{ "monthArticles": [ {"id" : 14101839931,"title" : "$6.49 Million Verdict for Severe PTSD and Depression Using Keith Mitnik’s <em>Don’t Eat the Bruises</em>","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "verdict", "tag" : "Verdict" }],"articleYear" : 2018,"articleMonth" : "October","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/6-49-million-verdict-for-severe-ptsd-and-depression-using-keith-mitnik-s-don-t-eat-the-bruises","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Screen_Shot_2018-10-24_at_1.23.48_PM_1024x1024.png?v=1540412719","articleDate" : "October 23, 2018","articleExcerpt" : "<span>Washington attorneys Michael Fisher and Daniel Kyler recently obtained a $6.49 million verdict on behalf of a father of eight who was permanently disabled after being exposed to ammonia gas. They were assisted in the case by attorney Tamara Clower. We asked Mike to share a few thoughts on how his team obtained this substantial verdict. The following summary describes how Mike used concepts from </span><em>Don’t Eat the Bruises </em><span>by Keith Mitnik to obtain justice for his client.</span>","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":14101839931,"title":"$6.49 Million Verdict for Severe PTSD and Depression Using Keith Mitnik’s \u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises\u003c\/em\u003e","created_at":"2018-10-23T16:32:43-04:00","body_html":"\u003cp\u003eWashington attorneys Michael Fisher and Daniel Kyler recently obtained a $6.49 million verdict on behalf of a father of eight who was permanently disabled after being exposed to ammonia gas. They were assisted in the case by attorney Tamara Clower. We asked Mike to share a few thoughts on how his team obtained this substantial verdict. The following summary describes how Mike used concepts from \u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises\u003c\/em\u003e by Keith Mitnik to obtain justice for his client.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHere are the details from Michael Fisher:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Case\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSteve Crow worked for a large timber company for over thirty years, primarily at a truck yard operated by his employer. The truck yard was located next to a pulp mill operated by a different company. The pulp mill received regular deliveries of various hazardous chemicals and materials, including aqua ammonia. These deliveries were made by the defendant, James J. Williams Bulk Haul Transport, a trucking company that was licensed and certified to transport and deliver hazardous materials.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOne day, Mr. Crow was standing in front of a building at the truck yard talking with three coworkers. At the same time, a driver for the defendant was making a delivery of aqua ammonia to the pulp mill. On this day, the driver was in a hurry. Rather than using the filter system, called a “scrubber,” as he was supposed to before driving away from his delivery, the driver vented the remaining pressure and ammonia gas from his tanker trailer into the air. The evidence in the case supported the conclusion that the driver may have vented up to the entire 18 psi of ammonia gas from his tanker trailer into the air as he drove away from the pulp mill’s storage tank.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAll of a sudden, Mr. Crow and his coworkers were hit with the invisible gas. They immediately lost their breath and began violently coughing. Mr. Crow’s three coworkers ran into a nearby building and shut the door. Mr. Crow jumped into his truck, and began to drive away from the area. It was a hot day and the air conditioner in his truck was on high. Because Mr. Crow was unaware of the source of the gas, he unknowingly drove to an area that was closer to the location where the defendant’s driver was venting the ammonia gas. The air conditioner in Mr. Crow’s truck sucked additional ammonia gas into the confined area of the interior of the truck, making his exposure greater than his coworkers. His eyes, nose, and throat burned, he could not breathe, he was becoming delirious, and he almost blacked out. Mr. Crow was in a panic and feared for his life. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThough they described the exposure incident as terrible, the three coworkers had no appreciable injuries. Mr. Crow suffered burns and scarring to his corneas and damage to his airway resulting in reactive airway disease. By far the most devastating were the psychological injuries that Mr. Crow suffered. He developed severe PTSD and major depression as a result of the incident. Within six months of the gas exposure, Mr. Crow was suicidal and was admitted to the psych ward at a hospital for a period of time to treat his debilitating PTSD and depression. Five years after the gas exposure, Mr. Crow continued to suffer from severe PTSD and severe depression. Mr. Crow is now permanently disabled due to reactive airway disease and his psychological problems resulting from the incident.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOne particularly troubling aspect of PTSD is that the patient frequently relives the traumatic event, especially when triggered by stimuli, thus becoming retraumatized again. For Mr. Crow, his breathing difficulties and the coughing associated with his reactive airway disease causes him to frequently relive the gas exposure event. Because of this, we did not have Mr. Crow present at trial at any time except to testify.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe presented lay testimony from Mr. Crow’s wife, four of his eight children, and six friends from the community about the differences in Mr. Crow before and after the gas exposure incident.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Claim\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe fact that Mr. Crow and his three coworkers were exposed to a gas or chemical was not in dispute. Although the defendants agreed that Mr. Crow and his coworkers were exposed to some kind of gas or chemical, they disputed the specific gas or chemical and its source. Mr. Crow brought claims against the trucking company and the pulp mill for negligence and strict liability for an abnormally dangerous activity. He alleged that one or both of the defendants was the cause of the gas exposure incident.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defendant’s truck driver admitted that he vented ammonia gas into the atmosphere, but claimed that an employee of the pulp mill gave him permission to do so—which was never corroborated. All of the witnesses from the pulp mill denied giving the defendant truck driver permission to vent ammonia gas to the atmosphere.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe pulp mill was dismissed from the case in 2017, and the trucking company was the sole defendant on the case at trial.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Defendant’s Favorite Facts \u0026amp; How We Put Them into Context (Methods from \u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises)\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe system set forth in \u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises \u003c\/em\u003ehas three parts:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e(1) eliminate the defendant’s favorite facts\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e(2) if you can’t eliminate them, own them if possible\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e(3) put the defendant’s favorite facts in context\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe were not able to eliminate or own any of the defendant’s favorite facts so we focused on putting their favorite facts into context, beginning with our opening statement.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e1.\u003cstrong\u003e Favorite Fact: \u003c\/strong\u003eAll of the expert witnesses agreed that ammonia gas vented into the atmosphere would dissipate and would not remain in the air for more than an hour. If the defendant could prove that this gas exposure incident occurred at 3:00 p.m. or later, it could escape liability because the ammonia gas vented by its driver prior to 2:00 p.m. would no longer have been present. The defendant argued that the employer’s investigation report stated that the gas exposure occurred at 3:00 p.m. and that the testimony of various witnesses that the gas exposure occurred towards the end of the work day supported the argument that the gas exposure occurred at 3:00 p.m. or later.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 60px;\"\u003ea.\u003cstrong\u003e In Context: \u003c\/strong\u003e“Common Sense or Coincidence.” The ammonia gas that was vented would have been present in the air for less than an hour. The evidence established that the defendant’s delivery of aqua ammonia to the pulp mill was the only delivery of ammonia that day. The pulp mill is a very large facility and the ammonia tank is located on one end of the facility, far away from the other buildings and storage tanks at the mill. There were no other gas or chemical deliveries to the area where the pulp mill’s ammonia tank was located on the day of the exposure. There was no dispute that the gas exposure occurred, and the defendant made the only delivery to that area of the pulp mill. The truck driver admitted venting ammonia gas between 1:20 and 1:40 p.m., and the ammonia gas would not be present in the air for an hour or more. Common sense tells us that the gas exposure had to have occurred prior to 2:00 p.m. The only reasonable alternative was that this was just a coincidence.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e2. \u003cstrong\u003eFavorite Fact: \u003c\/strong\u003eAmmonia has an odor that is both unique and pungent. Neither Mr. Crow nor the three exposed coworkers recalled smelling ammonia. In fact, none of the four of them could provide any description of what the gas smelled like when they were exposed. They could only describe the symptoms that they experienced. The defendant argued that Mr. Crow must have been exposed to some other gas from some other source because he did not smell ammonia. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 60px;\"\u003ea. In\u003cstrong\u003e Context: \u003c\/strong\u003e“Common Sense or Coincidence.” A fifth coworker was not “exposed” to the gas but smelled it and described the smell alternatively as a “chemical smell like a swimming pool” and a “horrible ammonia smell.” When the gas exposure occurred, the effect on Mr. Crow and his coworkers was immediate and therefore it is highly unlikely that they even had a chance to smell the gas before they were severely effected by the exposure. The one worker who was not overcome by the gas reported it smelled like ammonia. Common sense tells us that the gas exposure was caused by the ammonia gas the defendant admittedly vented. The only reasonable alternative was that this was just a coincidence.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e3. \u003cstrong\u003eFavorite Fact: \u003c\/strong\u003eAfter the gas exposure incident occurred, Mr. Crow and one of his coworkers sought medical treatment. Because they were injured on the job they were covered by Workers’ Compensation and were accompanied to their medical treatment by a supervisor. When the supervisor asked Mr. Crow and his coworker what time the gas exposure occurred, they said they did not know. The supervisor put the time of the incident down as 3:45 p.m., the end of their work shift that day. Mr. Crow and his coworker signed the forms, ostensibly attesting that the information was correct. The defendant argued that this was further proof that the gas exposure occurred after 3:00 p.m.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 60px;\"\u003ea. \u003cstrong\u003eIn\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e Context: \u003c\/strong\u003eThe time of 3:45 p.m. indicated in the workers' compensation forms filled out by the supervisor was not an accurate recording of what time the gas exposure occurred. The supervisor had to ask Mr. Crow and his coworker what time the exposure occurred, proving that he did not know himself. Mr. Crow relied on his supervisor to fill out the worker's comp form correctly. He wasn't concerned about the timing when he told the supervisor he “didn’t know” what time the exposure had occurred, he was concerned about his health and getting in to see a doctor.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 60px;\"\u003eb. Additionally, after the gas exposure, Mr. Crow and his coworker did some additional work. The work took about two hours and they left at 3:45 p.m., so the gas exposure could not have happened at 3:00 or later. The coworker confirmed this.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e4. \u003cstrong\u003eFavorite Fact: \u003c\/strong\u003eThe defendant’s industrial hygiene expert prepared a computer model of the ammonia gas vented by the driver. According to the defense expert, the computer model established that the concentration of ammonia gas that would have reached Mr. Crow and his coworkers was not high enough to have caused any injuries.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 60px;\"\u003ea. \u003cstrong\u003eIn Context: \u003c\/strong\u003e“Cross-Examine the Defense Expert in Opening Statement.” Because this case was tried in federal court we were only permitted 15 minutes of voir dire. Therefore, we were unable to employ any of the voir dire concepts from \u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises. \u003c\/em\u003eHowever, we were able to use the concept of cross-examining the defense industrial hygienist in opening statement as follows:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 90px;\"\u003ei. \u003cem\u003eYou are going to hear from some expert witnesses in this case. Both sides hire and pay expert witnesses to testify at trial. Some of the experts are here to educate you and some experts are here because they are master persuaders. You are going to have to decide whether the experts are here to educate you or to persuade you on some issue.\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 90px;\"\u003eii. \u003cem\u003eNow, the defendant picked and paid a lady named Stephanie Carter, who has a degree in industrial hygiene to testify in this case. Let me tell you about her. She has done a lot of work in areas such as welding and cutting in confined spaces and in aluminum smelter facilities. Her resume doesn’t list any work with Pulp Mills but they hired her for this case. She is going to tell you this is all a big coincidence. That even though there is no dispute that Mr. Crow and his coworkers were exposed to a harmful gas, and even though the defendant admits it vented aqua ammonia gas, she will claim that it is unlikely that the amount of ammonia gas vented by the defendant would cause the injuries suffered by Mr. Crow.\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 90px;\"\u003eiii. \u003cem\u003eYou will hear that she used a computer modeling program called Aloha to try and model this gas exposure but she will admit that the Aloha program is not designed to analyze smaller gas releases, especially those involving aqua ammonia. You will also hear that she had to make a number of assumptions for many of the variables that go into the modeling calculation because she didn’t know the true data for those variables.\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 90px;\"\u003eiv. \u003cem\u003eWe are not going to bring in paid experts to try and persuade you about things when they have no ability to give an accurate or precise answer. As you will hear from multiple witnesses, computer modeling cannot be used for a moving truck that is venting. Aloha only works for a fixed release point when all of the variables that go into the calculation are known. Since the Aloha program cannot give an accurate or reliable model of this gas exposure we didn’t waste your time by bringing in a paid expert to talk to you about it.\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"\u003e5. \u003cstrong\u003eFavorite Fact: \u003c\/strong\u003eOn June 22, 2017, ten days after trial was supposed to have begun and one month before the new trial date, the defendant produced an “addendum” report from its industrial hygiene expert stating that data from the pulp mill’s computer system had recorded that a sensor located near where Mr. Crow and his coworkers were standing had recorded a small spike in sulfur dioxide at 3:03 pm. The defendant argued that the small spike in sulfur dioxide at 3:03 p.m. was consistent with the employer’s investigation report that the gas exposure occurred at 3:00 p.m. and that the sulfur dioxide was the source of the gas exposure incident.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"padding-left: 60px;\"\u003ea.\u003cstrong\u003e In Context: \u003c\/strong\u003e“Red Herring Argument made at the Eleventh Hour out of Desperation.” The defendant knew it was going to trial as the sole defendant, with no evidence of any other source for this gas exposure other than their own admitted venting of ammonia gas. In early June of 2017, the defense industrial hygiene expert was told to find something, anything, at 3:00 p.m. or later that the defendant could argue was the source of this gas exposure. The only thing the defense expert could point to was the data from one sensor showing a small spike in sulfur dioxide at 3:03 pm. This computer data had been in the possession of both parties for ten months at that point. The particular sensor that recorded this data was located outside of the pulp mill property and had not been maintained or calibrated for years so any data it recorded was not accurate or reliable. Given the characteristics of the data, other witnesses had dismissed the data of the small spike of sulfur dioxide as instrument noise rather than a true gas reading. The defense expert had ostensibly come to the same conclusion as she did not even mention the spike in her first expert report issued ten months earlier. Throughout the discovery and depositions in this case, no one ever raised or discussed this small spike until one month prior to trial. This point was made in opening statement and during witness exams. We did not discuss or even mention the spike in Closing Argument but did address it in rebuttal closing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Conclusion\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMr. Crow’s past medical expenses were roughly $193,600. His future life care plan was estimated to be around $930,900. He incurred approximately $194,000 in past lost earnings, and his future lost earnings are estimated at $369,400.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe trial lasted two weeks. Closing arguments finished at the end of the day on a Friday. The jury was sent home and came back the following Monday to begin deliberations. After one and a half days of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $6.49 million. This included $3.12 million in noneconomic damages for Crow’s past and future pain and suffering, $1.56 million to his wife for loss of consortium, $1.3 million for future economic damages, $400,000 for past economic damages, and $110,000 to three of the couple’s minor children for damages to the parent–child relationship.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eClick below and discover how you can apply the methods used by Michael Fisher, Daniel Kyler, and Tamara Clower in your next case: \u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Melanie Becic","user_id":25485803579,"published_at":"2018-10-23T18:30:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-25T13:16:24-04:00","summary_html":"\u003cspan\u003eWashington attorneys Michael Fisher and Daniel Kyler recently obtained a $6.49 million verdict on behalf of a father of eight who was permanently disabled after being exposed to ammonia gas. They were assisted in the case by attorney Tamara Clower. We asked Mike to share a few thoughts on how his team obtained this substantial verdict. The following summary describes how Mike used concepts from \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises \u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003eby Keith Mitnik to obtain justice for his client.\u003c\/span\u003e","template_suffix":null,"handle":"6-49-million-verdict-for-severe-ptsd-and-depression-using-keith-mitnik-s-don-t-eat-the-bruises","tags":"Verdict","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-24T16:25:19-04:00","alt":"","width":1492,"height":520,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Screen_Shot_2018-10-24_at_1.23.48_PM.png?v=1540412719"}}},{"id" : 12972195899,"title" : "Help The Southern Poverty Law Center Fight 
