Trial Guides author Rick Friedman has obtained a $185,000,000 trial verdict against Monsanto in PCB litigation.
A Friedman Rubin, PLLP trial team led by Rick Friedman, Henry Jones, and Sean Gamble obtained a $185 Million Dollar verdict today in the case of Erickson et. al. v. Monsanto. The case involved three public school teachers who sued Monsanto and its corporate successors for poisoning teachers, students and parents who attended Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe, Washington between 2011 and 2016. The three teachers were the first plaintiffs to reach trial against Monsanto from a group of over 200 teachers, students and parents exposed to leaking PCB ballasts in fluorescent light fixtures at the school. The verdict follows years of hard-fought litigation between Monsanto, now owned by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and a group of parents, students and teachers who would just not give up in their quest for justice.
A $9.5 million judgment was awarded on April 23, in a wrongful death case in Hampden County, Massachusetts. The trial team consisted of Nicholas Rowley and Benjamin Novotny of Trial Lawyers for Justice and Charlotte Glinka and Karen Zahka of Keches Law Group, P.C.
Trial attorney Nick Rowley was kind enough to share a few details from the case:
The way to play it safe in law school was to raise and explain every possible issue. If five arguments supported a particular result, you had better discuss them all. Civil and criminal classes support this type of issue spotting, and some law firms believe this works in litigation. But, this law school training works against you at trial.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Madeksho shared with us strategies from From Hostage to Hero that he used to win the case:
Sari’s book helped me organize my voir dire so that I could examine the panel in an organized way given the time constraints (30 minutes per panel) that parties were given. Further, Sari’s book gave clear advice on how to “make it about the jury” by using their language and their ideas in opening and closing. The jury “got it” because of this advice.
From Hostage to Hero Reviewed by Jason Skuda
“Jurors are, for all intents and purposes, hostages.” This concept begins Sari de la Motte’s advice on approaching jury trials. As hostages, jurors are the trial’s first of two “victims.” They arrive unhappy, discombobulated, and, more often than not, scared. The plaintiff’s lawyer must free the jurors by creating a safe space for jurors to express themselves in voir dire and to act on the plaintiff’s behalf when they deliberate.
In Hidalgo County, Texas, attorneys Michael Cowen and Malorie Peacock of Cowen Rodriguez and Peacock obtained a just multimillion-dollar verdict for the widow of a man who died during a trench collapse. Read more about how they obtained the verdict.
Nick Rowley has done it again, this time obtaining a $21 million verdict in a contested liability motor vehicle case.
Nick’s client, Danielle Laws, was a European fitness model who had just moved to California on a work visa. Humble and soft-spoken with no family and few friends nearby, the twenty-eight-year-old had just begun to make a name for herself in the states. She had lived frugally in her tiny apartment, a small motor scooter her only means of transportation. The same scooter she was driving the day Dr. Andrew Chen struck her with his Range Rover. She had been in America for only four months.
Last week, Trial Guides author Rick Friedman obtained a $21.5 million verdict in a difficult traumatic brain injury case. We wanted to share how Rick obtained the outcome despite extremely challenging facts.
Rick’s client was a fifty-seven-year old self-made multimillionaire on a cruise with Holland America Lines. He, his wife, and his daughter were scheduled for an eight-month around-the-world cruise. One day on the ship while he was walking through a doorway, the door closed suddenly and struck him in the head.
Book review of Show the Story in Trial News:
Veteran Seattle trial attorney William S. Baily and his brother Robert W. Bailey, a California-based trial consultant, have produced Show the Story, an indispensable guide to visual presentation during trial. They teach attorneys how to think in pictures and diagrams—as well as words—in order to present their case in the most compelling manner possible. To do so, the Baileys mine their own extensive trial experience, but they also turn to other experts for added insights: plaintiff and defense attorneys, judges, law professors, graphic-production artists, and consultants. The result is a compendium of advice on what works visually in a trial setting and, just as importantly, what does not.
Auto cases the insurers designate as "Minor impact" due to minimal visible vehicle damage are amongst the most difficult plaintiff cases to win, despite there being no correlation between vehicle damage and occupant injury.
