How shadow juries can predict a trial’s outcome

by Chris Mondics, Staff Writer

When Mark Calzaretta watches a jury hearing evidence in a high-stakes lawsuit, it isn’t necessarily an impartial panel of citizen peers he sees.

Rather, Calzaretta sees 10 human beings with emotional biases that, if studied diligently, can help lawyers predict with startling accuracy the outcome of a case, often before it is tried.

Read the entire article at Philly.com

Possible Tsarnaev jurors give range of death penalty views

By Milton J. Valencia GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 16, 2015

In the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one prospective juror, an account manager for a marketing firm, said nothing could change his mind about the guilt of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, especially after his friends said it would be “cool” for him to serve on the jury, so that he could “sentence him to death.”

Another man, a product manager at a local business firm, disclosed that his wife is an intensive care unit nurse who treated some of the Marathon bombing survivors — and, “It hit my wife hard” — but maintained that he could still be an impartial juror.

Read the entire article at Bostonglobe.com

Common theme in search for Tsarnaev jury – Death penalty still at forefront

By Milton J. Valencia GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 16, 2015

A data management consultant, a state energy regulator, a computer technician, and a banker were among the prospective jurors who were called into federal court in Boston Friday to be vetted for jury duty in the trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

But as US District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr., defense lawyers, and prosecutors conducted the second day of questioning of prospective jurors in perhaps the most anticipated trial in Boston’s history, they continued to encounter a common theme: While some said they could keep an open mind, many said they could not vote in favor of a death sentence, even if a jury finds Tsarnaev guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read the entire article at Bostonglobe.com

Jurors submit two questions to judge in Tsarnaev trial

By Milton J. Valencia GLOBE STAFF APRIL 08, 2015

The jurors weighing the case against admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 12 people now the focus of the most highly watched trial in the city’s history, met in secret for just over seven hours on Tuesday in their first day of deliberations and left without a verdict.

The jurors submitted two questions at the end of the day Tuesday, but US District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. did not publicly disclose what they were. He plans to go over the questions Wednesday morning when the jury is slated to return and continue deliberating.

Read entire article at Bostonglobe.com

Magna Legal Services Acquires Chicago-Based Lake Shore Reporting

Acquisition of 40-year-old Firm Enhances Magna’s Capabilities in Midwest

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 20, 2016) — Magna Legal Services, the largest company in the nation providing a full suite of in-house services in Jury Research, Litigation Graphics, Language Services, Trial Presentation and Court Reporting, announced today that it has acquired Chicago-based Lake Shore Reporting, a well-established firm that specializes in managing complex multi-party cases and offers the full breadth of court reporting services. Lake Shore’s team is comprised of 20 court reporting professionals.

According to Magna Legal Services’ CEO, Tony Vaglica, “The addition of Lake Shore Reporting, along with our acquisition of Creative Counsel in Chicago in the fall of 2015, will crystalize our cross-marketing efforts as we integrate both firms under one business development strategy.” Further, “Lake Shore’s clients will now benefit from total support, from discovery to trial, and they will have access to Magna’s proprietary tools like JuryConfirm 2.0, Jury Evaluator and JuryScout.”

The acquisition was finalized on May 20, 2016, increasing the size of Magna’s court reporting group, strengthening its growing Chicago presence, and further solidifying the firm’s position as the largest company providing the full suite of in-house Jury Research, Graphics and Court Reporting services in the country.

According to Peter Hecht, Executive Vice President of Magna Legal Services, “Over the last 40 years, Lake Shore has built a solid reputation and has established itself as the go-to service in Chicago for particularly difficult cases. Teaming up with Magna’s nationally known and respected breadth of services beyond court reporting will add a whole new dimension of service options for their clients, and we are excited to see this partnership expand upon our other recent growth.”

About Magna:
Magna Legal Services is the country’s only company providing a full suite of jury research, litigation graphics and court reporting with end-to-end legal support services to law firms, corporations and governmental agencies nationwide. As an end-to-end service provider, Magna provides strategic advantages to clients by offering legal support services at every stage of legal proceedings. Magna’s mission is to ensure that all legal support needs are delivered in a high quality, reliable and responsive manner.

