Need a Winning Team?
You’ve Come to the Right Place.
Law firms, insurance companies and corporations all seek out Magna Legal because we have the experience, talent and dedication to handle any case, in any venue. Across the board, Team Magna delivers the quality you expect and the service you deserve.
Bob Ackerman, CCR
Chairman of the Board
Bob has been in the legal services field for more than 40 years. Upon Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps, he received an Associate’s Degree in Court Reporting from the Hefley & Browne School of Business in New York. He was first employed as a Hearing Reporter with the Homicide Division of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, NY. He then became a Court Reporter with the Kings County Supreme Court.
In 1969, he became an Official Court Reporter for the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. After working there for 13 years, Bob started his own court reporting and related services company, Krauss, Katz & Ackerman, Inc. KK&A grew to become the largest company in the country providing court reporting and related services. In 1997, he merged his company with a public company.
In April of 2007, Bob joined Magna Legal Services, as president. Magna has offices in NJ, NY, PA, DE, FL & SC. In addition to court reporting, Magna offers Trial Presentation, Jury Research, Graphics Consulting & Design, Document Management, Subpoena Services.
Partner & Executive Vice President of Record Services and Business Development
Jon Ackerman is a partner and sales professional leading the record retrieval department at Magna Legal Services, with responsibility for revenue growth and operations. In addition to managing Magna’s record retrieval service, Jon oversees a national book of business including a variety of law firms and Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to joining Magna LS, he worked in business development and marketing at a commercial real-estate company. Jon’s greatest strengths are his creativity, drive and leadership. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach.
Business Development Manager
Franco has worked in the Court Reporting and Legal Services industry for over 15 years. He has a vast knowledge of legal services and is willing to listen to any concerns and work hard to get the job done.
Business Development Manager
Donna Bagi is a Business Development Manager for Magna Legal Services, based out of the company’s office in New York City.
Donna worked in the legal services industry for 10 years before joining Magna in 2019. She demonstrates elevated customer service and attentiveness to her clients’ needs.
Outside of work, Donna volunteers for Bottomless Closet, an organization that helps women re-entering the work force. In her free time, she loves running along the East River and having a nice glass of wine!
Peyton M. Bowman, Esq.
Prior to joining Magna Legal Services, Peyton had an extensive law practice specializing in complex federal civil rights such as § 1983, Title VII, and constitutional law focusing on the 1st, 4th, 14th, and 8th Amendments on behalf of plaintiffs. No stranger to high exposure cases, her cases routinely garnered significant media attention and have been featured in outlets such as Forbes, CNN, Fox, NBC, and the Washington Post. In 2020, she was awarded Top 40 Under 40 by the American Institute of Trial Lawyers for outstanding courtroom abilities. Peyton brings this hands-on litigation experience to her consulting methodologies.
Peyton graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science in psychology, focusing on applied biopsychology and industrial psychology. She then went to Loyola University College of Law and obtained her Juris Doctorate while participating in Moot Court, Community Justice Clinic, and the Community Outreach Community. She is barred in the State of Louisiana.
Peyton was previously co-founder of her own jury research firm and has been conducting jury research since 2015 as part of her own practice and for law firms across the country on a wide variety of matters. She has broad experience in witness preparation, mock trials, jury profiling, damages evaluations, jury selection, and development of case themes. Peyton routinely contributes to the Louisiana Association for Justice publication Louisiana Advocates, a monthly volume for trial lawyers.
National Director of Graphics and Trial Presentation
Gary Calzaretta is a senior Litigation Consultant at Magna Legal Services with over 300 in-court trial experiences. His experience in the litigation field spans 15 years. He has held management positions in all areas of litigation support including document management, trial presentation and consulting. Mr. Calzaretta is familiar with the trial process from beginning to end and has been a major part in the successes of many favorable verdicts. Using his Psychology background, Mr. Calzaretta has assisted in strategic and graphic recommendations to guide in the process of creating persuasive presentations for mediations, arbitrations and jury trials. His areas of trial experience include medical malpractice, product liability, asbestos, employment discrimination, patent and personal injury.
- Evaluation and assembly of exhibit databases (scanning specs, output specifications, etc.)
- In court logistics and setup courtroom based upon size and scope
- On the fly capabilities including document annotations, transcript designations, video clips
- Extensive experience in focus groups including operation of real time impulse system
- Recommendations on how to present the most effective visual presentations
- Graphic concepts and recommendations based upon case details strategic questioning and witness preparation
- Jarwick v. Wilf
- Commonwealth of PA v. Bristol Myers
- Commonwealth of PA v. J&J
- Avaya v. TLI
- Harman v. Trinity
Partner & Executive Vice President of Litigation Consulting
As a founding partner, and Executive Vice President of Litigation Consulting, has been a vanguard in the litigation support services industry for the past 20 years, and oversees the operations for the company’s Litigation, Graphic and Trial Consulting Team. He has been the lead jury consultant for several hundred cases spanning more than twenty jurisdictions.
Recognized for his ability to combine an impressive technological knowledge with a background in psychology, he has experience in cases involving antitrust issues, catastrophic injury, fraud and racketeering, insurance coverage, intellectual property (IP) litigation, and more. Mark has used his vast trial experience and expertise in to aid in the jury selection of more than 100 high-profile cases.
Mark has been featured in national, trade and local news media including; ABA Journal, Claims Journal, LegalTech News, National Law Journal, New Jersey Law Journal, NPR’s WHYY radio, Wharton School Sirius Radio, Philadelphia Inquirer, and PC Magazine on the subjects of legal technology, trial presentation, jury research and litigation support. Mark’s has had numerous TV appearance on CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC. He was recently on the Don Lemon show and Fox dubbed him the “Jury Whisperer.” He has also provided pro bono services for victims of the 9/11 tragedy in addition to his consulting engagements and legal seminar presentations.
Mark is a graduate of SUNY Albany, with a degree in Psychology and Anthropology.
Notable Trial Experience:
- Lead jury consultant on the highly publicized Desole v Knoedler art fraud case
- Lead jury consultant on the Avaya Inc. v. Telecom Labs Inc. antitrust violation case
- Environmental exposure matter for multi-national oil conglomerate
- Involved in the first fully multimedia criminal trial in New Jersey: State v. Alex Levine
- Multi-million dollar medical malpractice cases
- Fortune 100 Company product liability cases
- Catastrophic personal injury cases
Litigation Consulting Engagements:
- Focus groups and mock trials
- Settlement conferences before numerous judges and arbitrators
- Depositions and pretrial hearings
- Fact and expert witness communication training
- Pro Bono consulting for WTC victim P.B. who received second largest award from WTC Committee of $7.5 million
Presentations and Training:
- Juror Persuasion: How Jurors Form Decisions, Case Strategies and Theme Development a CLE accredited in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Denver, Colorado, Texas, California and Florida
- New York CLE classes in Court Room Techniques and Technology
- CLE courses for Pennsylvania Bar Institute & Dispute Resolution Institute
- Pennsylvania Paralegal CLE courses
- ATLA Association of Trial Lawyers New Jersey Bar Association
- New Jersey Board of Governors New York Bar Association
- Technological Advances in Voir Dire
- Focus Groups and Mock Trials
- Courtroom Technology 101
Recent Thought Leadership:
- “Interview: Jury Consultant Breaks Down Difficulties Of Chauvin Trial” WCCO CBS Minnesota, 7 Mar 2021
- “Weinstein’s Juror Investigation Shows Few Limits On Probes” Law360, 28 Feb 2020
- Experts: In death penalty cases such as Wilkinsburg shooting, no surprise when jury selection is arduous” Trib Live, 11 Jan 2020
- “Jury Selection for the Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial, Court TV” CourtTV, 9 Jan, 2020
- “Legal Spotlight: Philadelphia Jury Consultant Uses Unusual Props” Bloomberg Law, 18 Mar 2019
- “Will Michael Rosfeld Testify? Lawyers Weigh in on the Risky Move” Trib Total Media, 18 Mar 2019
- “Jury Selection Begins in Dauphin County for Fatal Police Shooting of Unarmed Teen” PennLive, 12 Mar 2019
- “Jurors in Michael Rosfeld Case Won’t Fit Normal Mold, Experts Predict” Trib Total Media, 11 Mar 2019
- “Race Considered To Be Key Factor In Selection Of Rosfeld Trial Jurors” 90.5 Wesa, Pittsburg’s NPR News Station, 11 Mar 2019
- “Jury Selection Begins Tuesday in Rosfeld Case” Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 9 Mar 2019
- “Jury Insights from CNN” CNN, 22 Jun 2017
- “Mark Calzaretta talks Cosby trial shadow jury strategy” Fox29Philadelphia, 23 May 2017
Julie Campanini, M.A.
