This is Peter Restani. I’m from Restani, Dittmar & Hauser. I just wanted to talk about Magnus Research. I’ve been using their services for about 15 years. We’ve handled half a dozen or more, maybe up to 10, mock trials. It’s been very helpful, very useful. I feel that there are certain types of high exposure cases, where we have questions about specific issues that need to be answered before you prepare for trial, sometimes involving negotiations, sometimes assisting the insurance companies in arriving at a strategy for negotiations, but more so for the attorney’s point of view, I feel that it’s really helpful in trial preparation and strategy. We’ve handled cases involving motor vehicle negligence, high exposure cases, brain injury cases, death cases, multiple fatal issues with product liability, triple fatals, quadruple fatals, carbon monoxide poisoning, and ordinary motor vehicle negligence with high exposure damages.
The preparation for the mock trial really takes a couple of months. You really need to spend some time with the people from Magnus to identify the issues that you want to expose to the jury and to prepare for the juror questionnaires. You get a lot of feedback during the course of the day. You get, in some cases, four juries deliberating, and you’re observing the deliberations. It’s helpful not only for that single case that you’re working on, but also it’s kind of a learning experience that you can carry on to other litigation matters as well. The insurance companies sometimes have a different angle on the purpose of using a mock trial. Sometimes they kind of want to use it to price a case. That’s one of the reasons why you might want to do it, but even more so it’s very helpful in identifying issues that juries will accept or reject, or identify issues that you feel are not important, some jurors will find them to be extremely important in cases. The type of discussions concerning certain issues, in my case as a defense lawyer, defense issues, such as causation issues, third-party liability issues, apportionment of fault issues are very, very helpful areas to have discussions among the jurors during their deliberations, as well as their questionnaires afterwards.
So, I feel that in every case that I’ve ever had a mock trial, Magnus has been very professional. When we have the time to prepare it, the more time that you have, the better the result is and the more you learn from it. I think sometimes an insurer may want a very quick study to be performed for a very limited purpose. But once you get into the process, you can see how valuable it is for a lot of other reasons other than maybe pricing the case or identifying a particular non-party fault and so forth. It’s really a broad range of information that you get from this process. I find it very helpful. As I said, not only helpful for the particular case that you’re working on, but you carry these lessons forward throughout all of your litigation as a trial attorney. I just feel that it’s a very valuable resource, and I would recommend it to anybody.