for Justice","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "community-programs", "tag" : "Community Programs" },{ "tagHandle" : "nick-rowley", "tag" : "Nick Rowley" },{ "tagHandle" : "product-launches", "tag" : "Product Launches" },{ "tagHandle" : "verdict", "tag" : "Verdict" }],"articleYear" : 2018,"articleMonth" : "August","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/help-the-southern-poverty-law-center-fight-for-justice","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/pillars_955_1024x1024.jpg?v=1533749389","articleDate" : "August 6, 2018","articleExcerpt" : "Amid a landscape of fear and uncertainty for immigrants, the call for lawyers to help join the fight for civil rights is greater than ever. This is not just a call to fight for immigration rights but a call to fight for every citizens’ right to due process and the protection of our constitution.   All people in the United States deserve fair and humane treatment and have a right to due process under the United States Constitution. Most who are faced with deportation do not have access to legal representation, which has been shown to make a significant difference...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":12972195899,"title":"Help The Southern Poverty Law Center Fight \u2028for Justice","created_at":"2018-08-06T18:19:31-04:00","body_html":"\u003cp class=\"p1\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"s1\"\u003eAmid a landscape of fear and uncertainty for immigrants, the call for lawyers to help join the fight for civil rights is greater than ever. This is not just a call to fight for immigration rights but a call to fight for every citizens’ right to due process and the protection of our constitution.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\r\n\u003cp class=\"p2\"\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\r\n\u003cp class=\"p1\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"s1\"\u003eAll people in the United States deserve fair and humane treatment and have a right to due process under the United States Constitution. Most who are faced with deportation do not have access to legal representation, which has been shown to make a significant difference in the outcome of their cases. Without a lawyer present at court proceedings, immigrants face judgments that are made out of a desire to get things done quickly and are often clouded with racism and personal bias. The only way to hold judges, courts, and officers accountable is to make sure that every person gets a fair trial by providing legal representation to hold these decision-makers accountable.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\r\n\u003cp class=\"p2\"\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\r\n\u003cp class=\"p1\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"s1\"\u003eWhy do we need your help? As a lawyer, you have the ability to be the most effective force to fight back and hold the government accountable. This is not just an attack on immigration rights. It is an attack on civil and legal rights that we must protect for all citizens.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\r\n\u003cp class=\"p2\"\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\r\n\u003cp class=\"p1\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"s1\"\u003eThe Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has enacted a new pro bono project called the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) that will provide free legal representation to immigrants who are facing deportation proceedings in the Southeast. They will enlist and train lawyers to represent those immigrants who are currently facing deportation proceedings. We encourage all attorneys with the time or resources to support the SPLC and their initiative as we believe it will make an important difference in this fight for basic human rights. We must come together to protect the most fundamental values that our country was founded upon.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2018-08-06T18:19:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-08-08T13:29:49-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"help-the-southern-poverty-law-center-fight-for-justice","tags":"Community Programs, Nick Rowley, Product Launches, Verdict","image":{"created_at":"2018-08-08T13:29:49-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/pillars_955.jpg?v=1533749389"}}},{"id" : 12972949563,"title" : "Jury Bias Model™ and Bottom-Up Preparation","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "community-programs", "tag" : "Community Programs" },{ "tagHandle" : "nick-rowley", "tag" : "Nick Rowley" },{ "tagHandle" : "product-launches", "tag" : "Product Launches" },{ "tagHandle" : "verdict", "tag" : "Verdict" }],"articleYear" : 2018,"articleMonth" : "July","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/jury-bias-model™-and-bottom-up-preparation","articleImageURL" : "","articleDate" : "July 18, 2018","articleExcerpt" : "Bias is an inclination or prejudice in favor of or against something, a person, a group or thought when compared to another. Often, it is considered to be unfair. Bias can work for or against you. Everyone has feelings, beliefs and attitudes that color their perceptions of the world. Identifying how potential jurors make judgments, form opinions and explain behavior is critical to the outcome of your trial. When a potential juror holds a bias that is key to the issues inherent to your case, the potential juror cannot be expected to evaluate the evidence objectively and is a poor...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":12972949563,"title":"Jury Bias Model™ and Bottom-Up Preparation","created_at":"2018-08-06T19:23:09-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eBias is an inclination or prejudice in favor of or against something, a person, a group or thought when compared to another. Often, it is considered to be unfair. Bias can work for or against you. Everyone has feelings, beliefs and attitudes that color their perceptions of the world. Identifying how potential jurors make judgments, form opinions and explain behavior is critical to the outcome of your trial. When a potential juror holds a bias that is key to the issues inherent to your case, the potential juror cannot be expected to evaluate the evidence objectively and is a poor candidate to serve on that particular jury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eThe filters through which jurors receive and process information are firmly ingrained, shaped by a lifetime of familial, social and political influences. Jurors will not change their predispositions and attitudes about the world to fit your trial story.\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eThe Jury Bias Model™\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eprovides powerful insights into how to analyze your case, and how jurors are likely to think and feel about the issues raised in the case. It teaches you to prepare your trial story to overcome prejudices against your client and take advantage of biases in your client’s favor. There are a variety of research tools to assist you, including focus groups, mock trials, public opinion surveys, metaphorical research, and structural integration.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eThe\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eJury Bias Model™\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis based largely on the perceptual lenses that jurors apply in deciding cases – lenses that often bias juror decision making. It helps trial attorneys identify possible biases by using scientific and psychosocial methods to gather and evaluate information from potential jurors.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eIn today’s tort reform environment, a large segment of the public has adopted negative attitudes about plaintiffs, their lawyers and the civil justice system. Tort reform advocates have done such a thorough job of implanting biases in many potential jurors that it is virtually impossible for those individuals to overcome their bias in a jury situation.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eThe\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eJury Bias Model™\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ewas created specifically to help you identify issues that jurors care about and identify potential jurors who hold dangerous biases. Employing the Model will reduce the impact of years of tort reform propaganda. It teaches you to use tort reform’s themes and rhetoric to your advantage beginning with discovery, trial strategy and preparation, jury questioning, and throughout every phase of trial preparation and presentation.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eTime and again, we have observed how applying the\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eJury Bias Model™\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecan stem the tide of jury bias. Every attorney knows “Winning Works”! We believe that our psychological approach to preparing plaintiffs’ cases and fighting for courtroom justice may be creating a paradigm shift in American trial practice.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eWe all would be happy to believe there is a single, universal truth waiting to be discovered by those who have all of the necessary facts. We think, “If only the jurors are able to understand this set of facts, the conclusion will be obvious, and truth and justice shall prevail.” There is comfort in believing that if everyone had access to the same information, everyone would agree. Yet we know, and our experience proves that this is just not the case. In social science, this is called naïve realism, which is the tendency to believe that if others had the same information we have they would come to the same conclusion. If they don’t, then they are unreasonable or just wrong. This is the fail-safe most of us take when we deal with someone who disagrees with us. We think they are either misinformed or irrational.\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/2018\/07\/12\/jury-bias-model-and-bottom-up-preparation\/#_edn1\" name=\"_ednref1\"\u003e\u003csup\u003e[i]\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eIn reality, different people with access to the same information and the same presentation of facts, reach different conclusions. Jurors reach different conclusions about what is true because they start from different places. Our different beliefs influence how we perceive and assemble new information about the world around us. There may be no such thing as objective facts. Facts are observed, perceived and understood by individual jurors according to the juror’s own needs, attitudes, beliefs, makeup, experiences and schemas.\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/2018\/07\/12\/jury-bias-model-and-bottom-up-preparation\/#_edn2\" name=\"_ednref2\"\u003e\u003csup\u003e[ii]\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eThe facts and the law are important to the outcome of your case, but they are often not as important as the juror’s beliefs and whether the trial story is consistent with those beliefs. If your story conflicts with jurors’ beliefs and expectations, the best facts and strongest case law may not get you there.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBottom-Up Preparation and Preparing to Win\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis a different way of preparing your case to enhance your likelihood of achieving your goal for your client.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWorking with bottom-up preparation results in an active process of looping back and forth to the facts, the frame, the sequence, discovering schema, developing ideas, and testing them against the research and data. Revise the ideas, rebuild the frame, and reorder the sequence. If it fails—rebuild it again. The core of the process is listening to what the potential jury thinks important, not what you think important. When you know what matters to the jury, you can frame and position your case to match the jury’s thinking as much as possible. Bottom-Up Preparation is a step-by-step approach that works!\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"blogpost\"\u003eYou already know how to prove your case according to the law. Using the\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eJury Bias Model™, Framing\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eBottom-Up Preparation\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ewill help you understand how to prove your case to jurors.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2018-07-18T00:00:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-08-06T19:23:09-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"jury-bias-model™-and-bottom-up-preparation","tags":""}},{"id" : 13060309051,"title" : "Fighting for the People | Gerry Spence at TEDx JacksonHole 2016","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "book-review", "tag" : "Book Review" },{ "tagHandle" : "community-programs", "tag" : "Community Programs" },{ "tagHandle" : "gerry-spence", "tag" : "Gerry Spence" }],"articleYear" : 2017,"articleMonth" : "December","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/fighting-for-the-people-gerry-spence-at-tedx-jacksonhole-2016","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/blog_TEDx_Spence_1024x1024.jpg?v=1533925773","articleDate" : "December 6, 2017","articleExcerpt" : "Renowned trial lawyer Gerry Spence reflects on justice in a powerful personal retrospective. Gerry Spence has been called the greatest trial lawyer of a generation. Decades of excellence in the courtroom give him an unparalleled vision and continued voice. In fact, the courtrooms of America serve as muse and inspiration for his books, poems, award winning photography and visual art. He continues his journey in fighting injustice through the foundation of his Trial Lawyer’s College, begun in 1994, which educated thousands of warriors dedicated to the pursuit of justice on behalf of real people. This talk was given at a...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13060309051,"title":"Fighting for the People | Gerry Spence at TEDx JacksonHole 2016","created_at":"2018-08-10T14:29:33-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRenowned trial lawyer Gerry Spence reflects on justice in a powerful personal retrospective. Gerry Spence has been called the greatest trial lawyer of a generation. Decades of excellence in the courtroom give him an unparalleled vision and continued voice. In fact, the courtrooms of America serve as muse and inspiration for his books, poems, award winning photography and visual art. He continues his journey in fighting injustice through the foundation of his Trial Lawyer’s College, begun in 1994, which educated thousands of warriors dedicated to the pursuit of justice on behalf of real people.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/ted.com\/tedx\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eTEDx Program\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/QMrjQNfd-J8\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"autoplay; encrypted-media\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2017-12-06T00:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-08-10T14:30:26-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"fighting-for-the-people-gerry-spence-at-tedx-jacksonhole-2016","tags":"Book Review, Community Programs, Gerry Spence","image":{"created_at":"2018-08-10T14:29:33-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/blog_TEDx_Spence.jpg?v=1533925773"}}},{"id" : 13060243515,"title" : "Breaking Tradition","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "book-review", "tag" : "Book Review" },{ "tagHandle" : "charles-day", "tag" : "Charles Day" }],"articleYear" : 2017,"articleMonth" : "December","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/breaking-tradition","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Fearless_1024x1024.jpg?v=1533924552","articleDate" : "December 6, 2017","articleExcerpt" : "By Charles W. Day Originally published in the February 2017 issue of Trial. A great sculptor must be an artist, not a mere stonecutter. And a great trial lawyer must be a storyteller, not a mere inquisitor. The traditional view of cross-examination is that attorneys should limit themselves to leading questions to expose contradictions—and then wait until closing argument to lay them bare. In The Fearless Cross-Examiner, Patrick Malone breathes new life into cross-examination. He does not confine himself to leading questions. He does not ask only questions to which he knows the answer. He does not wait until closing...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13060243515,"title":"Breaking Tradition","created_at":"2018-08-10T14:09:12-04:00","body_html":"By Charles W. Day\r\nOriginally published in the February 2017 issue of Trial.\r\n\r\nA great sculptor must be an artist, not a mere stonecutter. And a great trial lawyer must be a storyteller, not a mere inquisitor. The traditional view of cross-examination is that attorneys should limit themselves to leading questions to expose contradictions—and then wait until closing argument to lay them bare.\r\n\r\nIn The Fearless Cross-Examiner, Patrick Malone breathes new life into cross-examination. He does not confine himself to leading questions. He does not ask only questions to which he knows the answer. He does not wait until closing argument to hammer home the point to the jury. He does not focus on narrow discrepancies in testimony but rather on fundamental contradictions that underlie credibility.\r\n\r\nMalone’s thesis is that cross-examination can be destructive but also creative. Using court transcripts, he shows that opportunities exist for you to advance your client’s theory of the case while your opponent’s theory crumbles. The author sets up this thesis by using and extending his approach in Rules of the Road: Set up a commonsense rule that no person could disagree with, obtain the witness’s assent, and then force him or her to admit that the rule was broken.\r\n\r\nFor example, Malone does a good job explaining how to expose the conflict between an expert’s supposed objectivity and genuine bias and using these contradictions to support a larger narrative of self-serving testimony. The lawyer must demonstrate not only bias but also bad motives—the big picture, not just the minor discrepancies.\r\n\r\nWhile experts get paid for testifying, plaintiff attorneys need to show that certain experts may be improperly motivated—such as a doctor whose principal source of income is testifying regularly for the defense, who last practiced years ago, whose credentials are no more than paper, or who never saw or treated the plaintiff.\r\n\r\nMalone’s arsenal also includes techniques such as acknowledging the witness’s expertise but showing that it is in the wrong field, or simply demonstrating that the witness is ignorant of basic case facts.