My name is Lyman Reynolds. I’m a senior partner with the law firm of Roberts, Reynolds, Bedard and Tuzzio in West Palm Beach and Coral Springs, Florida. It has been my honor and privilege to work with Magnus Research for a number of years now on high exposure liability, questionable cases, where they have assisted us in both assessing the value of the potential jury award as well as our anticipated defenses.
In my experience, insurance companies want to know what is the value of a case? We all know that we evaluated cases based upon our experience, however, the only real answer to the value of a case is what a jury that decides a case says it is. Irrespective of our level of experience in similar cases, the bottom line is unique, as we all know, as it relates to each and every case that we handle.
My experience with Magnus Research has been that they have put together profiles for jurors in the various jurisdictions where I have utilized their services, not only here in South Florida but in North Carolina and in Ohio, where we put together profiles of jurors who then not only assess the value of a case but our defenses to the case. In some cases we have high exposure or high potential exposure cases that the jurors confirm that it is as high as we suspect it may be.
In other cases they’ve indicated to us that the exposure is not as high as we thought it was going to be. Additionally they’ve assisted me in looking at our defenses where we thought perhaps we had a slam dunk on a high potential exposure case, but no liability. They, on more than one occasion, have educated us that given the particular circumstances we were looking at in a case, the sure out was not in fact a sure out.
We either ended up with a compromise verdict or based upon the high value of the potential damages of the case, the jury ends up circumventing what we consider to be a very strong defense for the case with the result being a significant potential verdict.
That educates us, not only for use at trial, but in mediation and hopefully evaluating a case appropriately so that it is ultimately settled without the necessity of a trial. If we have to get to the trial, then I have had, again, great success utilizing Magnus Research to assist me in profiling jurors and potential jurors as well as voir dire questioning. I think of myself as an experienced trial attorney so we think voir dire is simply second nature because we’ve done it for so long.
But with the research from Magnus Research that has come out of the mock juries that we have utilized and evaluated in cases, they’ve been able to provide us a litany of questions which help us focus in on jurors who, in one or two cases, I would otherwise had thought would be good jurors but with their insight showed me why in this particular case they would not necessarily be a good juror.