Director of Jury Consulting
Julie Campanini has been a trial consultant for 25 years and has amassed diverse and broad-ranging experience in a wide variety of complex matters and in all areas of trial consulting and jury research. Her practice is focused on complex commercial litigation and includes intellectual property, antitrust, securities, fraud, contract, product liability, employment, and toxic tort. Julie works collaboratively with the trial team to come up with innovative and strategic solutions to the most complex trial issues. Some representative matters include:
- Assisting the winning party in a recent $4 billion complex fraud matter in Los Angeles
- Ongoing consulting with a large metropolitan city against several high-profile employment claims emanating from its police department
- Ongoing consulting with a large railroad manufacturer against negligence claims following a deadly accident
- Successfully assisting a large consumer products manufacturer in a false advertising claim
- Assisting the winning party in a high-stakes matter involving both patent infringement claims and antitrust issues
- Successfully consulting with a pharmaceutical company involving patent infringement of one if its animal vaccines
- Consulting on behalf of several oil and gas companies in a large, class action antitrust suit between consumers and gas companies, which resulted in a victory on summary judgment
- Consulting with a large banking institution in a fraud and contract litigation lasting several months that ended in a favorable settlement
- Successfully defending several patents in various emerging technologies involving biotech, wireless signals, and data storage
- Successfully defending a leading manufacturer of asbestos containing products in several matters in state courts around the country
Julie’s expertise includes designing various types of mock trials and focus groups, witness preparation with the most difficult and poorly presenting witnesses, collaboratively crafting opening statements and closing arguments with counsel, theme development, and general and early consulting to strategize about case strengths and weaknesses. She has assisted clients in trials in all areas of the country including large metropolitan areas as well as small, rural venues. She has participated in or managed hundreds of jury research projects and has worked with hundreds of witnesses over the years. Her insights into case issues are highly valued among her clients.
Prior to joining Magna, Julie was the founder and principal of her own firm, Trial Insights, and Julie practiced with several other national firms including Litigation Sciences, Inc. and FTI (Forensic Technologies).
In addition, Julie has published several articles on trial subjects including the importance of witness preparation for depositions and trial, managing the media in high-profile and high-stakes litigation, theme development in storytelling, all facets of jury selection, and using themes as communication tools in litigation. She is a regular contributor to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Julie Campanini attended the University of Kansas for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, where she earned her M.A. in Litigation Sciences with an emphasis in Legal Communication.
Recent Thought Leadership
- “Court sees 52 potential jurists in U.S. hate-crime trial of Arbery killers” Reuters, 7 Feb 2022
Barbara Anderson Carter
Litigation and Visual Strategy Consultant
With 40 years in presentation and information consulting, for both corporate and litigation communications, Barbara has a unique background which is an asset in preparing litigants for trial. Barbara started her career in 1977 as the first woman hired on the west coast to become a computer graphics artist, in a nascent industry begun and developed by General Electric. GE’s Genigraphics launched the modern computer-generated presentation graphics industry, was the forerunner of PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop as well as many other industry standard software programs. Barbara was among the first group of graphic artists in the world to begin drawing on a computer, eventually writing a training program for computer graphic artists for GE. Barbara graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington with a B.S. double major in Fine Arts and Theatre, and a minor in Music.
In her early career in Los Angeles, she worked as a graphic artist on projects for every type of company at C Levels, and has generated millions of visuals for a broad array of industries. These include banking, utilities, entertainment, aerospace, food, data processing, benefits consulting, marketing, M&A, IPOs, scientific, military, technology, CAD, accounting, legal, medical, manufacturing, construction, and most especially municipal agencies such as public transportation and water agencies. She formed her own company in 1985 to provide presentation graphic services to these same industries at top executive levels, with such clients as Fox Broadcasting – a brand new network. Along the way, among other projects, in 1993 she built the presentation that Fox used to secure the NFL TV broadcast rights, away from CBS, which began Fox Sports.
Since 2003, Barbara has been devoted to litigation, and has been involved in over 500 trials, for both Plaintiff and Defense as a strategic litigation communications consultant, especially involving high-stakes complex litigation. She has frequently also worked the “hot seat” in court. Her litigation experience includes civil, federal, SEC hearings, arbitrations, mediations, and occasionally high-profile criminal matters. She is brought into trial teams to analyze evidence and provide strategies for organizing and building presentations, and assist throughout the trial process.
Among the matters Barbara has been involved with are: Landmark eminent domain cases involving attempted takings of public utilities, large civic and state public construction projects, public agency litigation – especially water law in California, intellectual property, class actions, MDLs, corporate litigation, banking, telecom, technology, bioscience, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, tobacco, breach of contract and partnership disputes, securities, entertainment, aviation accidents, aircraft construction completions, royalties, product and automotive defects, insurance, employment and partnership disputes, negligence, toxic tort, wrongful death, civil rights, construction defects, and others.
Her exposure to a broad spectrum of industries during times of rapidly evolving technology has provided a valuable ability to assess and provide consulting and presentations for a wide variety of subjects. This is particularly helpful for litigation, where understanding and preparing presentations for an array of complex subjects is necessary to provide streamlined information which is properly targeted. She frequently assists expert witnesses in preparing their presentation materials, has written and generated graphics for multiple opening statements and closing arguments, and has published articles on the effective use of trial graphics.
As a panelist for various organizations, including CAOC, ABOTA, and CAALA in California on trial presentation strategy, Barbara has also frequently given CLE presentations on visual communications issues around the use of demonstratives, organizing the evidence and storylines for trial. She has frequently provided direction and coaching to corporate executives and attorneys to assist with presenting for maximum impact.
Business Development Manager
Meredith Cherry joined Magna in 2016, and works out of the company’s Los Angeles, California office location.
She services clients nationwide and specializes in building long term relationships within the legal community. Her network is comprised of C-Suite Executives, AM100 Law Firms, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, and Office Managers. Her top priority is the success for every person in the legal community. She will help you utilize Magna’s end to end litigation support services to win your case while saving you time and money. Why have 10 vendors with a 1-800 number when you can have her and streamline services, billing, time?
Besides her work, Meredith also loves being a mom, and her dog, Ginger, with an underbite!
Chief Financial Officer
Matt Chiappa is the CFO of Magna Legal Services and is based in our Philadelphia office. Matt was formerly CFO of Anthony & Sylvan pools, a national pool construction and renovation company. Prior to that, he was CFO of Preferred Proppants (KKR-sponsored), an oilfield service provider and technology company with reserves and manufacturing facilities located throughout the United States. Chiappa also previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Assurance practice with a focus in their Financial Services group. Chiappa holds a B.S. in Accounting from La Salle University.
Rachel York Colangelo, Ph.D.
National Managing Director of Jury Consulting
Rachel York Colangelo has a doctorate in legal psychology from Florida International University and a B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Virginia. Her education involved extensive coursework and research training, specifically in the area of jury decision-making.
Dr. Colangelo has over a decade of experience in litigation consulting. She has provided litigation support for a variety of civil and criminal matters across the country in the form of jury research, including focus groups, mock trials, damages assessment studies, and community attitude surveys, as well as other trial preparation strategies such as voir dire consultation, jury selection, witness preparation, shadow juries, and trial monitoring. Dr. Colangelo has consulted on numerous multi-million dollar and high profile cases, including commercial litigation, property and contract disputes, anti-trust, securities, and intellectual property matters, accounting fraud and malpractice, legal and medical malpractice, negligence, personal injury, and product liability. Dr. Colangelo has a wealth of experience in all aspects of litigation consulting, including pre-trial jury research, case analysis and theme/storyline development, trial strategy, including preparation of opening statements and closing arguments as well as witness preparation and communication training, voir dire and jury selection assistance, in-court assistance via daily trial monitoring or use of a shadow jury, and post-trial juror interviews.
Dr. Colangelo is a member of the American Psychology-Law Society, a division of the American Psychological Association, as well as the American Society of Trial Consultants. In addition to conducting scientific research at the intersection of psychology and law and teaching several undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, Dr. Colangelo has authored several publications and presented several papers at various research conferences.