Join trial consultant David Ball and veteran trial lawyer Gary Johnson for a webinar called "Reptile in MIST Cases." This webinar will discuss the use of the Reptile method to win "Minor Impact Soft Tissue" cases.
Book Review: Twelve Heroes argues that all humans—including jurors—are "wired" to use stories to make sense of the world around them. But to effectively appeal to jurors’ story sense, attorneys must first understand story structure itself. To that end, Twelve Heroes elucidates the most fundamental components of story such as: heroic story structure and classic story characters and elements like the Hero, the Villain, the Victim, the Mentor, and the Lie.
help lawyers of all experience levels better understand their client’s grief and emotional suffering and, in turn, enable them to better communicate that pain to a jury.
Today's jurors are bombarded with media images of handsome and sexy lawyers, heroically solving crimes and winning in the courtroom. In reality, the courtroom is nothing like TV's "win in a 60-minute episode" format, but your performance can be just as appealing, passionate, and valiant.
From David Ball's theatrical background comes Theater Tips and Strategies for Jury Trials, a practical guide to improve your performance in the courtroom.
Trial Guides is proud to announce a new, fully revised and expanded version of its best selling book Rules of the Road by Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone.
This best selling text on proving liability has helped lawyers throughout the country win six, seven, and eight figure verdicts.
In the five years since its release, we've learned invaluable information on the benefits and difficulties of using Rules of the Road in trial. The result is an improved methodology for trying your cases.
Trial Guides #1 book Rules of the Road is now available in a revised and expanded Second Edition.
Authors Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone significantly revised this groundbreaking work. In addition to revisions throughout the book clarifying concepts in the first edition, Friedman and Malone added six new chapters and three appendices. They cover the differences between rules and principles, how to troubleshoot your rules, and how to fit Rules of the Road™ techniques into your case themes.
Review of "Becoming a Trial Lawyer" by Howard Nations in AAJ's Trial Magazine:
Trial attorney Rick Friedman’s latest book, On Becoming a Trial Lawyer, offers useful advice to those who wish to pursue success as a trial lawyer without forfeiting a fulfilling life as a family member, friend, and member of society. The book has value for the prospective lawyer as well as the trial attorney who wants to better understand and cope with increased professional and personal pressures.
A jury in Dallas County Texas recently returned an $84 million verdict against U-Haul Corporation in a negligence case for failure to inspect, warn of dangers, and repair its trucks. Plaintiff's trial attorneys Marquette Wolf and Ted Lyon of Texas argued the case.
Attorney Wolf patterned his arguments after the "Reptile" research in David Ball and Don Keenan's newest book, Reptile: The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff's Revolution. When used in conjunction with the technique outlined in Rules of the Road, this research has the power to negate tort reform. Wolf suggested to the jury that corporations must follow the rules, and added that corporations know how to be careful, but only choose to do so when protecting their money rather than people.
Book Review: Polarizing the Case is a book for trial lawyers written by Richard Friedman, one of the most successful trial lawyers in the United States. But anyone who has ever been a victim of an insurance company’s tactics designed to deny or underpay a legitimate claim might also find it interesting.
I have started going to more seminars, reading more books, watching more video—trying to get beyond "the law" and generic trial techniques, and focusing specifically on how to win plaintiffs’ personal injury trials. It soon became apparent that a new publishing company predominates this niche, publishing and distributing some of today’s most important plaintiffs’ trial materials—Trial Guides.
Attorney Chris Stombaugh of Wisconsin recently obtained a $7.05 million verdict on a construction site accident verdict in Iowa. He credits a substantial factor of his success to David Ball's "Uber Rule" discussed in his Trial Guides Welcome to the Revolution CLE.
In his own words:
"I listened to your Trial Guides presentation [Welcome to the Revolution].
How can you get great verdicts? By framing your case story to speak to the jurors.
Trial Guides is proud to release all known audio recordings of Moe Levine, one of the greatest trial lawyers in American history.
