My name is Mike Eriksen. I am a lawyer in West Palm Beach Florida, and I’ve had a great relationship with Melissa Pigott and Magnus for at least 15 years. I was privileged to meet her probably in 1993 or 1994; she did a couple of cases for me. The kind of cases that I tend to handle are large damages, high overhead, very labor intensive type cases that most lawyers in their right mind, wouldn’t do. Typically, they involve difficult liability. They are cases where you really have to work to create a message, to convince a jury to go with you on liability. I started working with Melissa a long time ago, on such cases. One of the things that Melissa brings to the table is she is a hands-on type of person. She makes a lot of time for her individual clients, you don’t tend to get these cookie-cutter, canned-type reports that you get from some other jury consultants. I found that her techniques and methodology for doing mock trials and focus groups are very effective and I think that she is an asset to anybody who wants to improve their chances of winning a case at trial.
I had a particular case with her that probably happened 10 years ago. It was a garden-variety, trip and fall, in a condominium with a client that was, she was probably 45 years old. My assumption, before I talked to Melissa was that I needed, as many 45 year old female jurors to maximize our chance of winning that case and Melissa told me that that’s exactly not the kind of juror you want. And I said “Why?” She said “Well, because they’ll over identify with your client.” And I said, “Well, shouldn’t I want people that over identify with my client?” And she said “No, because those people are going to hold your client responsible, because the injuries are so horrific that they will not want those things to happen to them. They will look at her and see themselves in her, and they will be the worst jurors you possibly could get.”
So I took her advice, and what happened at the jury selection process was that the defendant struck-off, all of those 45 year old female jurors. I got a great jury and I won the trial. All thanks to Melissa. I had never heard the idea of over-identifying with clients, as being a bad thing in a jury selection process, and Melissa Pigott taught me that it was. And, for that, I am thankful forever.
I would unhesitatingly recommend Melissa Pigott and Magnus to anybody who is seriously interested in improving their chances of winning a trial. She does a tremendous job, she provides a lot of time, one-on-one, with her clients. She’s willing to pick up the phone. She’s accessible. If you have a question about a case after the jury research is over with, she’s there for you. She’s done a great job for me in actually being in the courtroom assisting in and selecting a jury. I just think the world of her.