Recent Thought Leadership
- “Woman Says Sugar Daddy Is Why She Can’t Serve on Parkland Shooter Jury“, Inside Edition, 8 Apr 2022
- “The BI Interview with Rachel York Colangelo of Magna“, Business Insurance, 29 Mar 2022
- “Jurors Selected for Elizabeth Holmes’s Criminal Fraud Trial (2)“, Bloomberg Law, 02 Sep 2021
- “Elizabeth Holmes Transforming From CEO to Victim for Jurors“, Bloomberg, 02 Sep 2021
- “Jury Selection Under Way in Trial of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes“, The Wall Street Journal, 31 Aug 2021
- “Best Nuclear Verdict Deterrents: Fleet Technology and Planning“, FleetOwner, 25 Feb 2021
- “Plaintiff Attorneys Often Use ‘Reptile Theory’ to Win Nuclear Trucking Jury Verdicts, Experts Say” Transport Topics, 19 Jan 2021
- “The Few Patent Jury Trials In 2020 Led To Enormous Verdicts” Law360, 22 Dec 2020
- “After Spate of Settled Cases, Delaware Set to Restart Jury Trials Monday in Dover” Law.com, 23 Oct 2020
- “As Big Verdicts Pile Up, Attorneys Are Increasingly Turning to Mock Trials, Focus Groups” The Legal Intelligence, 27 Aug 2020
- “Weinstein’s Juror Investigation Shows Few Limits On Probes” Law360, 28 Feb 2020
- “Danger Of CEO Testimony Clear In $186M J&J Talc Verdict.” Law360, 11 Feb 2020
- “Bayer’s Roundup Challenge: Avoid More ‘Nuclear’ Jury Awards” Bloomberg Law, 24 Jan 2020
- “J&J’s Talc Trial Deal Shows Power Of FDA’s Asbestos Finding” Law360, 7 Jan 2020
- “Working Remotely: Magna Legal Services Adapts to COVID-19 By Offering Even More Virtual Options” BusinessWire, 24 Mar 2020
- “Year in review: The Business Journal’s most-read stories of 2019” The Business Journal, 31 Dec 2019
- “Questionnaire Aids Jury Selection in Newspaper Shooting Case” Associated Press News, 27 Sep 2019
- “Nuclear Verdicts Have the Board on Edge? Jury Consulting Can Help Level the Legal Playing Field” Risk & Insurance, 13 Sep 2019
- “Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Move Sex-Crimes Trial Out of NYC Due to Media Coverage” USA Today, 21 Aug 2019
- “Text Messages at Heart Of Border Agent’s Upcoming Trial” 91.5 KJZZ, 2 Aug 2019
- “What Went Wrong in ‘Nuclear’ $2B Monsanto Verdict” St. Louis Business Journal, 24 May 2019
Courtney Collins, M.A.
Courtney Collins, M.A. is a Litigation Consultant with Magna Legal Services. With an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from the George Washington University, Ms. Collins’s educational background has included coursework geared towards extensive research analysis and jury decision-making.
In her role at Magna Legal Services, Ms. Collins assists with all aspects of pre-trial research, including research coordination. Ms. Collins has also worked managing jury profiling searches with a focus on claimant monitoring and has had experience with live shadow juries as well as post-trial interviews of both real and mock jurors.
Prior to joining Magna, Ms. Collins gained several years of experience in the legal field, which has aided in the process of understanding key themes and case development.
Brittany Cross, M.A.
Brittany assists attorneys nationwide with the development of trial strategies from a social science perspective. She has advised clients on hundreds of civil and criminal cases in both State and Federal courts for nearly ten years. Brittany has expertise in all aspects of litigation consulting including jury selection, voir dire, focus group and mock trial research, SJQ evaluation, community attitude surveys, witness preparation, and theme development. She is experienced with empirical research design and methodology, regularly applying a data-driven approach to cases. Brittany is actively involved in Magna’s early intervention approach to litigation to help clients anticipate possible pitfalls and proactively solve for those dangers early in the litigation process.
Brittany has presented at conferences and CLE’s throughout the country about jury selection strategies, the science of storytelling, and juror decision-making. She has extensive experience with personal injury, professional negligence, pharmaceutical company matters, commercial litigation, product liability, oil and gas, insurance coverage, construction, securities, property and contract disputes, antitrust, white collar disputes, as well as criminal matters. Some representative matters include:
- Successfully defending a premises liability dispute for a major wholesale company.
- Consulting on behalf of a pharmaceutical company in a high-stakes, multimillion-dollar case involving the opioid epidemic.
- Obtaining a successful defense verdict for a large political corruption case in Southern California after selecting two separate juries.
- Successfully defending a manufacture’s product against a design defect claim.
- Ongoing consulting with a large transportation company against negligence claims after a deadly accident.
- Consulting with an organization involved in a well-known sexual assault case involving juveniles.
- Assisting the winning party to hold a gun dealer liable, for the first time ever, for negligently selling a firearm to an obvious straw purchaser.
Brittany received her master’s degree in Criminology from the University of South Florida and her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. She has published several articles on juvenile abnormal behavior, mental health courts, and substance abuse. When not in the courtroom, she is usually outdoors hiking or on the golf course.
Account Executive - KTA
Chris Denney joined the Magna team in 2021 as a part of Magna’s acquisition of Kim Tindall & Associates (KTA), where he excelled as a Account Executive for 4 years.
Chris was born in Colorado Springs but spent most of his life in the Texas hill country.
He has a history in the service and international-travel industries. Always taking pride in customer service and client relationships.
Chris lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his fiancé – who are expecting their first child in the fall of 2021. In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing basketball, hiking, bike riding and their dogs.
Lee Diamondstein, Esq.
Vice President of Strategic Accounts
Lee Diamondstein has more than 21 years of experience in multiple segments of the legal industry, including roles as an attorney, litigation consultant and as Vice President of Sales in legal services firms. Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Maryland, and is a 1993 graduate of Widener School of Law, where he was a member of both the Moot Court Honor Society and Law Review. Following law school graduation, he clerked for Judge Richard B. Klein in the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s TIPS (Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section) and the Section of Litigation.
At the beginning his career as a clerk with the Court of Common Pleas, 1st Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Diamondstein also worked in a private law firm in Philadelphia, where his law practice concentrated on civil litigation, commercial litigation and criminal law. He consulted on hundreds of cases over the course of his litigation service tenure; he lectured and led CLE courses for various bar associations. While serving as an adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law Lee instituted Widener’s first course of its kind: “Impact of Technology on the Law”.
General Manager of Language Services
Leo joined Magna in 2015 as General Manager of the company’s new Language Services division. He has over 15 years of translation industry experience, including 7 years as freelance translator of Spanish and German to English and 4 years as a project manager for a translation agency. A veteran of the US Coast Guard, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance & International Business from the University of Colorado.
Born in Spain to Cuban parents and raised in South Florida, Leo brings a unique multicultural viewpoint to Magna. He has lived and worked in many cities across the US and Europe and is a bona fide language expert. His years of experience on both the client and contractor side of the language services business give him a unique first-hand perspective on the needs and concerns of all the parties involved.
Bridget R. Eatmon is the Case Manager for MIC cases at Magna Legal Services and is based in the company’s Philadelphia office. Prior to starting with Magna in June 2021, Bridget worked at Recordtrak, in the King of Prussia office since October 2020.
Bridget holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from LaSalle University, a Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Widener School of Law, a post-graduate certification in Conflict Management/Restorative Justice, from Arcadia University, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Northcentral University, earning her PHD in Criminal Justice with a specialty in Homeland Security.
Director of Business Development
Lena is a Director of Business Development based in Magna’s Florida office, but started her seven-year career with Magna in Philadelphia.
Prior to joining Magna, Lena worked with Outside Sales for Tom James High End Custom Men’s Manufacture. Here, she was able to use her Fashion Design/Marketing degree to help attorneys dress for success.
Lena started a networking group of young professionals in Philadelphia and hopes to soon expand it to the young community in Florida. Aside from her volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the South Florida Young Lawyers Association, Lena likes to spend her free time networking, cycling, cooking, and has recently gotten involved in water sports.
Alexis Forbes, Ph.D.
