Hi, I’m Kim Hart, a trial lawyer in Fort Myers, Florida. I’m a big believer in research, especially Magnus Research. I’ve used their services in over 35 cases over an 18 year period. Even in the very small cases, I will not go to trial without doing research. Why? Because I think it’s a good investment. I have never had research done by Magnus and not thought I made money on it, even in cases where they told me before we went to trial that we would probably lose, because I saved the expense that I would have had to have on those cases before it occurred and we lost.
One of the best examples I can give you is I had a case once there was offer of judgment for $5,000, and the defendant did not want to settle the case. I spent more than $10,000 at that time for jury research. The result, not only did we get a reward over $40,000 but with attorney’s fees we ended up taking home more than $100,000 on that case. When I say research pays for itself, even in the small cases, it does.
I’m a plaintiff’s attorney who advertises, and it’s not unusual for me to spend $25,000 in a month for TV advertising. But there is no better advertisement in my community than a win at trial. It is information that spreads through the legal community like wildfire. I don’t step into the courtroom unless I have the advantage that Magnus gives me.
For many years I practiced with my partner, Pete Burkert. He was facing a very difficult federal court trial. I had to almost break his arm to get him to agree to hire Magnus Research. He was concerned about the cost. I told him, “Pete, you do it once, you’ll never go to trial without research again.” He found out during the research that he was emphasizing the wrong bad guy. The bad guy that he needed to emphasize was actually the owner of the business and not the person who had actually done the negligent act. By simply changing that approach, he took what was very bad research (result) and turned it into a big federal case win. Pete has to be credited with giving me what I think is the absolute best quote on why you use Magnus Research. After we did the research, he came to me, looked at me sort of both ways, and said to me you know Kim, “It’s almost like cheating.” It does give you that kind of advantage.
I believe the bigger the case, the earlier you need to hire Magnus Research. The reason is simple. If you can walk into mediation with evidence to show exactly how high the verdicts are going to be and how low the comparative negligence is going to be, then your case virtually settles itself. Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t wait three weeks before your trial. Get your jury research done early. It will help you resolve the case and in the end save you and your client money.