issue Consultation, are quoted on a daily or hourly basis.
  • Magnus Graphics’ fees are determined by the nature and extent of the services required. Consultation, design, and presentation services are provided on an hourly basis. Mediation, arbitration or in court presentation services are based on day rates.

The Partners

Magnus was founded in 1993 by Dr. Melissa Pigott and David H. Fauss. Magnus provides trial and litigation consulting services nationally. The partners have assembled a team of professionals with varying roles. Specific information on Magnus’ team will be provided upon request.

Dr. Melissa Pigott

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Dr. Pigott is a social psychologist, with a Ph.D. from Florida State University. She has been conducting research in the area of psychology and the law since the early 1980s. All of Magnus’ research activities are conducted under Dr. Pigott’s auspices. She is responsible for research design, staff supervision, and is the client’s main contact regarding case details and research design. Dr. Pigott oversees all aspects of the research and consults with clients during our research or in court.

If you’d like to see Dr. Pigott’s curriculum vitae, please click here. Dr. Pigott is available to speak to attorney groups nationwide. Click here for information on Magnus’ CLE programs.

David H. Fauss

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

Chief Operating Officer/Director of Consulting Services

Mr. Fauss has a master’s degree in management from The Georgia Institute of Technology. He is in charge of all business functions and is the primary client liaison. He is responsible for case intake, proposal generation, and logistical management. Clients may contact Mr. Fauss at any time; his role is to ensure that the research projects and administrative details are handled efficiently.

If you’d like to see Mr. Fauss’ curriculum vitae, please click here.

One or more of Magnus’ partners are members of the following organizations:

Magnus’ Primary Research Methodologies-An Inside Look

Magnus has created several videos to illustrate the research process .The first video gives you a behind the scenes look at the research process, from initial consultation to the post-research review with Dr. Pigott. View the videos to learn the customized work involved in your case. The next three videos are about our most commonly utilized research methodologies.

Research Day Overview

Case Strength Evaluation Research and Mock Trial

This video shows the research day proceeding for a typical mock jury project designed to evaluate liability and damages. The video opens with the arguments made on behalf of the plaintiff followed by those on behalf of the defendant. After the arguments, the jurors deliberate and render a verdict. The format is customized based on the needs of the case and is expanded for full scale mock trial research.

Case Analysis Survey

A Case Analysis Survey is a non adversarial research methodology designed to work through all issues in a case in a step by step, issue by issue, process. It involves a presentation by the attorney, discussion with respondents and survey completion; this sequence is repeated for each issue. The setting is class room style with the attorney presenting with the consulting psychologist seated at a head table.

Mock Arbitration or Mediation

Mock arbitration proceedings are designed to simulate an actual arbitration in a way to elicit maximum amounts of information from the participating arbitrators. Presentations are made on behalf of the claimant and respondent after which time the arbitrators are assembled in panels to render a decision. This video shows a typical format for mock arbitration, a process which also includes the arbitrators providing their input on an individual basis in response to survey questions. Mock mediations follow a similar format but are modified to simulate a mediation presentation.

Magnus’ Reports

Feedback on Magnus’ work is provided via written and/or oral reports. Reports are comprehensive, case specific, and contain information needed to maximize case outcomes. The contents vary with the methodology employed. The report will provide an explanation of mock jurors’ decisions and recommendations for case strategy. Survey results are presented in chart form.

For more information on Magnus’ reports, please contact David Fauss. For a number of reasons, only secured, password protected access is available to those interested in learning more about Magnus’ proprietary reports.

A sample report is available for download. Please Please enter password to view it. If you do not have the Acrobat Reader, you can get it here.