Senior Litigation Consultant
Alexis Forbes is a Senior Litigation Consultant for Magna Legal Services. received a Ph.D. in Psychology & Law from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY), and a B.S. in Psychology at Georgia State University. Her education involved extensive research, training, and coursework in decision making, statistics, and research methodology. Dr. Forbes taught Undergraduate Research Methods in Psychology to hundreds of students during her five years as an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
Dr. Forbes’ research has focused on bias against ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities. She has several publications in the area of bias against people who identify as LGBTQ+. In her 14 years in the trial consulting industry, Dr. Forbes has given many CLEs on jury questionnaire development, juror profiling, and voir dire strategies.
Dr. Forbes’ training gives her unique insight in reducing bias in cases involving tax fraud, employment matters, criminal cases, and personal injury cases. She has extensive experience with cases involving breach of contract, medical malpractice, toxic tort, and government. She also has experience with cases in the technology sector, including antitrust, theft of trade secrets, unfair competition and Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) claims. In her role as Senior Litigation Consultant, Dr. Forbes has selected over 70 juries, designed and led mock juror and focus group research, conducted juror profile analyses, and specializes in juror questionnaire construction and voir dire strategies.
Dr. Forbes is a board member for the American Society of Trial Consultants. In her spare time she enjoys being with family and friends, gardening, and painting.
John D. Gilleland, Ph.D.
Senior Litigation Consultant
Dr. John D. Gilleland is a Senior Litigation Consultant at Magna Legal Services, a full-service litigation consulting and strategic communications firm with offices in Chicago, Delaware, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa, and Boston, Washington DC.
Dr. Gilleland provides research-based and experiential data analysis to trial teams throughout the country. He has worked on all types of high-profile and large-exposure litigation, including in the areas of antitrust, product liability, intellectual property, labor & employment, professional malpractice, environmental, and securities. He consults on national litigation matters pertaining to a variety of industries, including construction, automotive, airline, pharmaceutical, petroleum/petrochemical, biotech, manufacturing, and medical.
John D. Gilleland is an expert in witness preparation, has worked with hundreds of witnesses, and has assisted with witness training schools for multiple firms involved with forensic accounting services. He has also participated in over 350 jury selections, assisting counsel with oral and written voir dire, the construction of supplemental juror questionnaires, and actual in-court jury selections.
As a full-time jury consultant and researcher since 1988, Dr. Gilleland has been in the national spotlight on numerous occasions, has appeared as a commentator on both local and national talk shows, and has been quoted in a wide range of media, including national publications such as The National Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. John Gilleland has over 32 years of dedicated jury consulting research experience and has conducted mock jury work on over 1,200 cases, as well as strategic hourly consulting on hundreds of others.
A noted jury consulting expert, Dr. Gilleland has been honored to present and deliver CLEs for numerous legal organizations throughout the country, including the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA), the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Defense Research Institute, several Inns of the Court, and various state and local bar associations. His professional affiliations include the American Psychological Association, the American Bar Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, and the American Society of Trial Consultants.
In his spare time, Dr. Gilleland enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.
Senior Vice President of Business Development
Jessica Gimbel Carnes is Magna’s Senior Vice President of Business Development based out of the company’s New York City office.
Jessica uses a hands-on approach with her clients, supporting them throughout all stages of litigation — from conception to completion. She’s connected throughout the litigation industry and is a member of the Women’s Trial Network of New York (WTNNY).
Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree at Drexel University and joined Magna in 2010. She originally started as Peter Hecht’s assistant in the Philadelphia office and climbed her way up the ranks. Her hard work dubbed her as Peter Hecht’s protégé, as she worked her way to Business Development Manager then VP of Business Development.
Jessica is originally from Philadelphia and has been working in the NYC office since 2015. She is an avid traveler and a dual citizen of Italy and the U.S.. She often makes a stop in Italy when traveling in Europe.
Director of Business Development
Joe Glenn works in Business Development for Magna Legal Services out of the company’s office in Denver, Colorado. He is a Bucknell University alumnus, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration
After 5 years of working for Chicago’s leading trial consulting firm, Creative Counsel, Joe joined the Magna team when his company was acquired by Magna in 2015.
Joe was born and raised in Connecticut and lived in Chicago for 8 years. While working out of Magna’s Chicago office, he demonstrated his strong relationship-building skills and dedication to client satisfaction. He since moved to Colorado in 2020 with his wife and daughter and is now leading business development in Magna’s Denver office.
Vice President of Business Development
Kevin Grodnick is Magna’s Vice President of Business Development based out of the company’s office in Chicago, IL.
Kevin works with identifying and solving problems for law firms, Fortune 100 companies, and large insurance carriers. By listening to his clients, Kevin puts together creative, outside-of-the-box solutions. He quickly built a reputation for himself as a “go-to” contact in the litigation support space for supporting trial teams and reducing costs.
Kevin joined Magna in 2011 in their New York City office. Six years later, he moved to lead business development in our Chicago office and assist with the acquisitions and integration of Lake Shore Court Reporting and Creative Counsel.
Partner & Executive Vice President of Sales
As a founding partner and Executive Vice President of Sales for Magna Legal Services, Peter Hecht has orchestrated the company’s growth from a single office start-up to an industry leader. Mr. Hecht brings to the company significant experience in identifying emerging markets, managing sales professionals and establishing new marketing partners. He has directed the company’s national and local sales and marketing initiatives through a period of remarkable growth. Peter is a leader in forging and cultivating strategic customer relationships in the legal services field. He is also the Editor-In-Chief of the quarterly newsletter called Magna-FYI and co-chairman of the Educational Committee for Magna’s highly successful seminar series called, “Chopped for CHOP” an annual fund raiser for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Mr. Hecht speaks frequently at professional associations and meetings on a wide range of issues regarding the litigation support and consulting industry.
Prior to Magna Legal Services, Peter was Director of National Account Sales for a global court reporting and litigation support firm. He created and implemented a multi-level sales and national rollout program that was successfully adopted by the entire organization. Mr. Hecht also negotiated and closed numerous national agreements. Previously, he was Global Account Manager for AT&T, where he secured $20 million in new contracts over a period of five years and was inducted into the company’s President’s Circle.
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Sociology, Rutgers University.
Sports & Entertainment Risk Management Alliance (SERMA) – Advisory Board, Marketing Committee
Recent Thought Leadership
- “There’s Fewer Small Court Reporting Agencies—But Don’t Blame Technology for That“ Law.com, 31, Jan 2022
- “Magna Legal Services Opens Colorado Office.” PRWeb, 13 Oct 2020
- “Trial Lawyers Strike Back as COVID-19 Fuels Litigation Support Innovation” Law.com, 6 May 2020
- “Working Remotely: Magna Legal Services Adapts to COVID-19 By Offering Even More Virtual Options” BusinessWire, 24 Mar 2020
- “Focus on Peter Hecht Partner at Magna Legal Services.” Jewish Community Voice, Jun 23, 2021
- “One-on-One with Magna Legal Services’ Peter Hecht.” Executive Leaders Radio, Jul 5, 2021
R. Cortlandt Heroy, M.A.
Litigation & Jury Consultant
Cort entered the litigation and jury consulting field after retiring from 17 years as a therapist specializing in the treatment of personality disorders and PTSD. Cort has provided jury selection, mock jury, focus group, and theme development services in measure 11 criminal cases as well as on both sides of the aisle in civil cases. In addition to his trial consulting work, Cort frequently testifies as an expert witness in motions to sever and motions in limine hearings. He frequently gives CLEs to local bar associations and Universities on subjects related to the intersection of psychology and trial law. Cort also serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Society of Trial Consultants. When not working, Cort can be found acting as tech support for his septuagenarian parents, wife, and two children, cheering for his beloved Cleveland Browns, and secretly planning his next SAAB purchase (he has owned five thus far).
Cort has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Davidson College, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology, and is currently an “all but dissertation” Ph.D. Candidate in Business Psychology with the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, having completed all coursework and passed his comprehensive exams. Cort’s dissertation and research focus is on the impact of accountability on conviction rates in joined criminal trials.
Scott M. Horwitz, Esq
National Director of Graphics Consulting & Trial Presentation
Scott Horwitz, Esq. is a graphics and trial technology consultant who specializes in simplifying complex legal concepts through the development of effective and compelling demonstrative exhibits. Scott has consulted on hundreds of cases and created all facets of visual production, giving him the ability to clearly present cases of varying sizes and intricacies, from small-scale local litigation to complex national litigation. His work involves the development and design of graphics, animations, multi-media, and interactive presentations.