\r\n\r\nAlthough the author’s examples are not entirely limited to his primary practice area (medical malpractice), his approach is heavily weighted toward expert examination. Additional discussion about cross-examining unpredictable lay witnesses—when expert reports, authoritative texts, and even deposition transcripts are not available—would be welcome, as would further development of Malone’s brief discussion of the cognitive psychology behind cross-examination. As a tool for dissecting expert testimony, however, Malone’s surgical approach is sharp and efficient.\r\n\r\nCharles W. Day is the founder of The Day Law Practice in Rockville, Md. He can be reached at billday@daylawpractice.com\r\nReprinted with permission of Trial® (February 2017) copyright © 2017 American Association for Justice www.justice.org\/publications\r\n\r\n","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2017-12-06T00:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-08-10T14:09:12-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"breaking-tradition","tags":"Book Review, Charles Day","image":{"created_at":"2018-08-10T14:09:12-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Fearless.jpg?v=1533924552"}}},{"id" : 12973015099,"title" : "Book Review: Don’t Eat the Bruises Reviewed in The Verdict","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2017,"articleMonth" : "November","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/book-review-don-t-eat-the-bruises-reviewed-in-the-verdict","articleImageURL" : "","articleDate" : "November 27, 2017","articleExcerpt" : "Don’t Eat the Bruises: How to Foil Their Plans to Spoil Your Case Having a mentor is critical to a young lawyer’s development and growth. Throughout my 18 year career, I have been fortunate to learn from one of the best lawyers in the business-Ric Domnitz. While I will never be able to deliver a summation as effectively as Ric; nor cross-examine a witness as well-nor handle any aspect of the litigation process as well as Ric, for that matter-I have learned a lot from Ric about interacting with people and becoming an effective advocate at every stage of the personal injury...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":12973015099,"title":"Book Review: Don’t Eat the Bruises Reviewed in The Verdict","created_at":"2018-08-06T19:36:35-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises: How to Foil Their Plans to Spoil Your Case\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHaving a mentor is critical to a young lawyer’s development and growth. Throughout my 18 year career, I have been fortunate to learn from one of the best lawyers in the business-Ric Domnitz. While I will never be able to deliver a summation as effectively as Ric; nor cross-examine a witness as well-nor handle\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eany\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003easpect of the litigation process as well as Ric, for that matter-I have learned a lot from Ric about interacting with people and becoming an effective advocate at every stage of the personal injury process. I tell you this because virtually every time I review a book for WAJ-books that address various aspects of a personal injury practice-I find myself saying to myself, “Ric advocates this same approach”, or “Ric would disagree with that technique” or “Ric would be a proponent of that method” or something similar. When filtering the contents of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003ethis\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ebook through this lens; the lens of my professional experiences and training, I can confidently assert that “Don’t Eat the Bruises” provides the reader with a thoughtful system to consider utilizing when trying a personal injury matter.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe author is certainly no stranger to trying cases and, thus, brings instant credibility to the table. While working at Florida’s biggest personal injury firm, he has established an impressive track record by trying multiple cases every year. (Apparently, he is the designated trial attorney who is called in by his partners shortly before trial to see the matter through to the verdict.) Because he has tried so many cases, he became quite familiar with the defense playbook and, as a result, began to develop “countermeasures” to combat the defense “gimmicks.” These countermeasures were eventually compiled and published in this book-a book which is the product of a lifetime spent in courtrooms employing battle-tested strategies that have been fine-tuned over many years:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“The global goal of this system is to gut the defense’s case while trying yours. Any time we rebut a defendant’s evidence, we run the risk of conceding that the case is about their issues. On the other hand, to ignore the defense arguments means to appear to have no answers to them. The strategies in this book will allow you to dismantle the defendant’s case from within the framework and themes of your case. You do not have to retreat, nor let them define the issues, to expose fatal flaws in their case”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAccording to the author, “not eating the bruises” became a metaphor for not letting a defendant spoil the fruits of our cases by exploiting bias, taking things out of context and over-emphasizing imperfections at trial-which, we all know, the defense does in every single case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis book tracks the four main parts of a trial with sections addressing voir dire, opening statement, evidence and closing argument. The book ends with a section addressing a new way to deal with the civil burden of proof. Each chapter not only includes a useful summation at the end, cleverly titled “Pairing It Down”, but also includes some samples of how the system was actually utilized in real world situations.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003ePart I, entitled “Jury Selection: Cutting Out Bias” addresses the worst bruise of all-jury bias. It defines bias, identifies bias, and addresses how to educate the jury about bias. It also addresses how you can identify those at risk for bias so you can protect your preemptory strikes by setting up potentially biased jurors for cause strikes. Part II, entitled “The Untapped Power of Opening Statements” analyzes the three-step opening system: (1) eliminate the defendant’s favorite facts when you can; (2) own their favorite facts if you cannot eliminate them; and (3) put the defense’s favorite facts in context if you cannot eliminate or own them.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003ePart III, entitled “The evidence Phase: Keeping the Lead” is the shortest section of the book and stresses maintaining the winning structure erected in Opening so as not to lose your advantage. Part IV, entitled “Closing: Bearing Fruit to the End” is “aimed at maximizing the opportunity Closing provides to excise, once and for all, the bruises the defense has been trying to inflict and exploit throughout the whole trial.” It provides some additional systems on how to eddectively utilize note cards and presents some damages models for the reader’s consideration.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt is with this section that I feel compelled to interject a note of criticism. While I have been taught; and have utilized a model similar to the “Full Disclosure” damages model, one of the other damages model suggested is a “Per Diem” model. As we in Wisconsin know, however, utilizing anything close to a “per diem” argument is strictly verboten and grounds for a mistrial. To that end, the reader should make sure that any of the suggestions made by the author are acceptable in their jurisdiction before implementing them in their own personal injury “system.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the end, I would add this book to a long list of “must read” books that can certainly help with any lawyer’s ongoing development. I am confident that my mentor would agree.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2017-11-27T00:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-08-08T18:37:02-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"book-review-don-t-eat-the-bruises-reviewed-in-the-verdict","tags":"Rick Friedman"}},{"id" : 13969162299,"title" : "Book Review: 30(b)(6) Reviewed in Minnesota Trial","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2017,"articleMonth" : "November","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/book-review-30b6-reviewed-in-minnesota-trial","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/30b6_news_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539367944","articleDate" : "November 6, 2017","articleExcerpt" : "By: Nate BjerkeOriginally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Minnesota Trial: The Journal of the Minnesota Association for Justice 30(b)(6): Deposing Corporations, Organizations &amp; the Government All of us who have ever sued a corporation, the government or any organization have, rubbing our temples, stared at stacks of discovery responses filled with objection after objection, but no real substance. We wonder, “Why won’t they just give us what we asked for?” Eventually, you may start to wonder if it’s about you; if you’re not a good enough lawyer to make them turn over what the law says they should. And...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13969162299,"title":"Book Review: 30(b)(6) Reviewed in Minnesota Trial","created_at":"2018-10-12T14:12:24-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: Nate Bjerke\u003cbr\u003eOriginally published in the Summer 2017 issue of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.mnaj.org\/\"\u003eMinnesota Trial\u003c\/a\u003e: The Journal of the Minnesota Association for Justice\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003e30(b)(6): Deposing Corporations, Organizations \u0026amp; the Government\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAll of us who have ever sued a corporation, the government or any organization have, rubbing our temples, stared at stacks of discovery responses filled with objection after objection, but no real substance. We wonder, “Why won’t they just give us what we asked for?” Eventually, you may start to wonder if it’s about you; if you’re not a good enough lawyer to make them turn over what the law says they should. And if you’re like me, you may even have days where you start to think your mom was right-you should have gone to dental school. If we’re being brutally honest with ourselves, the frustration that pains us comes from feeling powerless.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBut we are far from powerless-the tools are in the Rules, we just need to know how to use them. I have yet to meet a lawyer who knows the rules and how to use them to get to the truth better than Mark Kosieradzki. In his book, Mark shares what he has learned and perfected through decades of hard work, determination, and legal genius to cut through the rubbish and get to the truth.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark has seen and solved every discovery problem we all face, from wiggly witnesses, to lawyers coaching deposition testimony, to hide-the-ball objections. This book tells you how to deal with all of it-professionally and effectively.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI don’t care if you are in your first or 50th year of practice, if you read this book, you will be infinitely better equipped to get the truth-telling evidence you need to fight for your clients-in other words, to take back the power. Mark’s book has become required reading for every trial lawyer in our firm.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark also shows us we have the power to get to the truth efficiently and cost-effectively. Gone are the days of needing to depose 20 corporate witnesses who may or may not offer testimony that binds the company. Using Mark’s techniques, you have the power to get straight answers from a single witness who binds the company.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLawyers representing organizations, this book is for you too. After doing corporate work for 12 years, I understand the struggles and pressures to not only win, but to win cost-effectively and with minimal disruption to your client’s everyday business. Understanding 30(b)(6) and how you can use it to product one-rather than 10-witnesses saves your client’s time and money. Your clients will not have to produce every technician, staff person or employee who was involved in a process or decision for which they are being sued. Instead, they select the witness or witnesses to speak on behalf of the company. Mark’s book also summarizes the law on what is and is not proper conduct under the rules to help organizations avoid discovery fights that can lead to sanctions and other fights that don’t make our judges happy.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI read more books on trial practice and litigation than novels. I have one shelf that houses those precious few law books I read over and over, whenever I get stuck or need direction. Mark’s book, complete with all of my added dog-ears, tabs, notes, and highlights, has earned a permanent spot on that shelf.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eNate Bjerke is a Personal Injury attorney with TSR Injury Law in Minneapolis, MN. He can be reached at nate@tsrinjurylaw.com\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e*Reprinted with permission of Minnesota Trial (Summer 2017) copyright © 2017 Minnesota Association for Justice\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.mnaj.org\/\"\u003ewww.mnaj.org\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2017-11-06T14:11:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T14:12:24-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"book-review-30b6-reviewed-in-minnesota-trial","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T14:12:24-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/30b6_news.jpg?v=1539367944"}}},{"id" : 13969227835,"title" : "Nick Rowley Dons A Chicken Costume For Justice","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2017,"articleMonth" : "March","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/nick-rowley-dons-a-chicken-costume-for-justice","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Rowley_chicken_suit_943x282_3855af7f-6a00-400d-95fe-1d0b39e6c14a_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539369116","articleDate" : "March 15, 2017","articleExcerpt" : "As America’s leading litigation publisher, we hear a lot of great trial stories. After all, we publish the best trial lawyers in the country—including more Inner Circle of Advocate members than all of the other legal publishing companies combined. But when we heard about one of Nick Rowley’s recent trials, we had a hard time believing it. Then we received the pictures. But first, a bit of background about why we think this story helps our customers think outside the box to do a better job for their clients. “The Golden Rule” prevents most of us from asking jurors to...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13969227835,"title":"Nick Rowley Dons A Chicken Costume For Justice","created_at":"2018-10-12T14:31:56-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs America’s leading litigation publisher, we hear a lot of great trial stories. After all, we publish the best trial lawyers in the country—including more Inner Circle of Advocate members than all of the other legal publishing companies combined. But when we heard about one of Nick Rowley’s recent trials, we had a hard time believing it. Then we received the pictures.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBut first, a bit of background about why we think this story helps our customers think outside the box to do a better job for their clients.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“The Golden Rule” prevents most of us from asking jurors to put themselves in our client’s shoes. So how do we get decision-makers to understand our client’s true losses? The problem may not be due to the Golden Rule’s limitations, but instead with the limitations we place on ourselves when trying cases. The better question may be: How can we, as lawyers, understand our client’s losses so well that we can provide a very real presentation of their story that ignites a juror to appropriately compensate our client for their losses?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe wanted to share a remarkable story about the methods used by Trial Guides author Nick Rowley to step into his client’s shoes in a recent trial that made national headlines. The story shows how Nick is willing to try cases in a way that, while unconventional, is key to helping jurors identify with the plaintiff without Nick ever asking it of them. We believe it is Nick’s innovative methods, as discussed in his book and videos, that have resulted in his string of stunning verdicts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eIn what is almost certainly a first, Nick gave part of his closing statement in a full-sized chicken costume.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe case involved a high school student who was convinced to wear the chicken mascot suit of a rival opposing high school for a pep rally skit. When he went on the basketball court during the pep rally, two students hit him and knocked him over. Concerned for his safety, Nick’s client told a school administrator he did not want to go back on the court out of concern he could be injured.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe administrator told him to go back out or he would have to personally pay for the suit rental. When Nick’s client went back on the court with limited sight and sound while wearing the outfit, he was attacked by a swarm of students including the varsity football team, who tackled him, punched him repeatedly, body slammed him, and then piled on top of him on the hardwood floor. Nick’s client sustained a mild traumatic brain injury with associated damage to his pituitary gland resulting in hormonal changes that will result in permanent health issues, including growth hormone deficiencies. He experienced cognitive changes that resulted in falling grades, as well as anxiety, depression, and behavioral changes. Rowley told the jurors, “the boy that left that morning to go to school never came back home.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe school denied any prior incidents like this in discovery. But through investigation, the legal team uncovered that this had not been the first attack of its kind at that high school. In 2005, a teacher from the same school had worn a costume of an opposing team’s mascot, was similarly hurt and ended up with a torn rotator cuff, five broken ribs, and back injuries. Despite this history, the school never warned Nick’s client of the danger, and badgered him into going on the court even after the initial assault. Moreover, the lawsuit alleged that the school neglected to quickly intervene after students attacked Nick’s client, leaving him to sustain more serious injuries.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe trial lawyers in this case were Nick and his close friend Joseph Low—a fellow instructor at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Prior to Nick and Joseph taking the case over, the best offer was a $50,000 “nuisance offer.” The trial team was brought in only two weeks before trial, by which time multiple focus groups had returned a defense verdict.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThere were multiple problematic facts, multiple causation issues, and the injuries were not as well documented as they had hoped. The factual problems in the case included no loss of consciousness displayed on the video of the event, the brain injury diagnosis was delayed, a history of other concussions, issues with experts, and more. The client’s medical bills prior to trial totaled $103,000. With two weeks until trial, the file contained forty-four depositions comprising 6,600 pages—in addition to the medical records. But Nick and Joseph, who have a history of success trying traumatic brain injury cases, felt strongly about their client’s case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defense made no further attempts to settle the case and didn’t take Nick and Joseph’s involvement seriously. They treated the client’s injuries as a joke even though there was video demonstrating the attack. A new defense lawyer was brought in late in an attempt to stop Nick.