Magna Legal Services Acquires Chicago-Based Trial Graphics Company

Company’s Acquisition Marks Significant Midwest and West Coast Growth for the Only Provider of Full Suite of Trial and Jury Consulting Services

PHILADELPHIA, PA (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 05, 2015

Magna Legal Services, the largest company in the nation providing a full suite of in-house services in Jury Research, Litigation Graphics, Language Services, Trial Presentation and Court Reporting, announced today that it has acquired Creative Counsel, a firm that offers Visual Consulting, Exhibit Design and Presentation Technology Support to legal, insurance and corporate clients. Creative Counsel’s staff, led by Owner and President Denise Montiel, is comprised of top experts in visual design and presentation technology, servicing clients including Fortune 100 companies in four regional offices; Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

According to Magna Legal Services’ President and Founder Bob Ackerman, “Our firm is in a continual growth mode, and bringing Creative Counsel into our organization is the next step in our development plan. Creative Counsel has an excellent reputation and client loyalty, so when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped at this chance to establish a solid footprint in Chicago and in turn, introduce their flagship customers to Magna’s extensive suite of services.”

The acquisition was finalized on October 30, 2015, increasing the size of Magna’s graphics group and solidifying the firm’s position as the largest company providing the full suite of in-house Jury Research, Graphics and Court Reporting services in the country. In her new role with Magna, Ms. Montiel will manage the company’s Chicago and Los Angeles offices and will oversee staffing and market growth.

According to Montiel, “Over the last 20 years, Creative Counsel has grown into a strong team with loyal clients throughout the country, and now we are ready to take the next step. Magna’s nationally known and respected breadth of services beyond graphics will add a whole new dimension of service options for our clients, and I am excited to see where our partnership takes us.”

Along with recent business development hires over the past few months, this acquisition “entrenches us in Chicago, and significantly enhances our west coast presence,” added Mark Calzaretta, Magna’s Executive Vice President of Litigation Consulting. “As we continue to work with more clients across the country, it’s essential for us to retain the most talented individuals possible, and Creative Counsel certainly represents the cream of the crop.”

Kenyon Group, LLC acted as exclusive advisor to Creative Counsel and arranged this transaction.

About Magna: 
Magna Legal Services is the country’s only company providing a full suite of jury research, litigation graphics and court reporting with end-to-end legal support services to law firms, corporations and governmental agencies from its 19 offices in 13 states throughout the nation. As an end-to-end service provider, Magna provides strategic advantages to clients by offering legal support services at every stage of legal proceedings. Magna’s mission is to ensure that all legal support needs are delivered in a high quality, reliable and responsive manner.

Magna Legal Services Provides Courtroom Graphics and Jury Consultation in Trinity Industries Guardrail Fraud Case

Magna Legal Services Provides Courtroom Graphics and Jury Consultation in Trinity Industries Guardrail Fraud Case

Texas Jury Awards $525 Million to Plaintiff in High-Profile Case

Philadelphia, PA, November 17, 2014 – Magna Legal Services, one of the country’s largest jury research, litigation graphics and court reporting companies, recently played a pivotal role in the $525 million award – after mandatory trebling of a $175 million jury verdict — for its law firm client, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, which represented the plaintiff Josh Harman. Trinity Industries, the highway guardrail maker, was accused of selling systems that can malfunction during crashes and slice through cars. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the award is the highest in our nation’s history in a whistleblower case in which the federal government declined to join forces with the whistleblower and whistleblower lawyer. Mandatory statutory penalties of as much as $185 million, prejudgment interest and attorneys’ fees are all expected to be added to the $525 million award before the court enters a judgment of approximately $1 billion against Trinity.

The case was brought under the False Claims Act by Harman, who discovered that the company made changes in 2005 to its railhead without telling the Federal Highway Administration. The company sold its guardrails to state governments that in turn received federal reimbursement. Trinity was found by a jury earlier in October to have defrauded the federal government. Magna Legal Services provided its patent-pending revolutionary online jury research focus group product, JuryConfirm, along with graphics consulting and design for the trial, and handled the trial presentation for Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

“As in many of our most significant cases, Magna was there for us every step of the way,” said Nicholas Gravante, Jr. of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, the lead partner on the case. “The personal service and dedication that Bob Ackerman, Rosalie Margolis and their incredible team did by providing graphics design, jury research and trial presentation was instrumental to our success in presenting this case to the jury, which took less than three hours to deliver the record-setting verdict achieved by our team.”