Scott began his career as a litigator at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the trial division and later in the Trial Technology Special Litigation Unit. In this role, he tried cases and oversaw digital evidence presentations, custom graphics, and discovery issues for over 860 state’s attorneys in the felony trial, financial crimes, and civil divisions. Scott also worked as an associate attorney at Pretzel & Stouffer in Chicago where he specialized in medical negligence and civil litigation proceedings. Prior to joining Magna, Scott was a design consultant managing projects and developing graphics and demonstratives for litigation matters of all sizes.
Scott has also spent extensive time as a trial technology educator and instructor. He was an adjunct instructor at The John Marshall Law School where he taught advanced trial advocacy with an emphasis on utilizing digital courtroom presentations. Additionally, he has educated prosecuting attorneys on the effective use of trial technology at the University of Illinois at Springfield and trained State’s Attorneys and visiting professionals from around the world in the use of trial technology through the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D.
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, B.S. Advertising
Vice President of Strategic Accounts
Since 2006, Joan Jackson has been a trusted ally in the litigation community by supporting her corporate clients and law firms as they attempt to mitigate risk and prepare for potential trial. Ms. Jackson collaborates with her clients by analyzing each matter and recommending specific litigation support services with a goal of achieving a positive outcome within a given budget. Ms. Jackson serves as a main point of contact or liaison to her clients by overseeing cases from inception to trial and/or settlement. Joan works closely with her team of trusted consultants, routinely performs research and prepares proposals. Prior to consulting at Magna Legal Services, Joan worked for two national litigation consulting firms.
Kellie Janke, M.A.
Director of Jury Consulting – West Coast
Kellie Janke, M.A. is a Senior Litigation Consultant for Magna Legal Services. Kellie is experienced in all aspects of pre-trial research. She has provided litigation support on civil matters across the country in the form of jury research including focus groups, mock trials, venue analysis, community attitude surveys, jury profiling, voir dire consultation, and damages valuation. In addition, Kellie has assisted trial teams with witness preparation and communication training, jury selection, trial monitoring, shadow juries, and post-trial juror interviews.
Kellie has consulted on numerous multi-million dollar cases including intellectual property, product liability, property and contract disputes, personal injury, wrongful death, fraud, malpractice, government, insurance coverage, and construction defect.
Ms. Janke is a trained neuroscientist which allows her to apply her scientific and clinical expertise to cases with complex medical and technical issues. Kellie also draws upon her knowledge of human physiology and neurobiology to understand how all jurors’ process, store, and retrieve complex case information and how individual abilities and motivational states impact jury decision making.
Kellie has provided continuing legal education courses and presentations across the nation for various organizations, universities, and law firms. She is a published author in the field of neuroscience and has presented her research at numerous conferences. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Society of Trial Consultants. She has a Master’s degree in Neural and Cognitive Sciences from Bowling Green State University.
Director of Business Development
Kevin Johnson is Magna’s Director of Business Development, based out of the company’s HQ office in Philadelphia. He is a Temple University alumnus and joined the Magna team in 2009. For over a decade with Magna, Kevin has demonstrated strong dedication to his clients, supporting them throughout the litigation cycle.
Kevin resides in Philadelphia with his wife and three children and enjoys playing golf in his free time.
Business Development Manager
Gail Kalnajs is a Business Development Manager at Magna, based in the company’s Chicago office. In this role, Gail assists law firms and corporate clients by learning about their practices and identifying the specific litigation support services they need to achieve a positive outcome, all within their budget.
Gail has over 20 years of experience assisting executives, founders, partner attorneys, associates, paralegals and assistants. She has supported businesses in every stage —from start-ups companies to international business ventures. Gail’s primary goal is to meet the needs of the client and remain client focused at all times.
Prior to Magna Legal Services, Gail worked for two national litigation consulting firms.
Andrea Krebel, Ph.D.
Andrea Krebel received a Ph.D. in applied Social Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago, and a B.A. in Applied Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her education involved extensive research, training, and coursework in jury decision making, statistics and research methodology. Her thesis and dissertation specifically involved research on damage award judgments.
Dr. Krebel has over a decade of experience in litigation consulting. She has extensive experience in pretrial juror research, including focus groups, mock trials, damages evaluation studies, mock arbitrations and mock bench trials, community attitude surveys, and profiling surveys. She has also assisted clients with witness preparation and communication training, jury selection, SJQ development and scoring, shadow juries, and post-trial juror interviews. Dr. Krebel has assisted on several hundred cases nationwide, including medical malpractice, personal injury, contract, intellectual property, employment, civil rights, toxic tort, pharmaceutical, and false claims act cases.
Dr. Krebel is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants. She conducts CLEs and presentations nationwide. Prior to working in litigation consulting, Dr. Krebel was a research statistician at a major market research firm. In her spare time, she could be found watching hockey or knitting.
Peter Kuempel M.A.M.S
Senior Medical Animator/Illustrator & Creative Consultant
Peter Kuempel has over 10 years of experience as a Medical Illustrator and 3D animator. His education includes a strong foundation in biology and traditional art training from Minnesota State University. Peter then went on to earn his Master’s degree in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Prior to Magna Legal Services, Peter worked as a Medical Illustrator and 3D animator for 3FX inc. in Philadelphia. More recently, Peter was Lead Animator and Medical Illustrator for the Department of Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Peter is currently Lead 3D Animator and Medical Illustrator for Magna Legal Services where he specializes in creating a wide variety of informative graphics and demonstratives intended for court room presentations. Peter’s skills in the medical legal and biological fields include medical animation and illustration focusing on accident reconstruction, medical device/appliance demonstration, drug mechanism of action, disease state pathophysiology, and surgical demonstration produced specifically for court room environments. Peter is skilled at translating complex scientific ideas and processes into clear, dynamic visuals.
Chief Operating Officer of Litigation Consulting
As COO of the Ligation Support group, David Kurzman oversees all operations, employees and service offerings; including Jury Research, Graphics Consulting and Presentations Consulting.
Mr. Kurzman has been instrumental in spearheading the technical development of Magna’s online research tool, JuryConfirm. JuryConfirm uses instant feedback technology, online polling, and a fully integrated presentation interface to effectively emulate the benefits of in-person research in an online environment.
David Kurzman has been working in the litigation support field since 2004, first starting as a Jury Research Coordinator and Trial Presentation Consultant. As research coordinator, Mr. Kurzman is responsible for all aspects of Jury Research project coordination and set-up; which include matter venue and demographic analysis, mock-jury selection, juror feedback systems and team project management. Mr. Kurzman has participated in numerous jury research sessions for a variety of litigation matters including but not limited to asbestos, mold/mildew, environmental, toxic tort, contract, technology, construction, patent, employment, personal injury, antitrust and medical malpractice.
In his role as a Trial Presentation Consultant Mr. Kurzman’s worked hand in hand with the trial team and witnesses to prepare documents, video depositions and graphics for presentation in the court room. In addition, he advises and assists in honing presentations to optimize juror communication strategies, aiding attorney’s oral arguments. Mr. Kurzman has been engaged in numerous matters including but not limited to asbestos, mold/mildew, environmental, toxic tort, contract, technology, construction, patent, employment, personal injury, antitrust and medical malpractice.
Prior to joining Magna Legal Service’s Mr. Kurzman served as Trial Presentation Consultant and Research Coordinator at Trial Alliance litigation support company.
Eric Lalande, M.A. is a Litigation Consultant with Magna Legal Services, LLC. Eric’s primary role as a litigation consultant is to assist trial counsels with creating effective trial strategies and arguments for a wide range of complex litigation issues using various research methodologies including, focus group moderation, mock trials, shadow juries, jury selection/voir dire and quantitative research development. In addition Mr. Lalande also works directly with counsel to develop complex trial graphics to present the most persuasive themes at trial. Before working in the litigation consulting field, Mr. Lalande spent years working as a therapist for individuals with substance abuse addictions and developmental disorders. He brings hands-on experience to our consulting team regarding how individuals learn and retain information and how individuals make decisions in group settings.
Mr. Lalande has worked on a diverse set of cases including but not limited to medical malpractice, personal injury, insurance coverage, financial, patent/IP, construction and contractual disputes. Eric Lalande is a regular guest-lecturer at the Pennsylvania State University and has presented lessons on jury research, focus groups, jury selection and voir dire. He has provided continuing legal education courses and presentations for various legal firms and organizations. Mr. Lalande is a Penn State graduate with a degree in Psychology and he obtained his Master’s in Criminology from DeSales University.