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe plaintiff team, used to having shadow jurors in the courtroom on behalf of defendants did something that proved useful. They hired one of their focus group participants to come to trial and work as a shadow juror for the plaintiff. Joseph picked the one focus group member who was against their case from the beginning and fought them the entire way. He was unemployed, young, and skeptical. But he was also thoughtful, detailed, and helpful with his criticisms of the case. His feedback during the trial proved incredibly valuable.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDespite having just finished (and winning) another trial the week before, Nick handled voir dire. Joseph Low did the opening and first witnesses. Low’s opening was compelling and set the tone for the trial. On the first day of trial, the defense made a $1 million offer. Nick told them he wouldn’t accept less than eight figures, so the trial continued. In the liability phase of the bifurcated case, the defense made an offer for $1.25 million and then $1.5 million. Nick and Joseph declined. Nick would call the adjustor on the east coast every day and tell her that the defense was going to lose.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defense was that the plaintiff volunteered to wear the costume, and that the client was “motivated by greed for money to tell absurd stories in an effort to justify how this went down.” Defense counsel told jurors they had been “treated to an absurd and incredible story, which has been told by [the client] and his counsel, which is not worthy of your belief.” He then blamed the plaintiff for being attacked.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThroughout the trial, Nick asked defense witnesses to put on the costume to see what it was like for his client. None of them would step into his client’s position by putting on the suit. Jurors apparently recognized the refusal of the defendants to put themselves in the shoes of the injured boy. During his closing statement, Nick decided it was time to do it himself. Twenty minutes into his closing he grabbed the suit and started to put it on. As he got in the chicken suit he told the jury what it was like, being isolated in the smelly suit that was the same one rented by the school on the day his client was attacked. Defense counsel objected that it was improper, but the judge overruled the objection on the condition that it was “done respectfully and as a rhetorical device.” Nick continued to put on the suit, and talked about the limited ability to see and hear once he was inside the suit, and the horrible smell of the costume that still had his client’s blood stains in it—creating a scene for the jury that helped them imagine what it was like to be his client at the time he was attacked. His method of conveying how vulnerable his client was helped the jurors connect with the client’s experience. Joseph said afterward, “he was able to cause the jury to reverse rolls with the guy inside.“\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defense was successful in getting the judge to allow eleven names of fellow students on the verdict form for the comparative negligence decision. In his rebuttal liability closing, Nick focused on why it was the school’s fault.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn a bifurcated case, the jury first determined the school district was liable before they decided damages. The adjustor called Nick during deliberations and told him the $1.5 million offer was off the table once the jury buzzed with a verdict. Nick told her the jury would find the school 100 percent at fault, and that they would be back in one hour with that verdict. It took sixty-five minutes for the jury to find the school 100 percent liable.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe insurer offered $2.5 million and begged Nick for a counter offer. He didn’t make one, and started opening statements for the damages case. Rowley asked the jury for $45 million in the opening for damages, and put on his first damages witness—the treating psychologist. The insurer called back asking for a number below the last plaintiff offer of $8.1 million. He said no, and told her she had ten minutes to offer the policy limit of $10 million plus the $500,000 SIR. Seven minutes later, the adjustor called with an offer of $9 million and Nick said no and then hung up. The vice president of the insurer called back immediately and offered the $10.5 million. The client accepted. Rowley felt it was the right choice for his client, given threats to tie the case up in appeals for years if it wasn’t settled. He understood the client needed the money to pay for ongoing treatment costs at a brain injury facility and that he couldn’t wait for years through the appeals process.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eJoseph Low notes “The Judge, at our request, kept the jury impanelled so we could thank them and tell them about the settlement and so the school’s lawyer could make the public apology. We talked with the jury for about a half an hour and had our client come up and thank them. After we were done, the jurors lined up to come talk to us and give us hugs. The foreperson against us on liability started to cry and said that she voted against us because she felt that she could not go back and face her own school and her cheerleaders whom she coached if she had sided with the student. She was clearly biased and had snuck onto the jury as a rogue. Nick told her he totally understood and that it was okay and hugged her and she cried hysterically on his shoulder. The defense lawyer asked the entire panel, after we merely thanked them, what they would have awarded our client. They all said ’more than the settlement, a lot more.’ Most actually said they would have awarded us what Nick had asked for, $45 million, or more.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eJoseph further notes “the best part about the trial, the school district agreed to give him a public apology and to pass a rule in what is the largest school district in the state and the largest campus in the district. A rule that no opposing team mascots can be used to incite the students at pep rallies. My research revealed that this is something that has hurt students and teachers all over the country. As a result, this is likely to be a new rule adopted by learning institutions throughout the country.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDespite the “motivated by greed” secondary gain defense in the trial, an attorney for the school district admitted afterward that this incident should have never happened and that the entire school district is sorry that it did. He noted that he was certain the outcome of the case would result in a review of the district’s policies and procedures to protect students. It is only by pushing cases to trial and in effectively conveying the full scope of your client’s losses can you effect institutional change that protects people from future harm. In response Nick said, ”When a jury speaks, people listen.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eNick has collaborated with Trial Guides to create a book and videos based on his client-centric Trial by Human trial methods that help you tell the client’s story in a compelling way. Joseph Low is also featured on the DVD set\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial By Human: Jury Selection \u0026amp; Opening Statements\u003c\/em\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn addition, today we are announcing the start of Nick’s Trial By Human listserv. You must be a full time civil plaintiff or criminal defense lawyer to join. You can find the Trial by Human website and listserv signup here:\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.trialbyhuman.com\/\"\u003ewww.trialbyhuman.com\u003c\/a\u003e. The listserv features Nick Rowley teaching how to use the Trial by Human method to win your cases.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2017-03-15T00:00:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T14:31:56-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"nick-rowley-dons-a-chicken-costume-for-justice","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T14:31:56-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Rowley_chicken_suit_943x282_3855af7f-6a00-400d-95fe-1d0b39e6c14a.jpg?v=1539369116"}}},{"id" : 13969358907,"title" : "The Razor Edge of Truth at Trial","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "December","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/the-razor-edge-of-truth-at-trial","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/RazorEdge_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539369507","articleDate" : "December 28, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "By Bill DayOriginally published at daylawpractice.com. In my experience, people often do not think of law as a particularly creative pursuit. As Daniel Webster famously observed, “If he would be a great lawyer, he must first consent to become a great drudge.” It is not hard to conjure up an image of the hapless wretch poring over contracts surrounded by crumbling, dust covered, leather bound tomes, even if nowadays it is more often late nights in the pale blue glow of the flat screen. The dreary life of the law student leads to the dreary life of the highly paid corporate...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13969358907,"title":"The Razor Edge of Truth at Trial","created_at":"2018-10-12T14:37:23-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy Bill Day\u003cbr\u003eOriginally published at\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.daylawpractice.com\/blog\/2016\/9\/10\/ovdho0y7v8wj08gxnuz17so5o50sk7\"\u003edaylawpractice.com\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn my experience, people often do not think of law as a particularly creative pursuit. As Daniel Webster famously observed, “If he would be a great lawyer, he must first consent to become a great drudge.” It is not hard to conjure up an image of the hapless wretch poring over contracts surrounded by crumbling, dust covered, leather bound tomes, even if nowadays it is more often late nights in the pale blue glow of the flat screen. The dreary life of the law student leads to the dreary life of the highly paid corporate serf, trapped in a maze of rigid statutes and stale precedents.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTrial lawyers get a little more credit for flash, even if all too often it comes with a certain seedy undertone. But all of the quick tricks in front of the TV jury, the product of a one-hour police investigation and a few quick conferences, fail to capture the depth of thought, preparation, and practice necessary to conduct a successful jury trial. Too often the common perception of the trial lawyer is a person who is slick rather than sage.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHow refreshing it is, then, to come across a trial lawyer’s manual that combines a thoughtful approach with a brisk style that dispels both stereotypes. Pat Malone’s\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/the-fearless-cross-examiner\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eFearless Cross-Examiner\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ebreathes new life into the most critical and dramatic element of courtroom practice, cross-examination. He abandons the hoary flim flam of misdirecting the witness and then hiding the ball until the lawyer can safely address the jury after the hapless witness steps down. Malone shows how this approach is not only dishonest but also ineffective; the great cross-examinations he cites break all the “rules” that have been hammered into generations of law students.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMalone takes a more thoughtful and principled approach, one designed not only for greater effectiveness in the courtroom but also for restoring the reputation of cross as the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHis approach requires the lawyer to align himself with basic, generally accepted principles, well-known to lawyers under the rubric of “rules of the road.” The strategy is to confront the witness with a rule that he must embrace or look foolish and then demonstrate how that rule has been violated. Malone’s nuanced approach requires a choice among strategies, sometimes with a bit of mix and match.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eConfronted with an adverse witness, one can attempt to coopt him by bringing him around to one’s own point of view. This idea of using the adverse witness to build one’s own case runs directly contrary to the conventional wisdom that the sole purpose of cross-examination is to discredit a witness.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOf course, when a witness will not be persuaded to come around to one’s own point of view by gentle persuasion, sometimes he must be shown the error of his ways. Malone, however, refuses to be boxed into a strategy of petty contradiction based on peppering the witness with leading questions until the lawyer can pounce on some minor error or lapse of memory.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFundamentally, Malone has too much respect for the jury to engage in such petty gamesmanship. He is after bigger quarry. If the jury is going to see through the expert for hire or the recalcitrant opponent, he needs to expose fundamental bias or self-interested contradictions. Malone understands that people, juries, are interested in truth. They will forgive error, but can be terribly intolerant of dishonesty. Peeling away layer after layer of lies can be accomplished by any number of methods: demonstrating that a witness is not qualified or even that his experience does not bear on the subject at hand, that his self-interest has biased him, that he is contradicted by generally accepted authority, or even that he has tailored his more recent statements to suit his objectives at trial.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhichever method Malone selects, he is focused on telling the jury a clear and coherent story with a cogent point at the end. Not for him leaving the point of the cross until the closing argument, when the story is a distant memory. Malone is playing the high stakes game of giving the witness room to talk and an opportunity to be heard, a game that can only be won by careful planning and creative insight directed at substantial goals. The jury needs to get the big idea, not the petty point.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eVery much a how-to book for lawyers, this tightly written manual could nevertheless be profitably read by aspiring law students or even people who are simply interested in the mechanics of how the drama at trial unfolds. Highly recommended.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-12-28T14:37:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T14:38:27-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"the-razor-edge-of-truth-at-trial","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T14:38:27-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/RazorEdge.jpg?v=1539369507"}}},{"id" : 13970014267,"title" : "$21 Million Verdict with Case Framing","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "December","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/21-million-verdict-with-case-framing","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Case_framing_b641528e-5a43-4b4d-962e-65ad2be1b618_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539372899","articleDate" : "December 21, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "Rhode Island attorney Mark Mandell, the author of Case Framing, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and past president of the AAJ, recently obtained a $21 million verdict on behalf of a young mother who was permanently paralyzed from the chest down. Mark described this case as “one of the most challenging cases I’ve tried in forty-two years.” The following summary from Mark describes how he used his Case Framing method to find justice for his client. The Crash On April 24, 2010, a car crash occurred as a result of Twin River Casino’s service of alcohol to an eighteen-year-old...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970014267,"title":"$21 Million Verdict with Case Framing","created_at":"2018-10-12T15:34:59-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRhode Island attorney Mark Mandell, the author of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eCase Framing\u003c\/em\u003e, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and past president of the AAJ, recently obtained a $21 million verdict on behalf of a young mother who was permanently paralyzed from the chest down. Mark described this case as “one of the most challenging cases I’ve tried in forty-two years.” The following summary from Mark describes how he used his Case Framing method to find justice for his client.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eThe Crash\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOn April 24, 2010, a car crash occurred as a result of Twin River Casino’s service of alcohol to an eighteen-year-old customer, Alexander Arango. The crash occurred five to ten minutes after Mr. Arango left Twin River. The crash site was less than five miles from the casino.\u003cbr\u003eThe Rhode Island state troopers who responded to the crash scene observed that Mr. Arango was exhibiting the following signs of intoxication: his speech was slurred, his eyes were severely bloodshot, a moderate odor of alcohol emanated from his breath, and he was combative with the police. One of Mr. Arango’s passengers, then eighteen-year-old Alissa Moulton, suffered catastrophic injuries and is permanently paralyzed from her chest down.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eThe Claim\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMs. Moulton brought claims against Twin River Casino. She alleged that the casino violated Rhode Island’s Liquor Liability Act and was negligent under Rhode Island common law. Specifically, Ms. Moulton alleged that the casino had served alcohol to the eighteen-year-old Mr. Arango, and that he was visibly intoxicated at the time of service. She also alleged that the casino was otherwise negligent at common law by failing to monitor Mr. Arango to see if he showed signs of intoxication, by serving him to the point of intoxication, and by allowing him to leave the casino while he was visibly intoxicated and get in his car and drive.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eExperts \u0026amp; Witnesses\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe plaintiffs presented expert and fact witnesses at trial. Dr. Charles McKay, Jr., current president of the American College of Medical Toxicology, provided scientific proof that Mr. Arango had consumed alcohol during the time that he was inside Twin River Casino. Dr. McKay’s conclusion was based on the results of two blood-alcohol-level tests performed on Mr. Arango’s blood after the crash. Dr. McKay testified that Mr. Arango consumed alcohol during the time he was inside Twin River Casino and that the alcohol consumed at that time was a substantial factor in causing the crash.