You know I first met Melissa Pigott and interacted with Magnus early in my career, and I vividly recall that I was a junior lawyer, but had tried many, many cases already, and I was quite certain that there was nothing that a jury consultant could teach me about juries. And I also, being a young lawyer was not afraid to tell Dr. Pigott that in polite terms. We did the jury research and we tried the case, and I had an opportunity to work with her and her staff and I came away a true believer in what Magnus does, what Dr. Pigott does in terms of helping real trial lawyers pick juries and select juries, and develop their cases, for maximum strategic advantage. I learned from them that the kind of research they do, the kind of research they provide to trial lawyers, let’s trial lawyers maximize what they already know about trying cases. It lets them apply their knowledge and wisdom about picking juries and trying cases with the raw data, the research, and the information, that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them.
And, they bring to the table a huge amount of great judgment, great wisdom, vast experience with all kinds of cases and all kinds of venues, so I do not handle a major case and try a major case without coming to Magnus, and asking for help with it, that’s become my rule. So I’m probably that, they say converts are the strongest believers, and that’s what I am. I’m a convert. They taught me just how valuable this kind of research can be when it’s done by people like Magnus with their incredible expertise, incredible attention to detail and vast knowledge of how lawsuits work and how they get tried.
They have a tremendous respect for trial lawyers, also. They understand that they are there to facilitate and to assist. I think a lot of lawyers worry that they’re going to have their cases taken over, and that the jury consultant is going to be in charge and that just couldn’t be further from the truth, in terms of the kind of research and assistance they provide you. They give you the tools and the knowledge to be a better trial lawyer. And so I use them and I tell everybody who asks me, “You need to talk to these folks, and use them. They’ll make your cases better, and they’ll make you better at what you do.”
You know I think a lot of lawyers have gotten jaded on jury consultants. I think that part of the reason for that is, in my experience, having seen other jury consultants and certainly heard stories about them amongst my brother and sister trial lawyers, you know I think that there a lot of people holding themselves out as jury consultants who candidly don’t know enough and have enough experience to do the job well. And they put people off and they do all the things that lawyers dread in handling something as important as a lawsuit. What’s nice about Magnus is that they are the consummate professionals. I mean they bring to bear extensive knowledge, terrific academic credentials, and a real passion for doing this, and doing it well and doing it at the highest level. And so I think if more trial lawyers used people like Magnus they’d be real converts too. They’d believe not only in Magnus, but in jury consultants in general.
But it’s all who you pick. It’s the kind of consultant that you use. It’s funny, lawyers use experts, and they know that when you use an expert he can make or break you, in many cases. Yet with jury consultants, I think there’s a tendency to select the one that somebody else used, or select one off the web or something and that does your clients a great disservice. It can waste a lot of time and money, and it can actually hurt your case. When you go with Magnus you know they’ve got a track record of great success, of great expertise, and they’re going to make your case better.