Andrew T. Lofstrand
Senior Graphics Consultant
Andrew is a Graphics Consultant based just outside of Atlanta, GA. Andrew is commonly found working one-on-one with clients or onsite in the war room helping teams prepare presentations and complex animations for trial. With over 10 years of experience in the field of litigation graphics, he specializes in the development of easy to grasp visual solutions for complex concepts and legal arguments. Andrew loves creating clear, accurate, and easy to follow demonstratives that help tell a story.
Andrew has worked directly with many of the country’s largest and top-ranked law firms. Prior to working within the field of litigation graphics Andrew had over 12 years of design experience with production art, logo design, event/corporate branding, fine arts and model design.
Andrew received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from The Georgia Institute of Technology (magna cum laude).
Taylor Gill Lyden
Taylor Gill Lyden, MA is Litigation Consultant with Magna Legal Services, LLC. With an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Roanoke College and a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies from Arizona State University, Ms. Lyden applies current social science and cognitive theory to a wide variety of legal issues.
Ms. Lyden first became involved in the litigation consulting field in 2008 and has worked in group settings with adults in addiction gaining valuable insight into group theory and the decision-making process. In her work as a consultant, she uses her experience to facilitate and analyze focus groups and trial simulations. She assists attorneys in case analysis, trial advocacy, and communication of case theories and facts. Using the most effective research designs, Ms. Lyden tests and refines trial strategy to identify key case issues and determine damage valuations. She has also gained a valued understanding of the juror’s decision-making process and case strategy through conducting live shadow juries during high-profile cases, as well as post-trial interviews of both real and mock jurors.
Jeff has over 15 years of graphic design and marketing experience, across various fields including consumer electronics, financial/insurance and mortgage industries. With strong skills from planning to production, he brings a “customer first” philosophy to this position. Jeff oversees the daily operations of the Chicago graphics office, delivering cost effective visual consulting, exhibit design and presentation technology support to Magna’s clients. Jeff’s experience managing sales, staffing and vendor relationships contributes to his ability to seamlessly manage the processes that drive the timely delivery of industry-best deliverables for each of our cases.
Jeff has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, and has a diverse portfolio of collateral as a production artist, ranging from marketing collateral to art & photography direction, as well as front-end web development. He spends his free time enjoying all that Chicago has to offer with his wife and two daughters, in addition to dabbling in technical projects and DIY home renovations.
Director of Business Development
Erika serves as Magna’s Director of Business Development. Erika is based in Magna’s Los Angeles office, but also spends much time in St. Louis Missouri and focuses a lot of her business development efforts in that area. Erika takes pride in providing personalized service and quickly identifying appropriate solutions for her clients. Erika has also sat and served on the Associate Leadership Board for Public Counsel for the past six years. In her free time, Erika likes spending time traveling with her daughter, as well as coaching her in her youth volleyball league.
National Director of Discovery Support Services
Carmella Mazza joined Magna Legal Services in 2013 and has worked in the court reporting industry for decades. As Magna’s National Director of Discovery Support Services, Carmella oversees all aspects of scheduling from New York to Los Angeles, as well as international scheduling requests.
Senior Trial Presentation Consultant
Bryan is a Senior Trial Presentation Consultant for Magna Litigation Services. Bryan began his career as a videographer in 1992 and founded Palmer House Media Productions in 1996 providing legal video services and trial support for its clients in the region.
Bryan has provided trial support and training in the use of trial software for his clients since 1998 and is experienced in all matters of litigation from discovery to verdict with over 300 trials under his belt in courtrooms across the nation.
Bryan is experienced in being able to provide conceptual recommendations for the development of case themes and the structuring of courtroom presentations, while tailoring recommendations to fit the individual communication styles of attorneys and witnesses and work within the constraints imposed by judges and venues.
Taking part in as many trials, arbitrations, and mediations as well as thousands of depositions also gives Bryan the unique ability to serve as a “thirteenth juror”. Bryan can often see parts of a case and give feedback where the trial team might need additional insight or opinion.
Account Manager - KTA
Bobette graduated from University of Central Missouri State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She spent a few years after graduation teaching elementary school in Missouri.
Bobette joined KTA in 2013 as Manager of Business Development when KTA was in the initial stages of opening their office in Houston. She has worked in the litigation support industry since 2002. Prior to that she spent 15 years with the Chicago based Stenograph Corporation selling computer aided transcription software and equipment to court reporters and court houses throughout Texas.
Bobette and her family have lived in Sugar Land, Texas the past 29 years. Her three children were born and raised in Texas. However, Bobette is from the Kansas City area and loyally supports her hometown team the Kansas City Chiefs.
Business Development Manager
Brian has worked in the Legal Industry since 2010 supporting law firms and corporations to produce solutions and methodologies to successfully grasp their legal spending and provide a winning product for their clients.
Originally from New Jersey, Brian worked in Philadelphia for 11 years before recently relocating to Tampa, Florida. He prides himself on consistent communication, attention to detail and going the extra mile to ensure his client’s needs are fulfilled.
Sales Operations Manager
Since 2015, Kristina has worked for Magna Legal Services at its headquarters office in Philadelphia. She serves as Magna’s Sales Operations Manager and directly supports Magna’s Founding Partner and EVP of Sales, Peter Hecht.
Prior to joining Magna, Kristina worked as an office manager at a law firm, and as a salesperson for a telecommunications company. Kristina also graduated third in her class with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological and Social Sciences from Pennsylvania State University.
Inside Account Executive
Scott enjoys reaching out to law firms and corporate clients learning about their practices and identifying specific litigation support consulting services.
Scott has 25 years of Business Development experience assisting executives, founders, partner attorneys, associates, paralegals, and legal assistants.
Director of Business Development
Kyle has been in the Litigation Consulting field since 2007 and with Magna since 2013. Kyle works out of Magna’s Philadelphia office but maintains a nationwide practice. He enjoys being able to help his clients throughout the entire litigation cycle, from discovery to consulting support.
In his free time Kyle enjoys playing ice hockey, working out and cooking.
Senior Vice President of Business Development
Dan Poletti has a wide ranging background of more than 17 years in the litigation support industry working with law firms, corporations and insurance companies. Over the years, Dan has developed a specialization in providing his clients innovative solutions which reduce risk and save on their litigation spend. Dan has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Towson University. Based out of Magna’s headquarters in Philadelphia since 2011, Dan has developed a nationwide practice. He lives with his wife and two sets of twins in South Jersey.
Vice President & General Counsel
Barbara Previ serves as Vice President & General Counsel for Magna Legal Services, LLC. She oversees the legal affairs of the company, working with outside counsel and assisting the managers and Chief Executive Officer with the day to day operations of both the litigation consulting and court reporting sides of our business.
Barbara earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Princeton University, where she was a two-sport varsity athlete as a member of the women’s soccer and lacrosse teams. During her time at Princeton, Barbara wrote her thesis on legal advancements that have afforded disabled people more educational and professional opportunities. Barbara earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Rutgers University School of Law where she served as a Marshall-Brennan Fellow. While in law school, Barbara also earned her Master’s in Business Administration from the Rutgers University School of Business, earning both degrees in 3 years. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Hiliary Remick, Esq.
Director, Senior Litigation Consultant
Hiliary Remick, Esq. is a Director and Senior Litigation Consultant with Magna Legal Services, LLC.
Ms. Remick consults with trial counsel throughout the country to help provide insight into juror attitudes and behavior. Her work includes focus group and mock trial facilitation and analysis, creation of case themes and arguments, and the development of complex trial graphics as persuasive courtroom tools. In addition, Ms. Remick has extensive experience in shadow jury facilitation, witness communication training, and jury selection consulting in multiple venues. A veteran courtroom attorney, her work with Magna as a Litigation Consultant has included focus group research in diverse matters including a wide range of high-stakes personal injury actions, insurance, antitrust, securities, contract and patent related matters, medical and legal malpractice, environmental litigation, construction and other complex commercial disputes. Ms. Remick has spoken to groups around the United States about the use of jury research as a strategic tool for legal practitioners.
Before joining Magna, Ms. Remick worked as a trial attorney for over twenty years in the fields of personal injury and commercial litigation. She brings hands-on legal experience to her work as a member of our consulting team. Her professional background includes work in the fields of construction and asbestos abatement litigation, product liability, and a variety of personal injury and professional malpractice claims.