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTara Paster, an expert in the field of safe alcohol service, testified that Twin River’s alcohol service system failed on April 24, 2010. This system failure was the result of Twin River’s improper and inadequate alcohol service policies and procedures, Twin River’s improper and inadequate staff training, Twin River’s improper and inadequate supervision of its staff, and Twin River’s improper and inadequate investigation and discipline of its employees concerning alcohol related incidents.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eExpert witnesses testified as to the permanency and severity of Ms. Moulton’s injuries, as well as to the estimated costs of her lifelong medical care and treatment. The jury also heard testimony from fact witnesses including Ms. Moulton, Mr. Arango, the beverage server who provided the alcohol to Mr. Arango, one of the state troopers who responded to the crash site, and many others.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eThe I-Just-Can’t-Get-Over Issues\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe Case Framing method relies on identifying and focusing a case on the issues that a jury “just can’t get over.” By working to keep the jury focused on the I-just-can’t-get-over issues that were good for our case, and removing or inoculating against the I-just-can’t-get-over issues that were bad for our case, we were able to deconstruct the defense’s narrative during trial.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe good I-just-can’t-get-over issues for the plaintiffs included:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003col\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe science: based on a scientific comparison between the results of the two blood-alcohol-level tests, Dr. McKay was able to determine that Mr. Arango had to have consumed alcohol during the time he was inside the casino.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe proximity in time and distance between Twin River and the crash site: The crash occurred five to ten minutes after Mr. Arango left Twin River, and the crash site was less than five miles away from the casino.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe signs and symptoms of intoxication at the crash site: RI state troopers observed Mr. Arango to have many classic signs of intoxication at the crash site. It made sense that Mr. Arango would have been exhibiting those same signs at, and while he was leaving, Twin River.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe testimony of Mr. Arango’s companion, Jose Diaz: Mr. Diaz was with Mr. Arango almost the entire time they were at Twin River. Mr. Diaz testified that he observed Mr. Arango drinking out of a plastic cup, that Mr. Arango told Mr. Diaz he had “scored” a drink, and that Mr. Arango began exhibiting signs of intoxication shortly after he consumed the drink.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eTwin River’s inadequate staff training: plaintiffs’ expert Tara Paster relied upon a chart that showed the jury the inconsistent answers that six different Twin River beverage servers gave at deposition to questions about critically important alcohol service policies and procedures. This chart proved the inadequacy of Twin River’s training program. Importantly, the beverage server who served Mr. Arango was oftentimes an outlier on this chart, providing answers that showed a complete lack of understanding as to how to serve alcohol safely and responsibly.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ol\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe bad I-just-can’t-get-over-issues that the plaintiffs had to address and overcome included:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003col\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eMr. Arango’s statement to the police the day following the crash in which he denied drinking alcohol at Twin River, but admitted to drinking alcohol prior to arriving at Twin River.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eMr. Diaz’s statement to the police hours after the crash in which he stated that Mr. Arango did not drink at Twin River.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe testimony of Christina Sinapi, the fourth person in the group. Ms. Sinapi testified that she was within eyesight of Mr. Arango the entire time they were at the casino and that he did not drink there.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThere was no receipt or other direct proof of purchase of the drinks.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eAt the time of the crash, Mr. Arango and Ms. Moulton were in a dating relationship. By the time of trial, they were still in a romantic relationship, lived together, and had two children.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ol\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAlong with the use of motions\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003ein limine\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand reasonably effective depositions that removed the defense’s ability to call its two expert witnesses, there was one more key step we took that helped deal with the I-just-can’t-get-over issues that were bad for our case. We created a Medicare trust, with Ms. Moulton’s grandparents (we also obtained Court permission to add Ms. Moulton’s grandparents as coplaintiffs) and Comerica Bank as the trustees, before the trial. This created a way for us to prove to the jury that Mr. Arango would never directly benefit financially from any verdict the jury chose to award.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eThe Case Frame\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur overall case frame, revealed for the first time during closing argument, was “Everyone needs to do their job.” If Twin River management had done its job and implemented appropriate policies, trained and supervised its staff, and taken appropriate corrective action following alcohol related incidents, Mr. Arango would not have been served alcohol. If the beverage server had done her job and asked Mr. Arango for identification and refused him service when he did not have any ID, Mr. Arango would not have become intoxicated and impaired in his ability to operate a motor vehicle. If Twin River security had done its job and intervened when Mr. Arango left Twin River while visibly intoxicated, the crash would not have occurred.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOther supplemental case frames that we developed throughout the trial and that were mentioned in closing argument included that the casino had “turned a blind eye” to the danger it created by its inadequate policies and training, and that a “system failure” occurred due to the inadequate policies and training, and that those inadequacies made this crash “inevitable.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eConclusion\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter a five-week trial, the jury found that Twin River had violated Rhode Island’s Liquor Liability Act by serving alcohol to a minor and that the casino was negligent under the common law. The jury awarded Ms. Moulton over $13,338,000. Prejudgment interest increased the total award to over $21 million.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-12-21T15:34:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T15:34:59-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"21-million-verdict-with-case-framing","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T15:34:59-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Case_framing_b641528e-5a43-4b4d-962e-65ad2be1b618.jpg?v=1539372899"}}},{"id" : 13968834619,"title" : "Ten Years of Rules of the Road","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "November","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/ten-years-of-rules-of-the-road","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/TenYears_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539364584","articleDate" : "November 22, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "Ten years ago, Trial Guides first published its best selling book: Rules of the Road, by Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone. As we approach the holidays, we wanted to take a moment and give thanks for the past ten years. We are proud not only of all our authors and the wonderful work they do, but of each and every one of our customers. The work you do representing the injured, bereaved, and downtrodden—though it may be hard, demanding, and often thankless—is vital our society. You are the reason we come to work everyday and the reason we strive to create...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13968834619,"title":"Ten Years of Rules of the Road","created_at":"2018-10-12T13:11:21-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTen years ago, Trial Guides first published its best selling book:\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e, by Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs we approach the holidays, we wanted to take a moment and give thanks for the past ten years. We are proud not only of all our authors and the wonderful work they do, but of each and every one of our customers. The work you do representing the injured, bereaved, and downtrodden—though it may be hard, demanding, and often thankless—is vital our society. You are the reason we come to work everyday and the reason we strive to create products aimed at helping you and your clients. So thank you for the work you do.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ehas been instrumental to tens of thousands of lawyers working to represent their clients more successfully. Earlier this year, we had the chance to reach out to the authors of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e. They were kind enough to share a few thoughts on what the book has meant to them, ten years after it’s first publication. After reading their responses, the company’s founder thought he would share a brief recount of the history of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand what it has meant for Trial Guides and the way it has impacted the practice of law. Their thoughts are below.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eFrom the Authors:\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSome have likened publishing a book to putting a message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea. You don’t know who—if anyone—will read your message; you don’t know who the message will connect you with.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTen years after Pat and I threw\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003einto the sea, I have been changed by the book in ways I could not have imagined. Or, more precisely, I have been changed by the readers of the book. First, the book connected me to one of the finest lawyers I know, my coauthor, Pat Malone. Then, it connected me with a group of professionals at Trial Guides, committed to assisting plaintiffs’ lawyers in all aspects of their practices. They took a chance on a strange and unusual book. And, most important, it connected me with courageous lawyers throughout the country, fighting for something bigger than themselves. So happy birthday [anniversary?]\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e, and thank you for connecting me to a community of smart, idiosyncratic, neurotic, funny, resilient, and values-driven lawyers, who are fighting for the soul of this country.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e—Rick Friedman\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTen years! It feels like only yesterday that we launched\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e. I’m grateful for many things: for the chance to work with a great lawyer like Rick Friedman and the superb staff at Trial Guides, for the opportunity to get to know a bunch of wonderfully dedicated plaintiffs’ advocates across the country who want to do their very best for their clients, and—selfish, maybe, but it’s true—I’m grateful for how I’ve become a much better lawyer by toiling on this book and the many talks I’ve given about our approach to advocacy. There is no better way to learn something than to confront the terror of having to develop your own ideas and explain them in public. Thank you, Rick, for giving me that chance. And thank you, Aaron and the whole Trial Guides team, for sticking with us.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e—Patrick Malone\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003ch2\u003eA Note from Our Founder:\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eInsurance guru Gary Fye introduced me to Rick Friedman in early 2004, not long after I’d self-published my book on Colossus—the beginning of what would become Trial Guides. At the time, I was just four years out of law school, knew little about the practice of law, and had no intention of starting a publishing company. I had no background in publishing, and had no idea how to put a book together. I had turned down offers on my Colossus book from three of the major legal publishers because, despite my lack of experience, I strongly believed in creating uncensored resources for plaintiffs’ lawyers that I could prohibit from being sold to insurance companies.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eGary told me that Rick was, although little known at the time, one of the best trial lawyers in the country and that I should get to know him. He told Rick about my self-published book on the insurance industry’s secret bodily injury software. During our brief first meeting, Rick talked about wanting to write a book on the methods he had successfully used to win difficult cases in Alaska. He was interested in having me help him because he didn’t want to work with the established legal publishers. He didn’t think the book matched their model of publishing. I told him I’d be happy to help.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRick and I corresponded regarding cases for about a year before he sent me an email on July 1, 2005. It said, “I am starting my book.” Three weeks later, he had finished seven chapters and told me he would have it done in August. He wanted to know if the book would be out by January. Looking back, I was oddly optimistic about this request, given that Trial Guides had neither any editors nor graphic designers and I didn’t even know anyone with those skills. Instead, I was more concerned about finding outside legal counsel to review it in time to meet the deadline, per the requirements of my media insurance.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTwo days later, Rick emailed me:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor the title, I am thinking of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eThe Rules of the Road for Trying Insurance Bad Faith and Other Difficult Cases\u003c\/em\u003e. Kind of a long title. If you have any other ideas, I’d like to hear them. I am thinking the book cover might look a little like a driver’s ed manual. Maybe yield and stop signs in the background, but the signs saying “don”t yield” and “don’t stop.” But I”ll leave that to the experts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eApparently Rick thought I was that expert, since I was running the company alone out of one small office in my solo law firm.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eEarly on, Rick and I discussed some of the problems with legal publishing, and how we thought it could be improved. Instead of going with a binder, and providing annual updates that would be billed to lawyers who hadn’t ordered them, we decided on a conventional book format. Rather than going with a conservative text-only cover, we would use graphics. Instead of focusing on case law, we would focus on the more timeless and practical skills practicing lawyers need to succeed. And instead of starting prices at $300 with annual updates of $85 or more, we would sell the book at a one-time price of $95. While its beginnings were humble, the formula Rick and I discussed for\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ehas changed legal publishing. Rather than focusing on profits, Trial Guides has always put helping practicing lawyers and their clients first.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRick finished the first manuscript of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eon August 5. The original manuscript was 200 pages long. Five covers were developed by our first (part-time) employee, and Rick selected a cover that matched his idea of looking like a driving manual. At the time, we were operating under a different name. Due to Rick’s concerns about another similarly named publishing company that published romance and erotic novels, I renamed the company “Trial Guides.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter sending\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eout for reviews, Rick realized that the book could be improved by bringing in his fellow Inner Circle member Patrick Malone as a coauthor. Pat did a good deal of work on\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e, expanding concepts and broadening the scope of the book. On October 7, the book was retitled\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability\u003c\/em\u003e. With Rick and Pat’s collaboration, the manuscript increased to 300 pages.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe legal review for the Colossus books had taken nearly a year, and the necessary rewrites to get legal approval took almost another. Aware this was not going to work with Rick’s time expectations, I found a new publishing lawyer for Trial Guides who has been our outside counsel ever since. He was able to turn the legal review around quickly and it helped us keep the book moving forward.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt the time, the only experience I had in printing a paperback was a small 100 page version of the Colossus book I had printed at a local Kinkos in 2002 before the larger binder books came out. I had never had a problem with the quality, so I went back to Kinkos to print the first run of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI’d like to tell you that it was a smashing success, and in a way it was. The book sold more quickly than any of us had expected. The downside however, was that Kinkos had used the wrong kind of glue to bind the books, and I quickly received reports that pages were falling out. I agreed to replace every defective copy for free, and Rick and Pat were both very forgiving.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn quick order, I researched the best book manufacturing machines in the world (Swiss) and then found a printer that used those machines in the US. I wanted to ensure Trial Guides never had a quality issue again. I reprinted\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ein hardcover, and Trial Guides continues to use that printer to this day. I still keep a few copies of that first failed paperback in the office to keep the company focused on creating the very best quality products.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn addition to excellent writing and editing, Pat also brought something that proved to be instrumental to the success of both\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand Trial Guides—a review by David Ball. As Rick and Pat say in the preface to the second edition:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLike those of countless other plaintiff’s lawyers, our ideas have been picked up, polished, and refined by one of the great legal tacticians of our age, David Ball. Ball picked up an early copy of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand ran so fast we often lost sight of him. He immediately understood the power of this approach and brought his own energy and creativity to improving it. He saw things we did not and knew how to teach things we had trouble articulating.