In this unique CD set, you'll hear Moe Levine's voice as he spoke to trial lawyer organizations in the 1960s and 70s. This CD set is a valuable companion to Moe Levine on Advocacy, Trial Guides' book of Levine's collected lectures and summations. One of the lectures in The Historic Recordings is included in Moe Levine on Advocacy, but the rest are only available on CD. The Historic Recordings together with Moe Levine on Advocacy give you a complete set of all of Levine's material.
After over three years of work, Trial Guides is proud to announce the release of Moe Levine on Advocacy, the most comprehensive book ever released on Levine's lectures, trial transcripts and articles.
Moe Levine practiced in New York in the 1940s to early 1970s, trying over 2000 civil trials. He was one of the first members of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and was close friends with Inner Circle founder Richard Grand. He helped create the concept of "qualitative damages" while helping Grand re-frame one of his cases by taking a concept from the Bible and using it as a way to describe the client's loss. (The case is discussed in the book.)
In Winning with Stories, trial lawyer Jim Perdue analyzes narrative elements in detail, showing how to craft a story with a strong beginning, memorable scenes, believable characters, a logical plot, vivid action, and a moving conclusion. Beyond this, Perdue demonstrates how to tell the story to maximum effect, with concepts as broad as giving soul to the story, and as specific as what the speaker should wear.
Many trial attorneys are acquainted with the idea of a case theme. Certainly all trial lawyers know the critical importance of establishing and reinforcing the strongest possible theme for your case story.
Since mid-2006, David Ball and three of America's top trial attorneys; Atlanta's Don Keenan, Kentucky's Gary Johnson, and Wyoming's Jim Fitzgerald; have been conducting a unique series of deep-research jury sessions across the country. The results have surpassed the team's most optimistic hopes, and will revolutionize the legal field's understanding of juror decision-making. They are working on a new book including this content tentatively called Reptile: Welcome to the Plaintiff's Revolution. Without throwing out the tried-and-true David Ball on Damages methodology or any of a number of other effective approaches, the new methods transform even the worst of jurors into your allies. The playing field remains as steeply tilted as ever; but now the tilt is in our favor.
The results of the 2006-08 research mean that the long courtroom nightmare of "tort-reform" is finally ending. If you think this is an exaggeration, you have not yet learned the new approach.
In his book Polarizing the Case, Rick Friedman teaches us not to fear allegations or insinuations that our client is malingering or exaggerating injuries. Instead he provides, in his own words, "a guidebook for wrapping the malingering defense around the neck of the defense lawyer and strangling him with it."
Here is what one young lawyer did with his copy of Polarizing the Case:
Trial Guides is now distributing "Closing Statements in Child Injury and Child Wrongful Death Cases Volume 2."
This book is a “must have” for any lawyer representing injured children. This book is a compilation of closing statements in child injury and wrongful death cases by 15 of the nation's best personal injury lawyers. Each lawyer is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization comprised of the 100 best plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States. Most of the closing statements in this book came from cases in which the jury returned verdicts in excess of $1,000,000. The following trial lawyers who contributed to this text:
Trial Guides is proud to announce Eric Oliver's Facts Can't Speak for Themselves on Audiobook. This audiobook is an unabridged reading of the book by Eric Oliver himself. This is a 16 CD set.
About the audiobook:
Legal decision-makers construct their own version of the case story when they judge a case. In fact, they re-author their own version several times before arriving at the one they use to decide the case.
Paul Luvera has obtained a $40 million verdict in Washington, $44 million in Oregon, $29 million in Idaho, as well as dozens of multi-million settlements, including one for $75 million. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.
Trial Guides is honored to announce the release of Paul Luvera on Trial Strategy, a four-DVD set, capturing his acclaimed lecture at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle.
Introducing a webinar CLE recording "Credit Damages: More Accurate Compensation" featuring speakers Geog Finder.
If you are familiar with the tactics outlined in David Ball on Damages and use the information regularly, you won't want to miss this cutting edge presentation on credit damages. Credit damages is a relatively understated field of damage compensation that will help you determine and receive the full extent of damages the plaintiff suffered—far beyond simple medical bills and wage loss.