Hiliary Remick earned her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Political Science and English from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Society of Trial Consultants.
Senior Vice President of Business Development
Matthew Richter is Magna’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, working out of company’s office in New York City.
Matt specializes in business development and establishing strong client relationships. He works closely with his clients, helping them implement the most effective, cost-saving solutions throughout the litigation cycle: from discovery to post-trial.
Matt was born and raised in New Jersey and traveled the world for 20 years before returning back to the Garden State. Before joining Magna in 2008, Matt earned a degree in culinary arts and was a chef for 16 years. In his free time, he enjoys showing off his cooking skills and getting outdoors: skiing, hiking and mountain biking.
Will Sangster is a Graphics Consultant based in Magna’s Chicago office. Utilizing over 12 years of litigation design experience, Will works alongside the Chicago team to develop clear, concise demonstratives. Specifically, Will conceptualizes and designs effective visual solutions, including time lines, technical illustrations, accident scene re-creations, and animated tutorials. Will works alongside our clients to fully understand case facts and strategy, and leverages that understanding to create customized graphic elements that are both compelling and informative. From project conception to production and final output of graphics, Will provides expert service and execution.
Senior Creative Consultant & Designer
Eileen Schmidtke earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from Michigan State University. Upon graduation, she relocated to Chicago where she has enjoyed over 20 years of working in various industries as a senior level graphic designer, web designer/developer, and consultant. Her extensive background includes successfully supporting a variety of professional clientele in high-profile, fast paced environments—on time and under budget.
Eileen is responsible for the design and production of persuasion-based graphics used in trials, mediations and arbitrations. She brings to Magna a unique perspective in applying creativity to problem solving and visual consulting which prove integral in developing winning litigation graphics and trial presentation solutions.
Annett Schulze is a Graphics Consultant based in Alexandria, VA. With 20 years of graphics experience, Annett has dedicated the last 13 years to litigation graphics consulting where she worked on hundreds of cases helping major clients such as Epic Games, Google, Samsung, and Pfizer succeed in Court by developing compelling and high quality visual concepts.
As a native German, Annett is fluent in both, German and English. She holds a B.A. in Digital Arts and Technology and a M.A. in Arts Management.
Jessica Schurig, J.D.
Senior Litigation Consultant
Jessica brings two decades of trial consulting and legal experience to her role as a trusted advisor in high-stakes lawsuits. She uses her understanding of jury decision-making and persuasive messaging to help clients translate complex legal issues into clear, compelling themes and winning strategies. Jessica specializes in mock trial research, witness preparation, jury selection, shadow juries, trial strategy and theme development. Her practice is focused on commercial litigation with most cases involving issues of intellectual property, securities and fraud, toxic and mass tort, employment, product liability, and catastrophic injury.
Some of her most notable experience involved multimillion-dollar patent infringement cases in the computer networking technology industry as well as numerous trademark, trade secret, and copyright lawsuits involving high profile Silicon Valley tech companies. Jessica has also worked on behalf of many of the nation’s largest insurance carriers on a wide range of cases including automobile and aircraft defects, employer premises liability, defective consumer products, asbestos exposure, and high-risk activities such as scuba diving.
Prior to joining Magna, Jessica was the founder and principal of her own firm, Trial IQ, and was previously a Senior Trial Consultant with national firm, JuryScope. She has delivered Continuing Legal Education courses and presentations for law firms across the country and for West Legal Education Center. Jessica earned a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants.
Business Development Director – KTA
Zach Sherman joined the Magna team in 2021 as a part of Magna’s acquisition of Kim Tindall & Associates (KTA), where he currently serves Dallas/Fort Worth clients as a business development director. Born in The Woodlands, Texas, Zach is a third generation Texan and graduated with his Bachelor’s in Marketing from Sam Houston State University in 2018; he excelled in strategic planning and public relations and served on The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival Committee as lead fundraising assistant, lead hospitality coordinator, and festival emcee.
Zach has worked in the litigation support industry since 2019 and is a member of numerous professional organizations including Dallas’ and Tarrant County’s Bar, Paralegal, and Young Lawyer Associations, as well as the Dallas LGBT Bar Association. He is also an active supporter of the Insurance Council of the State Bar of Texas.
Zach lives in Dallas where he spends his free time golfing, playing racquetball, exercising, cooking, and entertaining for friends and family.
Creative Consultant and Designer
Martin Simanis has advised attorneys on the subject of visual communications since 1998, working on thousands of cases in venues throughout the United States. He is experienced in graphic design for litigation, translating large amounts of complex information into simple and compelling visual presentations. He is also well versed in editing, annotation and enhancement of video footage to help focus on specific action and key subject matter.
Martin’s work has helped secure favorable outcomes in almost every area of law, including intellectual property, product liability matters, antitrust, contract disputes, insurance cases, labor and employment, personal injury suits, criminal cases and more.
Prior to his work as a trial consultant, Mr. Simanis spent 10 years as a graphic designer in the advertising industry. He is skilled in the use of major design and video/audio software, including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Premiere, Trimble SketchUp, and Microsoft PowerPoint, among others.
Anne Smith, MSc
For over 25 years, Anne Smith has consulted on high-stakes, multidistrict, litigation on a national level. With backgrounds in social and affective neuroscience and visual communication, Anne brings a unique multi-disciplinary approach to her consulting with deep knowledge of how humans interact with information—specializing in the visualization of complex, technical, subject matter, and strategic storytelling.
While Anne has consulted on myriad matters, her career has focused on IP, toxic torts, and product liability mass class litigation including Big Tobacco, Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, Asbestos Lawsuits, Dow Corning Breast Implant Litigation, Deepwater Horizon, Diet Drug Fen-Phen, Benzene Lawsuits, Gaylord Chemical Spill, and the Bayer, BASF, Dow, Huntsman Isocyanate Lawsuits.
Having worked closely with fortune 500 firms over the years, as Vice President of Communications for a
forensics engineering firm, and Principal of a prosperous consulting practice, Anne is well steeped in the
She received her training from New York University and advanced that training studying a specialized
approach to processing and behavioral change via The Neuroleadership Institute and Middlesex University (UK). It is this combination of contemporary neuroscience, behavioral change, and communication that informs her approach.
Speaking Engagements & Workshops
• Threat Response & the Power of Social Drivers
• Building Trial & Advocacy Skills Using Visuals
• Lawyers, Guns, and Money: How the Brain Processes Language and Pictures
• Social and Affective Neuroscience Society
• American Bar Association
National Director of Graphics
Paul Smith has over 25 years of working in various fields as a designer, illustrator, and art director combined with 10+ years of working as a litigation graphics consultant. Paul has developed and instinctual sense for simplifying complicated material and complex narratives as clean, perceptive visuals.
As Magna’s National Director of Graphics, Paul applies his attentive skills and experience to assist you from the initial case meeting, until the end of trial.
Paul spends his off-time enjoying Chicago and traveling the country with his wife, son, and daughter.
Vice President of Business Development
Denise Spencer is Magna’s Vice President of Business Development, working out of the company’s office in Houston, Texas. She holds a BS in Finance from Valparaiso University.
As Denise began her career in finance, she realized her real passion is connecting with people and quickly found herself in business development/account manager roles. Denise worked on the corporate side of legal for CT Corporation for 7 years before joining Magna Legal Services in 2013.
Denise really listens to her clients, with strong attention to details, to help them find the most effective, cost-efficient litigation solutions. She is extremely involved in the legal community and is a member of numerous paralegal associations throughout Texas.
Denise was born and raised just north of Chicago and lived in the city for several years after college. She moved to Houston 20 years ago, expecting to only stay for a year, but married a Texan and now calls Texas her home for life. Denise loves Texas and says she wouldn’t live anywhere else! In her free time, Denise loves traveling and enjoys anything outdoors: running with her dogs, biking, fishing the bays with her husband and has even been hunting a few times.
Business Development Manager
Dominique Strati works in business development at the Magna Legal Services headquarters in Philadelphia. Before joining the Magna team in 2019, Dominique worked in the Public Relations and Marketing industries.
Dominique was born and raised in Philadelphia. She studied at Neumann University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and minors in Communications and Art. With a background in all aspects of Communications and Media Studies, Dominique is an energetic individual with an enthusiasm for delivering excellent results as a Business Development Manager at Magna.