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhile\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ewould have found some level of success on its own, I think we all agree that had it not been for David’s praise, it would not have become the overwhelming success it has been since its release. I also have no question in my mind that were it not for David Ball’s promotion of Trial Guides, our company would not exist today.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis the best selling book that Trial Guides has ever released, and its sales have all been put back into creating new products for plaintiffs’ lawyers. I know that were it not for the book’s success, none of the other Trial Guides products would exist. From the feedback I’ve been given over the years, I know that tens of thousands of lawyers, and likely hundreds of thousands of injured people, have benefitted from this book. Ten years later, I am still in the trenches trying larger cases and have benefitted immensely from learning all I have from Trial Guides products.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRespectfully,\u003cbr\u003eAaron DeShaw\u003cbr\u003eFounder of Trial Guides\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-11-22T13:11:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T14:01:59-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"ten-years-of-rules-of-the-road","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T13:16:24-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/TenYears.jpg?v=1539364584"}}},{"id" : 13969489979,"title" : "$6.4 Million Verdict Against Tobacco Company","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "November","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/6-4-million-verdict-against-tobacco-company","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/dont_eat_bruises_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539370431","articleDate" : "November 16, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "Keith Mitnik, senior trial counsel at Morgan &amp; Morgan and author of Don’t Eat the Bruises, recently obtained a $6.4 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds on behalf of the family of a Florida man who died in 2010 from emphysema. Mitnik argued that Reynolds had profited from his deceased client’s addiction and was at fault for the nicotine dependency that led to his client’s untimely death. “Nothing that happened from this time period we’re talking about, and happened to [my client], happened by accident,” Mitnik asserted in court. “It was engineered for at the highest level. It was studied at the highest level....","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13969489979,"title":"$6.4 Million Verdict Against Tobacco Company","created_at":"2018-10-12T14:53:51-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eKeith Mitnik, senior trial counsel at Morgan \u0026amp; Morgan and author of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/dont-eat-the-bruises\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eDon’t Eat the Bruises\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e, recently obtained a $6.4 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds on behalf of the family of a Florida man who died in 2010 from emphysema. Mitnik argued that Reynolds had profited from his deceased client’s addiction and was at fault for the nicotine dependency that led to his client’s untimely death.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Nothing that happened from this time period we’re talking about, and happened to [my client], happened by accident,” Mitnik asserted in court. “It was engineered for at the highest level. It was studied at the highest level. It was marketed at extraordinary dollars and design. The deceit, web of deceit, was massive and well-funded and extraordinarily planned and brilliantly, according to them, executed. [My client] was not some rogue smoker. He is precisely what it’s always about for them—someone who would smoke. All. Day. Long. Because that’s where the money comes from.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter the trial, Mitnik shared his thoughts with us regarding the case, and what he felt helped him find justice for his clients:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Tobacco trials are the ultimate testing ground for the strategies in my book. Picking a jury in one of those cases feels like facing an angry mob with pitchforks and torches. We ran through 200 jurors to seat six, plus alternates. Then, we faced the slew of bruises this massive litigation defense machine created—trying to make it all about our client’s choices. We were able to cut them out in one fell swoop during opening.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“In spite of all the industry’s might, we were winning at the beginning. The damage models worked to the tune of $6.4 million for pure noneconomic damages where the spouse died six years earlier and the surviving wife could not testify due to Alzheimer’s. These systems simply work.”\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-11-16T00:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T14:53:51-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"6-4-million-verdict-against-tobacco-company","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T14:53:51-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/dont_eat_bruises.jpg?v=1539370431"}}},{"id" : 13969555515,"title" : "Framing a Case from Beginning to End","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "November","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/framing-a-case-from-beginning-to-end","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Case_framing_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539370920","articleDate" : "November 9, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "By Tony LaizureOriginally published in the July 2016 issue of Trial. In the introduction to his book, Mark Mandell writes that Case Framing is a “working model for trying a case from beginning to end.” How many times have trial lawyers picked up a book that made similar pronouncements, only to find that it was a collection of the author’s personal anecdotes—offering no real help to the average trial lawyer? This book, however, delivers as promised. In part one, Mandell describes case frames in plain language and explains how they can affect the outcome of your case. A case frame is the most...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13969555515,"title":"Framing a Case from Beginning to End","created_at":"2018-10-12T15:00:39-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy Tony Laizure\u003cbr\u003eOriginally published in the July 2016 issue of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.justice.org\/what-we-do\/enhance-practice-law\/publications\/trial-magazine\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the introduction to his book, Mark Mandell writes that\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/case-framing\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eCase Framing\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis a “working model for trying a case from beginning to end.” How many times have trial lawyers picked up a book that made similar pronouncements, only to find that it was a collection of the author’s personal anecdotes—offering no real help to the average trial lawyer?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis book, however, delivers as promised. In part one, Mandell describes case frames in plain language and explains how they can affect the outcome of your case. A case frame is the most important principle at stake in your case, a principle that should apply to nearly everyone in society—including the jurors. Mandell illustrates the concept of a case frame through concrete examples that can be used in a wide variety of personal injury cases.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor example, in a nursing home case, the case frame could be “do your job”—if the nursing home had done its job, then the resident would not have been injured. Or the case frame could be “betrayal”—the nursing home betrayed the resident’s and her family’s trust to protect the resident from neglect and abuse. As I read through the examples, I found myself writing some of my clients’ names next to particular case frames, knowing the frames could be useful in their cases.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAn important part of developing the case frame is figuring out what Mandell calls the “I-just-can’t-get-over” issues. These are the issues that will figure into a jury’s verdict because they are so compelling, the jurors cannot get over them. In the nursing home case example, an I-just-can’t-get-over issue might be that the nursing home hired an employee without doing a thorough background check, or that it allowed an employee to continue working there after being disciplined by the nursing board for neglecting a patient.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLike other trial tactics teachers, Mandell tells us that those issues generally focus on the defendant’s conduct. The book includes a step-by-step process to find the overall case frame and the I-just-can’t-get-over issues. Then it explains how to use case frames through all stages of a case, including deposition and mediation—even in cases of admitted liability.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn part two, Mandell illustrates how case framing works, using a real-life example with a patient who was treated for cancer. As Mandell outlined the case background, I made notes in the margins about what case frame I thought applied, using the lessons I learned from part one.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen the case frame was revealed, I looked back at my notes and found that I had correctly identified it. The book is so well-written that you can put it to use before you even finish reading it. That, combined with my notes identifying case frames and I-just-can’t-get-over issues in several of my pending cases, has made this book one of the most practical and beneficial that I have read in my thirty-five years as a lawyer.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eTony Laizure is the sole owner of Laizure Law in Tulsa, Okla. He can be reached at tlaizure@laizurelaw.com\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e*Copyright © 2016 American Association for Justice. Reprinted with permission.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-11-09T15:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T15:02:00-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"framing-a-case-from-beginning-to-end","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T15:02:00-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Case_framing.jpg?v=1539370920"}}},{"id" : 13969948731,"title" : "$1.7 Million Verdict on A Zero Offer Case","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "August","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/1-7-million-verdict-on-a-zero-offer-case","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/1.7MillionVerdict_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539372453","articleDate" : "August 24, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "Trial Guides congratulates Minnesota attorney Joe Crosby for his recent $1.7 million verdict in a no offer medical malpractice case. Crosby and Liz Fors, his paralegal who co-chaired the trial with him, spent six years fighting against a defense that repeatedly claimed they would never make an offer. Crosby’s client was permanently paralyzed on the right side of his face during what should have been the routine removal of a small benign tumor. Trial Guides asked Crosby if he gained any insights from this case that might help other lawyers. Crosby was kind enough to share some of the story, including...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13969948731,"title":"$1.7 Million Verdict on A Zero Offer Case","created_at":"2018-10-12T15:27:33-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTrial Guides congratulates Minnesota attorney Joe Crosby for his recent $1.7 million verdict in a no offer medical malpractice case. Crosby and Liz Fors, his paralegal who co-chaired the trial with him, spent six years fighting against a defense that repeatedly claimed they would never make an offer. Crosby’s client was permanently paralyzed on the right side of his face during what should have been the routine removal of a small benign tumor.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTrial Guides asked Crosby if he gained any insights from this case that might help other lawyers. Crosby was kind enough to share some of the story, including some of the problems he ran into and how he and his team were able to overcome them.\u003cspan id=\"more-10560\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eJoe Crosby on How He Obtained Justice for His Client:\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defendants, both board-certified ENTs and Mayo Clinic graduates, cut my client’s facial nerve during a parotidectomy. The doctors were trying to surgically remove a tumor about the size of a thumbnail. The tumor was not cancer and could not be seen, as it was just under the angle of the jawbone.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter the surgery, my client’s face was permanently paralyzed. It looked as if the right side had melted and slid down toward his neck. He had three major surgeries to reconstruct his face. Excruciating facial-muscle spasms were another side effect. Only quarterly rounds of twenty to forty Botox shots into the eye, cheek, nose, forehead, lips, and chin helped deaden the constant muscle-spasm pain.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe right side of my client’s face now looks angry. He cannot make any other expression on that side. This is a huge loss because he and his wife have a severely disabled son with the cognitive level of an eighteen-month-old. Expressions are an important form of communication for them. Now, when the client is driving and his son is in the passenger seat, his son just sees his father’s angry looking face.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe sued the clinic, not the doctors. Our damages were limited to harms and losses, disfigurement, and emotional distress (he hadn’t lost any work). The defense never made a settlement offer because they said facial-nerve paralysis was a recognized risk of a parotidectomy, and they should get a free pass because my client had signed a consent form.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSeveral Trial Guides products helped me overcome obstacles in the case. One cold Minnesota night I was listening to Patrick Malone’s\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/rules-of-the-road-in-medical-malpractice-cases\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road in Medical Malpractice Cases\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003ewhile out walking in the snow. He was talking about informed consent and how we underestimate its value. My note-taking pen was frozen, but fortunately my brain was not. Informed consent. I knew the defense would shove it down my throat since my client had signed the hospital’s generic consent form.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRick Friedman’s\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/stop-your-whining-and-go-to-trial\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eStop Your Whining and Go to Trial\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ewas what got me over the hump when our case was continued for the third time. It pushed me to keep on seeking what my client deserved. Shortly thereafter, I listened to Roger Dodd and Rick Friedman speak with Zoe Littlepage and Rainy Booth on the\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-tactics\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial Tactics\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eCDs. Their presentation provided pearls of wisdom and inspired me to start thinking outside the box at trial.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe used the advice from Malone’s\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/rules-of-the-road-in-medical-malpractice-cases\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eRules of the Road in Medical Malpractice Cases\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand Friedman’s\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/polarizing-the-case\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003ePolarizing the Case\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto spur ourselves to not defend our case, but attack theirs. A lot rode on the consent issue. We didn’t give them a way out other than to say “yes, it was in the best interest of the patient to warn them the surgery had a risk of permanent facial paralysis,” or “yes, an alternative was to just monitor the noncancerous tumor and there would have been no risk.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt was important that we had sued the doctors’ clinic, not the hospital. The doctors didn’t have a consent form. The only written mention of consent was a note about having had “discussed risks and benefits.” The first time the actual words “facial paralysis” were written was in the op note after the nerve had been cut—the doctors wrote they had properly informed the patient of the risk of facial paralysis.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eEach time the defense brought up the consent form in trial, I’d hammer their witness: “Please show the jury the written information the defendants give to their patients so patients can read about the surgery and its risks when they get home, the information necessary for them to make a truly informed decision about whether or not they want to proceed with surgery.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defendants didn’t have any of this written information though they do hundreds, if not thousands, of parotidectomies per year. Nowhere in the hospital’s consent form was there a single word about permanent facial paralysis, nor was there in any of the doctors’ records.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe asked defense witnesses, “If the patient chose not to have the surgery, would the thumbnail-sized tumor ever turn to cancer?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“No.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Would it cause paralysis?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“No.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Would it cause twenty-four seven intractable facial-spasm pain requiring a lifetime of Botox injections every three months?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“No.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Would it cause facial deformity and require facial reconstruction?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“No.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Would it leave half his face without the ability to make any expression?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“No.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThen we asked, “Don’t you think a patient would want to know that important information?