The use of mock trials and compelling visual graphics at trial is increasingly important, especially when conveying complex information for jurors. Scientific research supports the concept that pairing the spoken word with strong visuals allows the presenter to make an effective and lasting argument. Evidence is the key to any trial, and making that evidence clear and concise is the key to having jurors learn and retain the information being presented. The employment of focus groups before the trial provides insight into the minds of prospective jurors and what is needed to better enable the actual panel to understand your case.

“The combination of what is learned from jury focus groups and implementation of that knowledge by our strong graphic design team continues to provide value to litigators with clear, concise information about the best demonstratives to make trial presentations more direct and vivid to juries,” noted Mark Calzaretta, Magna Legal Services partner.

About Magna Legal Services
Magna Legal Services is one of the largest jury research, litigation graphics and court reporting companies in the country, providing end-to-end legal support services to law firms, corporations and governmental agencies from its 18 offices in 13 states throughout the nation. We’ve used companies like Rocket Pilots so you know exactly who we are and how we can help. As an end-to-end service provider, Magna provides strategic advantages to clients by offering legal support services at every stage of legal proceedings. Magna’s mission is to ensure that all legal support needs are delivered in a high quality, reliable and responsive manner.

Contact
Peter Hecht
Executive Vice President Sales
Magna Legal Services
866.624.6221
phecht@magnals.com

Magna Legal Services Second Annual “Chopped” Legal Competition Returns to Atlantic City

Four top attorneys battle in mock trial competition to benefit Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA, September 23, 2014 — After the success of last year’s program, Magna Legal Services is bringing back their “Chopped” mock trial competition during Magna’s 7th annual Atlantic City “Streamlining Relationships with Outside Counsel” event. Taking place November 12th and 13th at The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, four trial attorneys will once again battle it out in a mock trial setting, presenting their best argument to a panel of judges.

Consisting of claims executives and in-house counsel from Fortune 500 companies, the judges will provide feedback on the effectiveness of the presentations, and after each phase of the trial they will vote and “chop” a lawyer from the competition, leaving one ultimate champion. The attorneys will compete to win up to $5,000.00 in donations made in their firm’s name to CHOP (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

Ted Schaer of Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer & Toddy PC will be returning to defend his title after winning the judges’ votes in the first Magna CHOPPED competition. Ted will be challenged this year by three new competitors; Kelly Waters of Coughlin Duffy LLP, Stuart Miller of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, and Daniel Shapiro of Cole Scott & Kissane, PA have all stepped up to the challenge with the hope of winning the grand prize share of donations on behalf of their firms.

“We were not surprised by the success of last year’s competition. Attorneys can overdose on panel discussion CLE’s every day, including weekends. What most CLE programs lack is the entertainment factor, and that’s what we are delivering; suspense, drama, laughs and education. It is also an honor and privilege to be raising money for the deserving kids at CHOP,” said Peter Hecht, Magna’s Executive Vice President of Business Development. “I know that this year’s production will be an even greater success because we have four legends in the legal industry competing and I know our education chair, Richard Fabian, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Director of Litigation at The RiverStone Companies will be dreaming up another dynamic fact pattern with wicked twists for each phase of the competition.”

For more information regarding this event or to register to attend, please call Elaina Tancredi at (866) 624-6221 or etancredi@magnals.com.

About Magna Legal Services
Magna Legal Services is one of the largest jury research, litigation graphics and court reporting company’s in the country, providing end-to-end legal support services to law firms, corporations and governmental agencies throughout the nation. As an end-to-end service provider, we are able to provide strategic advantages to our clients by offering legal support services at every stage of your legal proceeding. It is our mission to assure that all of your legal support needs are delivered to you in a high quality, reliable and responsive manner. You can visit Magna’s Web site at www.magnals.com.

Contact
Peter Hecht
Executive Vice President Sales
Magna Legal Services
866.624.6221
phecht@magnals.com