The American Society of Trial Consultants recently held a poll of their members on the subject of case themes. The poll asked: “What written work—books or articles—do you most often recommend to your trial lawyer clients to better aid them in constructing and delivering a case theme?”
The one source which professional counseling attorneys across the country listed more than any other, on the subject of persuasive themes and case delivery, was Facts Can't Speak for Themselves, by Eric Oliver.
With Rules of the Road™, Rick Friedman (with co-author Patrick Malone) changed the way thousands of plaintiff's lawyers try their cases. In the process, he established himself as one of the nation's leading tacticians in the battle for civil justice.
With Polarizing the Case, Friedman teaches us not to fear allegations or insinuations that our client is malingering or exaggerating injuries. Instead he provides, in his own words, "a guidebook for wrapping the malingering defense around the defense lawyer's neck and strangling him with it."
The following is a review by Doctor and Epidemiologist Dr. Arthur Croft of the Trial Guides book Polarizing the Case.
The legal corner today is a book report. Rick Friedman is the author of some best-selling law books, including Rules of the Road and, the one in my hand: Polarizing the Case: Exposing & Defeating the Malingering Myth. These books are published by Trial Guides (www.trialguides.com).
Trial Guides, in cooperation with NITA, brings you Winning Jury Trials: Trial Tactics and Sponsorship Strategy by Robert Klonoff & Paul Colby.
Winning Jury Trials covers a broad spectrum of issues likely to confront the advocate every day, and provides a "default position" on how to resolve most tactical issues arising at trial. Winning Jury Trials covers such topics as:
We recently received the following lawyer success story using the methods in David Ball on Damages.
"Sussex County is rural and is arguably one of the most conservative counties in N.J.. Last night at 6pm following an 8 day trial and a 3 hour deliberation, the Sussex County Jury returned a verdict of $1.25m! This represents one of the largest personal injury verdicts in county history and will be front page news tomorrow. Our client Jill Yucius (age 27) sustained an injury to her low back requiring fusion surgery and sustained an injury to her shoulder requiring arthroscopic surgery following an auto accident. The defense attorney had valued the case at less than $200,000...
Trial Guides received the following customer success story from David Ball.
When I went to the ATLA Damages College I had already read your book on Damages, and listened to your CD. I was comfortable with your method and was looking to refine my skills. The case I worked on at the ATLA Damages seminar was a dental malpractice case where an oral surgeon severed my client's lingual nerve while extracting a lower wisdom tooth, leaving half of his tongue permanently numb.
We recently received the following lawyer success story using the information in From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves - How Allstate Changed Casualty Insurance in America.
“David Berardinelli's book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves is an essential tool for any trial lawyer handling bad faith claims against Allstate. The book details how Allstate redesigned its claims handling process to offer policyholders a very simple choice: accept less than fair value for your claims or face a battery of lawyers and years of costly litigation.
From David Ball's intro to this disc set:
This DVD is about the inspiring story of how one of America's best trial attorneys, Kentucky's Gary C. Johnson, prevailed in a nearly impossible case. This discussion's original purpose was to help other attorneys see how to deal with some of the most common problems encountered in nearly every personal injury case. But, the discussion turned out to be more. One of the most inspiring stories behind a trial you have ever heard. You will find yourself playing this discussion over and over, before every difficult trial you ever face.
Trial Guides is proud to provide Jim Perdue's Who Will Speak for the Victim to its customers. The book has often been out of print, and difficult to obtain, but is in stock at Trial Guides.
Who Will Speak for the Victim is a practical book for practicing lawyers. Special chapters address methods of arguing liability and damages in various types of personal injury cases, emphasizing the most effective approaches to relating the evidence and argument to the specific questions the jury must answer.
Trial Guides is now distributing "Closing Statements in Child Injury and Death Cases."
This book is a “must have” for any lawyer representing injured children. This book is a compilation of closing statements in child injury and wrongful death cases by 23 of the nation's Top Personal Injury Lawyers. Each lawyer is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization comprised of the 100 best plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States. Most of the closing statements in this book came from cases in which the jury returned verdicts in excess of $1,000,000.