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defense hammered every one of our experts on the fact that facial paralysis is a recognized risk of a parotidectomy. Each time they said “risk” we said “preventable complication.” Each time they brought up the signed consent, we clarified it was the hospital’s boilerplate form—the same form that could be used for appendicitis or a hernia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe asked their witnesses to read aloud the actual risks on the hospital’s consent form for a parotidectomy—where did it say permanent facial paralysis? There was no such language. Failure to mention permanent facial paralysis as a risk of the surgery meant they had not met the standard of care—all the experts agreed. Pat Malone’s wisdom helped me turn the impenetrable defense of “he signed the informed consent” right back against the defendants and won us the case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs much as Pat Malone helped me win this case, Nick Rowley’s book helped me not lose it. Until I had read\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e, I hated voir dire. My knees would shake and my mouth would dry out. And in this case, I faced a particularly tough jury. Multiple jurors had family members who were doctors, two were engineers, and all but one was a college graduate. I thought I was dead meat. I had two preemptories, but needed ten. I figured, “what the heck, let’s see if Rowley’s brutal honesty method and ‘getting to know you, getting to know all about you’ approach might work.” I figured it couldn’t be worse than the abysmal method I’d been using.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo be brutally honest, I am always scared and nervous during voir dire. I don’t like to speak in front of strangers. Unashamedly, I stole Nick Rowley’s opening lines almost verbatim from a voir dire example he shares in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e. I got up and told the jury the truth. I went where I never had before and I asked them to help me do my job and to help me find out about them. I asked them to talk and not let silence creep in. I asked them to hold back no punches.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe atmosphere of the courtroom changed. This was different than the defense’s two hours of talking at them. People became engaged when I said “tell me more” and “how about that.” We laughed, and it was a genuine laugh from my heart, not a ploy to win the jury to my side.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThere was one other time when Nick Rowley’s advice helped. During closing, the defense counsel went on for what seemed a year about how “Mr. Crosby smirked when he cross-examined my client.” The defense counsel had a field day with my insincerity. I’d smirked at one of her clients who I had, according to her, “falsely accused of malpractice.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs the defense went on, I passed a post-it to Liz, my paralegal, asking, “What should I say?” She looked at the jury and passed me back the post-it:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Be brutally honest.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI felt a weight in my heart. Had my foolish pride ruined my client’s chance for justice after waiting six years? The defense’s closing ended and I approached the jury with head bowed. I thanked the jury for their honesty at the beginning of the trial. Now it was my turn to be brutally honest. I scanned the jury and, voice cracking, told them I owed them all an apology because the defense counsel was right. I had smirked at her client, and a courtroom is no place for that. This was a serious matter that had changed lives. I turned to the judge and apologized to him. I looked at the defense counsel and apologized to her to and each of the two defendants.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt seemed as if no one moved. A quiet stillness replaced the raucous, loud excuses the defense counsel had been arguing just moments ago. I then had a conversation with some really good people: the jury. I had gotten to know about them a week earlier because I was honest and showed them I was just a plain old Joe asking for their help. If I had taken my usual approach, I wouldn’t have had the trust with the jury that proved so critical to winning this case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI am just a legal mechanic, but with the help of masters like Pat Malone, Nick Rowley, and Rick Friedman, I am finally learning how to head down the path to becoming more of an artist and storyteller. In the end, the jury did not find the doctors were negligent in their surgery procedures, but they did find the defendants negligent for not providing proper informed consent. The jury awarded my client a verdict of $1.7 million. After six long years without a single offer from the defense, my client had justice.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-08-24T15:27:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T15:27:33-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"1-7-million-verdict-on-a-zero-offer-case","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T15:27:33-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/1.7MillionVerdict.jpg?v=1539372453"}}},{"id" : 13970047035,"title" : "$15 Million Verdict on a $100K Offer","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "March","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/15-million-verdict-on-a-100k-offer","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/pillars_955_c930521c-f80c-4dc8-a1a1-39ceab0b5877_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539373069","articleDate" : "March 24, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "Here are the details from Benjamin Cloward: Harvey, my clients’ son and brother, was a kind and loving fifty-one-year-old who was diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. Throughout his life, his loving parents and brother had provided every opportunity possible to give him an independent life. Part of that required them to trust others to watch over and protect Harvey. First Transit is a Nevada transportation company that focuses on disabled people, and claims a world-class safety program. On July 29, 2011, Harvey boarded a First Transit paratransit bus to go to his volunteer job. There were rules that First Transit was...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970047035,"title":"$15 Million Verdict on a $100K Offer","created_at":"2018-10-12T15:37:49-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHere are the details from Benjamin Cloward:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHarvey, my clients’ son and brother, was a kind and loving fifty-one-year-old who was diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. Throughout his life, his loving parents and brother had provided every opportunity possible to give him an independent life.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003ePart of that required them to trust others to watch over and protect Harvey. First Transit is a Nevada transportation company that focuses on disabled people, and claims a world-class safety program. On July 29, 2011, Harvey boarded a First Transit paratransit bus to go to his volunteer job. There were rules that First Transit was required to enforce. One of which was to prevent their disabled passengers from eating or drinking on the bus due to the known hazards of choking—and specifically choking to death. First Transit was being paid $230 million dollars by the taxpayers of Nevada to train their drivers to drive the paratransit buses.\u003cspan id=\"more-9027\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe First Transit driver of Harvey’s bus not only allowed Harvey to eat on the bus, but actually assisted him in violating the no drinking policy. Only four feet from the driver, in the first seat directly behind him, Harvey began to choke on his sandwich. He reached for the driver for help, unable to speak, and began to slowly slip into unconsciousness just feet from the bus driver. This all took place while the driver stopped to let another passenger off the bus. As the driver got back on the bus he chose not to look left at his sole passenger on the bus who was now slumped completely into the aisle literally choking to death at that very moment.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe driver violated several more rules, including the First Transit rule to check on his sole passenger every five seconds by simply scanning the interior mirrors—as was required by First Transit. Precious time continued to tick (three more minutes) before the driver finally saw Harvey slumped completely into the aisle.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe driver pulled over, and because First Transit made the choice to save the eighty-eight dollars it would have cost to train its drivers in basic first aid (eight hours of training for an employee being paid eleven dollars an hour), nothing was done to save Harvey’s life.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eNo Heimlich maneuver. No CPR. No basic first aid. Nothing. This is despite the bus company making $230 million on its contract.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eInstead, the corporate director of safety actually testified it was “better and safer” to rely on 911 even though on average it takes 8-10 minutes for EMTs or paramedics to respond in congested Las Vegas traffic as it did the day Harvey died. Tragically, First Transit had a policy in their employee manual that taught the Heimlich maneuver, but at trial First Transit claimed that specific page of the policy did not apply in the Las Vegas market because there was “no law that required it.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter Harvey choked to death, First Transit told the family that Harvey did not suffer—despite the onboard bus video of the event that very clearly showed Harvey valiantly fighting for life as he painfully and slowly lost his battle over a five-minute period of time. First Transit refused to turn over a copy of the video, telling the family they needed a court order—which forced them to hire a lawyer.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBefore trial, the best offer made to the family was $50,000 to each of Harvey’s two parents—for a total of $100,000.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt trial, I conducted voir dire about the issues in the case. To effectively connect with the jurors, I relied heavily on Nick Rowley’s book,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e, and his DVD set\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/connecting-with-the-jury\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eConnecting with the Jury\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e. Nick’s work has been instrumental in the way I conduct voir dire. My co-counsel, Alison Brasier and Charles Allen, helped with jury selection to ensure a fair and impartial jury was empaneled to hear the case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn opening, I showed all of the excuses First Transit gave to justify what happened to Harvey. I used the principles in Richard Friedman’s book,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/polarizing-the-case\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003ePolarizing the Case\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e, to show how outrageous the excuses being advanced by First Transit really were. Richard Friedman’s\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/moral-core-advocacy\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eMoral Core Advocacy\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eDVD was also very helpful as the family’s attorneys all felt that the cause was very just and we were on “the high ground,” as set out in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eMoral Core Advocacy\u003c\/em\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFirst Transit hired a doctor who the defense lawyers had worked with for twenty years to try and convince the jury that Harvey did not choke to death, but rather had died from a heart attack. After a blistering cross-examination of this witness by Charles, it became evident that he was nothing more than a hired gun. Charles’s and my cross-examinations were influenced by\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/david-ball-on-damages-3\/\"\u003e\u003cem\u003eDavid Ball on Damages 3\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOne juror commented to defense counsel after the verdict that it was their “crappy doctor” that doomed them. It was\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003ePolarizing the Case\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ethat helped us demonstrate that to the jury. His opinions were in contradiction with the very clear autopsy report showing that Harvey died from choking. But more importantly, the doctor disrespected the family by using outrageous courtroom theatrics to desperately try to help First Transit win at any and all costs.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCharles also did a phenomenal direct examination of the emergency room physician educator who helped the jury understand just how easy it was to perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. I cross-examined the corporate director of safety and showed the many, many significant inconsistencies with her testimony, revealing to the jurors just what lengths the defense would go to avoid being responsible, just like we’d discussed in voir dire.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe work and preparation Charles and Alison did with the clients was impeccable. By the end of their examinations, the jurors clearly understood how much Harvey meant to his family, and how their trust had been betrayed and violated by First Transit. In closing arguments, I used the jury instructions to educate the jurors on the heightened duty owed by common carriers to passengers, and the even stricter standard when common carriers are dealing with folks with disabilities.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSix very brave jurors saw the truth and had the courage to award monetary justice to the family for the loss of their sweet son and brother. The jury only took thirty minutes to render justice. The jurors awarded $15,000,000 for the loss of Harvey to his parents and brother along with the pain and suffering Harvey endured before he lost his battle to live. The jurors in this case spoke for Harvey and provided his voice.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe next step is to seek further justice by passing “Harvey’s Law” in Nevada to ensure that this never happens again.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe lawyers on this case included:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLead counsel Benjamin Cloward of Cloward Hicks \u0026amp; Brasier and co-counsel Charles Allen of the Charles Allen Law Firm based in Atlanta. Assisting at trial was Alison Brasier of Cloward Hicks \u0026amp; Brasier and Richard Harris of the Richard Harris Law Firm. Seth R. Little of Richard Harris Law Firm and Jonathan Hicks of Cloward Hicks \u0026amp; Brasier also helped during the discovery phase of the case.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-03-24T00:00:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T15:37:49-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"15-million-verdict-on-a-100k-offer","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T15:37:49-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/pillars_955_c930521c-f80c-4dc8-a1a1-39ceab0b5877.jpg?v=1539373069"}}},{"id" : 13970112571,"title" : "Trial Success Using Nick Rowley’s Trial by Human","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "March","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/trial-success-using-nick-rowley-s-trial-by-human","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_motorcycle_accident_160309_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539373665","articleDate" : "March 9, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "With so few lawyers going to trial, Trial Guides likes to feature stories about lawyers who get great outcomes for their clients by turning down unreasonable offers and going to trial. We often post stories about our authors’ large verdicts, but it’s also great to hear how lawyers achieved hard-fought victories in more common cases—particularly those with low offers and substantial chances of losing. Today, we wanted to focus on a case involving Rod Ritner and Dominic Pechota, partners at Nick Rowley’s firm in Iowa, Trial Lawyers for Justice. The case involved an underinsured motorist claim where the client’s insurer gave a $15,000...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970112571,"title":"Trial Success Using Nick Rowley’s Trial by Human","created_at":"2018-10-12T15:47:45-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWith so few lawyers going to trial, Trial Guides likes to feature stories about lawyers who get great outcomes for their clients by turning down unreasonable offers and going to trial. We often post stories about our authors’ large verdicts, but it’s also great to hear how lawyers achieved hard-fought victories in more common cases—particularly those with low offers and substantial chances of losing.\u003cspan id=\"more-8970\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eToday, we wanted to focus on a case involving Rod Ritner and Dominic Pechota, partners at\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/nicholas-rowley\/\"\u003eNick Rowley’s\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003efirm in Iowa,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca class=\"jump\" href=\"http:\/\/www.tl4j.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eTrial Lawyers for Justice\u003c\/a\u003e. The case involved an underinsured motorist claim where the client’s insurer gave a $15,000 offer on a $100,000 policy in a conservative county. Rather than push their client to accept a low offer, the team took the case to trial using Rowley’s method in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand obtained a $1,188,735 jury verdict—a new record in the county.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe like to understand what is working for lawyers both in settlements and in trials, so we asked Rod and Dominic to share a few thoughts on how their team obtained this substantial, record-setting verdict for their client.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eRod Ritner and Dominic Pechota on how their team obtained a record-setting verdict for their client:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIowa is an insurance company state. Several insurance companies have headquarters there and the industry lobbies the state legislature heavily. Consequently, Iowa laws favor insurers at every step and make it nearly impossible for their insured to get a fair outcome.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eInsurance defense attorneys have openly admitted that insurers in Iowa won’t settle cases unless they get a discount, regardless of the facts. This is because the insurance companies in Iowa see no risk in taking even an indefensible case to trial. They never seriously consider first party bad faith, and the companies never have to pay any attorney’s fees, significant costs, or interest for delaying payments to their policy-holders. On the other hand, by delaying payment as long as they can, the insurers continue to earn interest on money that rightfully belongs to their insured and they frequently coerce their policy-holders into accepting far less than what is rightfully due to them as compensation for their losses.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eUnfortunately, the economics of the situation forces far too many plaintiff’s attorneys to have to recommend settling even the most egregious cases for less than policy limits. As we all know, the costs of going to trial all too often make it a bad business decision to take many cases to trial. Even with a winning case, both the attorney and the client can end up losing money. Our recent trial was a perfect example. However, sometimes we just have to try cases in the hopes of making the insurance companies start to keep the promises they made when they were collecting premiums.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur jury heard how our client had your typical motorcycle liability policy with Farm Bureau, supposedly one of Iowa’s “better” insurance companies. His policy included $100,000 in uninsured\/underinsured coverage, although the jury was not allowed to know the amount of coverage.