Director Of Business Development - KTA
Denise Sustaita has worked as Director of Business Development with KTA since 2014 and recently joined the Magna team in 2021 as a part of Magna’s acquisition of Kim Tindall & Associates (KTA). Prior to joining the litigation support industry in 2001, Denise was a legal assistant for over 13 years. Denise is a native Texan who loves to fish, Zumba and pour wine as a wine consultant in her spare time. She has fished the women’s national pro circuit for over 9 years (LBAA), the tri-state pro circuit (WBT) for over 3 years and fishes numerous other tournaments in the Texas & Louisiana area. Denise lives in East Texas with her partner Larry, and has two daughters and one granddaughter, which she simply adores.
Ross Suter, Esq
Senior Vice President of Litigation Solutions
Ross Suter is the Senior Vice President of Litigation Solutions and the Associate General Counsel of MagnaLegal Services. Mr. Suter is a resident of the firm’s Philadelphia and New York offices. After practicing as a litigator in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for several years, he turned his attention to litigation consulting services where he has been involved in the development of graphics and trial presentation strategies in hundreds of cases. His work includes partnering with members of the trial team to develop themes and case strategies that persuade juries, judges and arbitration panels.
Mr. Suter has personally tried and consulted on cases in a wide variety of practice areas from intellectual property to commercial litigation to mass tort matters. He has experience working with AMLAW 200 firms, as well as, small litigation and boutique law firms in small exposure to bet the company matters. This experience has provided him with a unique insight into how jurors and judges process information.
He is a frequent lecturer of Continuing Legal Education seminars at law firms, law schools and legal associations on the use of litigation strategy, graphics, and trial presentation solutions to maximize results in adversarial proceedings. Mr. Suter is a frequent contributor of articles involving litigation consulting issues. Further, over the course of the last several years he has developed an expertise in the use of social media and its impact on jury selection and monitoring.
Mr. Suter received his Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law, a Master of Science from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Arts from McDaniel College. He is a member of thePennsylvania and New Jersey State Bars.
Chief Operations Officer
Mr. Anthony Vaglica, also known as Tony, has been with Magna since 2014 serving as COO and CEO. Prior to that he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Esquire Solutions, LLC from 2002 until 2008.
Mr. Vaglica began his career in the legal industry as Office Manager for the court reporting firm Sherry Roe & Associates in 1989. After Sherry Roe & Associates was acquired by Esquire Deposition Services in 1996, Mr. Vaglica was promoted to Vice-President of Southeast Region Operations. In February 1999, his role was expanded to include the entire East Coast. He then moved on to serve as Chief Operating Officer of Esquire Deposition Services.
Mr. Vaglica graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.
Anthony Valerio is a Graphics Consultant at Magna Legal Services. With more than a decade of experience in litigation consulting and trial graphics, he has extensive knowledge in helping attorneys decide how best to present their case.
Anthony earned his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Communications, Film/Media Arts from Temple University. Upon graduation, he relocated to Los Angeles where his litigation consulting career flourished. His expansive experience involves working for both plaintiff and defense, in over 500 cases including intellectual properly, medical malpractice, wrongful death, entertainment, health and pharmaceutical, insurance, class action, labor, criminal, high-stakes complex litigation and contract disputes. Anthony has become an asset to trial teams by working closely with them to analyze and distill the complex issues of their case into clear, effective and visually powerful presentations.
Anthony has had the pleasure of working with the America’s top trial lawyers on highly-publicized civil and criminal trials, including an arbitration in Hong Kong. In 2009, his work on a class action labor dispute helped win a landmark verdict. Anthony has also participated in events for ABOTA, CAALA and various other attorney groups, including designing and giving CLE presentations.
While Anthony’s creativity helps lawyers win in the courtroom, it doesn’t stop there! He is also a two-time champion of Food Network’s hit show, “Cupcake Wars.” In the first episode, “Comic Con Cupcakes” (Season 3), Anthony took on three competitors and swept the competition with unique flavor combinations and imaginative decorations. He was invited back to compete against winners of past seasons in “USO: Best of the Best” (Season 5), and again made a clean sweep of the competition with flawless flavors and extraordinary decorations.
Prior to working within the litigation graphics, Anthony spent 5 years in marketing and graphic design as a Marketing Director for a five-branch community bank.
Kirsten Vanwart is the Marketing Manager of Magna Legal Services and is based in the company’s Philadelphia office. She holds a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Public Relations from Rowan University.
Prior to joining Magna in 2019, Kirsten worked in marketing for a full-service law firm.
Chief Executive Officer
Mark Williams is the CEO of Magna Legal Services with a particular focus on our mergers & acquisitions. Mark was formerly President/COO of PPL Group and Big Shoulders Capital, a financial services firm. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Kroll Ontrack, a leading legal technology company with over 1200 employees and 35 offices in 20 countries, which was subsequently purchased and became KLDiscovery where Williams was President/COO and served on the Board. Williams also previously held senior positions leading businesses at Huron Consulting and Axiom Global, and a 17-year career at the global law firm of DLA Piper as a corporate and M&A attorney (including Managing Partner in Beijing, China) and helped the firm’s international expansion. Williams has served globally in North America, Asia, and Middle East as a senior executive, and has a strong track record as a strategic business partner, lawyer, and senior executive.
Williams holds a JD from Columbia University School of Law, an MBA from the University of Maryland / Beijing University for International Business & Economics, an MSc in International Relations from The London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois.
Account Executive & Resource Recruiter - KTA
Candace joined the Magna team in 2021 as a part of Magna’s acquisition of Kim Tindall & Associates (KTA), where she excelled as an Account Executive and Resource Recruiter for a little over a year though she has been in the litigation support industry since 2008. She has worn many hats in her litigation support career including Operations Manager, Court Reporting Manager, Court Reporter Recruiter, Marketing Materials Designer and one of her favorite responsibilities has been the quarterly KTA Reporter Newsletter. Additionally, prior to starting her career in litigation support, she was a Legal Assistant for eight years in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. She now resides in Round Rock, Texas and serves the greater Austin area.
Candace has been an active sustaining member of Capital Area Paralegal Association for most years since 2010 and served as the Brown Bag Committee Chairperson for several years from 2010 to 2016. She is also a sustaining member of Travis County Women Lawyers Association.
Candace has been married for 29 years and has one daughter and one son and two dogs. In her spare time she enjoys gourmet cooking, party planning, karaoke and Bible study and research.
Daniel Wolfe, J.D., Ph.D.
Senior Director of Jury Consulting
Dr. Daniel Wolfe is a Senior Director of Jury Consulting at Magna Legal Services, a full-service litigation consulting and strategic communications firm.
Dr. Wolfe provides research-based and experiential data analysis to trial teams nationwide and oversees the standards in practice of Magna’s jury consulting team. Dr. Wolfe works on high-profile and large-exposure litigation involving such matters as antitrust, product liability, intellectual property, professional malpractice, environmental, and securities. He consults on national litigation matters pertaining to a variety of industries, including automotive, airline, pharmaceutical, petroleum/petrochemical, biotech, and medical. As an expert in the fields of witness preparation, voir dire, and jury selection, he is also skilled in providing quantitative and qualitative analyses of venues through focus groups and mock trials.
As a jury consultant and researcher since 1986, he has been in the national spotlight on numerous occasions for his work on high-profile criminal and civil cases involving celebrities and professional athletes. He has appeared as a commentator on both local and national talk shows and has been quoted in a wide range of media, including national publications such as The National Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly, Newsweek, and USA Today. He has authored many articles and book chapters on the subjects of juries, juror perceptions, ethics in trial consulting, and the interrelation of attorney gender and courtroom bias. Dr. Wolfe has over 30 years of jury consulting research experience and has worked on over 1,800 cases.
As a noted jury consulting expert, Dr. Wolfe has been honored to present for numerous legal organizations throughout the country, including the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA), the American Board of Trial Advocates, Defense Research Institute, several Inns of the Court, and various state and local bar associations. His professional affiliations include the American Psychological Association, the American Bar Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, and the American Society of Trial Consultants, of which he is past president.
Dr. Wolfe received his J.D., his Ph.D. in law and psychology, and his M.A. in psychology from the University of Nebraska. He holds his B.A. in psychology and sociology from Colorado State University.
In his spare time, Dr. Wolfe enjoys spending time with his family (seven children, three of which are triplets), enjoys musical theatre, and is actively involved in his church and community.