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen the client was riding his motorcycle northbound on a small street, he turned left at an uncontrolled intersection. He was being followed by a driver, who saw him riding all the way until he was “well into his turn,” had completely crossed the center-line, and was going across the opposing traffic’s lane. Unfortunately, that driver then looked away so she did not see the actual collision.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur client was struck hard on the right side of his motorcycle, sending him out of control and into a stop sign. He was thrown from his motorcycle and knocked unconscious. He does not remember seeing a car strike him—whether this is due to amnesia or because he got blind-sided remains unclear.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe defendant said she was traveling southbound when she saw our client drive very fast and cut across her, trying to “beat her” through the intersection. She claimed that he was going too fast for her to stop or avoid the collision. She was the only witness to the actual collision.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt was her testimony that Farm Bureau stuck to, denying our client’s claim and arguing that our client was at least 51 percent at fault. This is important, because Iowa is a modified contributory fault state and our client wouldn’t be entitled to any recovery so long as he was more than 50 percent at fault for the collision. However, the defendant told at least a couple versions of her story at different times as she was confronted with facts that proved her prior versions false. Yet this did not dissuade Farm Bureau one iota from continuing to deny our client the benefits for which he had paid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur client spent thirty-four days in the hospital. After discharge, he only saw doctors three or four times. This was because he didn’t have health insurance or the money to pay for the future care the doctors had laid out for him. He also didn’t take any pain medication other than Advil, mostly because he’s one tough son of a gun. He still rides a motorcycle, plays the guitar, paints, and cuts hair. But he can’t lift weights anymore, or even do sit-ups, because it hurts and he sometimes gets nosebleeds when he strains. Although he’s back to doing almost all the same things he did before the collision, they are less enjoyable and harder to do.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe toughest part of trying this case was the fact that our chief of police, a very nice guy, did the initial accident investigation and felt that the collision was our client’s fault. Farm Bureau hung their hat on his opinion from beginning to end. They also claim his opinion is what “proves” they didn’t commit bad faith, regardless of the actual facts. He was obviously going to be a very important witness at trial and one we had to try and figure out a way for the jury to still trust and like, while also feeling empowered to disagree with him. Fortunately we were successful; the jury found the defendant 100 percent at fault for the collision.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe way we handled the chief of police started in voir dire. We asked all the potential jurors if they would be comfortable making the decision as to who was at fault for a collision none of them saw, and where there were many “snippets” of information they would have to put together. We had a very nice long conversation about the subject and we got every juror involved. Basically, all the jurors concluded with some version of the fact that they would be willing to make a decision, but that they’d want as much information as possible given to them before they would make their decision. We then made the point repeatedly in trial with each witness, including the police chief, that each witness only gave the jury some of the “snippets” and that they were the ones in the best position to determine what made the most sense. We stressed that the beauty and strength of the jury system is that the collective intelligence of a group of concerned people is far more accurate and trustworthy than the opinion of any one person, regardless of who that person might be, including a judge or a police chief.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe jury obviously felt empowered to do the right thing and our client was vindicated. The jury gave him the $188,000 in medical bills we presented; $700,000 for past physical pain, suffering, and loss of full function of his body; and $300,000 in past mental pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Although our client only got his $100,000 policy limit, he won. He now knows his fellow citizens don’t blame him for the accident and his insurer finally had to pay the full policy limit for which he’d paid his premiums.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eNick Rowley’s book,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e, provided us with the way to obtain this great outcome. The focus of our trial used the method throughout, starting in voir dire when the jurors talked about their own experiences with motorcycles, to their role as ultimate arbiters for discovering the truth, to empowering them as a single collective intelligence to use their common sense, through the witnesses (members of their own community), and by finally leaving it up to them to determine both the method and value of what was taken from our client (who we showed was a simple man with simple desires). It was all about making it just people caring about their neighbor.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFirst party bad faith technically exists in Iowa, but is so incredibly limited that insurance companies place no value on the risk of it occurring. That’s why we’re going to try and show them they need to change their attitude: that the risk is real and it is in their interest to look at the facts in good faith. We need to do something to help Iowa’s policyholders to get what they’ve paid for: money in their time of need and peace of mind—rather than having their own insurance company just make a bad situation worse.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eClick below and discover how you can apply the Trial by Human method in your next case today:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-03-09T00:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T15:47:45-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"trial-success-using-nick-rowley-s-trial-by-human","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T15:47:45-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_motorcycle_accident_160309.jpg?v=1539373665"}}},{"id" : 13970210875,"title" : "Rick Friedman Obtains $7.2 Million Verdict","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2016,"articleMonth" : "March","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/rick-friedman-obtains-7-2-million-verdict","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_coal_mining_160302_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539373866","articleDate" : "March 2, 2016","articleExcerpt" : "Last week, Trial Guides author Rick Friedman obtained a $7.2 million verdict in Kentucky. This is believed to be the first coal-dust respirator case to go to trial in the country. James Couch filed suit against the manufacturer, Mine Safety Appliances, after being diagnosed with black lung. Officials say several entities (including OSHA) called for the ban of these coal masks in the 1970’s, but Mine Safety Appliances continued to sell them. The plaintiff wore the masks for fifteen years, unaware that they were not correctly filtering the air he was breathing. During trial, Rick used his Rules of the Road...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970210875,"title":"Rick Friedman Obtains $7.2 Million Verdict","created_at":"2018-10-12T15:51:06-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLast week, Trial Guides author Rick Friedman obtained a $7.2 million verdict in Kentucky. This is believed to be the first coal-dust respirator case to go to trial in the country. James Couch filed suit against the manufacturer, Mine Safety Appliances, after being diagnosed with black lung.\u003cspan id=\"more-8947\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOfficials say several entities (including OSHA) called for the ban of these coal masks in the 1970’s, but Mine Safety Appliances continued to sell them. The plaintiff wore the masks for fifteen years, unaware that they were not correctly filtering the air he was breathing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring trial, Rick used his Rules of the Road method to create a set of rules and principles that the company should have upheld. The Rules of the Road method is used to create a set of standards for litigation cases where there are not specific statutes governing the conduct of the defendant.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBelow are the Rules of the Road Rick used to win his case:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePrinciples\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe primary concern of a respirator manufacturer should be the safety of the respirator user.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eWhen the air is safe to breathe, the miners don’t need respirators.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe user’s life may depend on whether or not the respirator is working effectively.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA responsible manufacturer keeps up with literature and knowledge in the field.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eGovernment permission is not a substitute for the manufacturer acting safely.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eSmaller particles penetrate filters more readily than larger particles.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eSmaller coal particles are more dangerous to a miner’s health than larger particles.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA poorly fitting respirator provides little to no protection.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eElectrostatic charges discharge over time.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eFactors causing electrostatic discharge:\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eHumidity\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eHigh temperature\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eSub-micron size particles\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eOil mists\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eLiquid aerosols\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eCoal Dust\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eRespirators using HEPA filters capture over 99.97% of all particulate matter including down to 3\/10ths of a micron.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eTo be safely used, a respirator must be fit-tested and fit-checked.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe government did a poor job of protecting workers.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA respirator can be defective for use in coal mines, even if the government approved it.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eRules\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eBefore marketing a product for a particular use, the manufacturer should test its safety under real-world conditions.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA respirator should not be sold if it cannot be fit-tested.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA respirator should not be sold if it cannot be easily fit-checked.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA respirator manufacturing company should promptly inform users about the safety risks of its products that it learns about.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eA company should not sell a respirator as providing protection against black lung when the respirator does not provide protection against black lung.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eEven if the government allows an unsafe practice, a respirator manufacturer should not engage in that unsafe practice.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eCheck out these great products to learn more about creating effective Rules of the Road to successfully obtain better outcomes for your clients:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2016-03-02T15:51:00-05:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T15:52:31-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"rick-friedman-obtains-7-2-million-verdict","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T15:51:06-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_coal_mining_160302.jpg?v=1539373866"}}},{"id" : 13970374715,"title" : "Win Cases by Finding the CORE TRUTH","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "September","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/win-cases-by-finding-the-core-truth","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_smooth_stones_zen_150914_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539375555","articleDate" : "September 15, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "By Michael Leizerman After identifying the strongest defense arguments in a case and slashing away issues that are not necessary to win the case, I look for the Core Truth. This is the issue that I stress in opening and return to in each direct and cross examination, along with closing argument. I look to reduce the issues in the plaintiff’s case to as few as possible to reduce the jury’s and judge’s resistance to persuasion. The more you try to persuade, the more resistance you will encounter. This is so counter-intuitive that it can be difficult for lawyers to understand. You...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970374715,"title":"Win Cases by Finding the CORE TRUTH","created_at":"2018-10-12T16:19:15-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBy\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/michael-leizerman\/\" class=\"dark\"\u003eMichael Leizerman\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter identifying the strongest defense arguments in a case and slashing away issues that are not necessary to win the case, I look for the Core Truth. This is the issue that I stress in opening and return to in each direct and cross examination, along with closing argument. I look to reduce the issues in the plaintiff’s case to as few as possible to reduce the jury’s and judge’s resistance to persuasion.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe more you try to persuade, the more resistance you will encounter.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eThis is so counter-intuitive that it can be difficult for lawyers to understand.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eYou can read more and download the full article\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.trialguides.com\/resources\/free-content\/leiz-free-content\/FindingTheCoreTruth.pdf\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003ehere\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-09-15T16:19:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T16:19:55-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"win-cases-by-finding-the-core-truth","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T16:19:15-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_smooth_stones_zen_150914.jpg?v=1539375555"}}},{"id" : 13970440251,"title" : "$40 Million Verdict for Nick Rowley and Team","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "August","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/40-million-verdict-for-nick-rowley-and-team","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/40MillionVerdict_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539375924","articleDate" : "August 12, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "Trial Guides author Nick Rowley, along with lawyers Keith Bruno, Angela Bruno, Steve King, and Trial Guides coauthor Steve Halteman (trial consultant) obtained a record $40 million verdict. The $40 million verdict was in noneconomic damages for the death of thirty-three-year old Orlando Jordan. His parents were the plaintiffs. The case involved the stabbing and killing of Mr. Jordan by an underage drinker. Rey and Carmen Jordan sued TGI Fridays and the Riverside restaurant’s operator, New Jersey-based Briad Group, arguing that the employees there knowingly served alcohol to intoxicated minors, including one of their son’s attackers. Rowley represented the decedent’s mother, with Keith...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970440251,"title":"$40 Million Verdict for Nick Rowley and Team","created_at":"2018-10-12T16:25:24-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTrial Guides author\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/nicholas-rowley\/\"\u003eNick Rowley\u003c\/a\u003e, along with lawyers Keith Bruno, Angela Bruno, Steve King, and Trial Guides coauthor\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/steven-halteman\/\"\u003eSteve Halteman\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e(trial consultant) obtained a record $40 million verdict.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe $40 million verdict was in noneconomic damages for the death of thirty-three-year old Orlando Jordan. His parents were the plaintiffs.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe case involved the stabbing and killing of Mr. Jordan by an underage drinker. Rey and Carmen Jordan sued TGI Fridays and the Riverside restaurant’s operator, New Jersey-based Briad Group, arguing that the employees there knowingly served alcohol to intoxicated minors, including one of their son’s attackers.\u003cspan id=\"more-7572\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRowley represented the decedent’s mother, with Keith Bruno representing the decedent’s father. Angela Bruno co-tried the case for the father and handled his direct examination and multiple issues throughout trial. Patrick Logan handled the visuals and Steven Halteman worked as a jury consultant and trial strategist. Attorney Steve King played an important part by trying the entire case representing a cross-defendant.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCalifornia law gives legal immunity to bars and restaurants that serve minors, except when they’re obviously drunk. “We were able to prove that the minor was already obviously intoxicated at the time they served him,” Rowley said, adding that the minor ordered the equivalent of twelve servings of alcohol in thirty minutes.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe family’s allegations were supported by TGI Friday’s head bartender who testified that Briad Group, which operates sixty-eight of the restaurants across twenty-six states, made a deliberate decision to not card minors in order to increase profits on Fridays and Saturdays.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter the verdict, most of the jurors stayed to speak with the counsel for Rey Jordan, Keith Bruno. “Each juror expressed that they felt they had done something good—that they could be proud of. They were appalled by what was going on at the TGI Fridays and they wanted their verdict to reflect the value of human life in Riverside County,” stated Bruno.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe outcome was even more surprising given the challenges faced by the plaintiffs. The judge granted nonsuit of the entire case except for the question as to whether, at the time of the stabbing, the minor was obviously intoxicated at the time he was served alcohol. The judge excluded all security issues and granted nonsuit for the negligent hiring, negligent security, and general negligence. The judge only allowed one lawyer to ask questions of each witness. The plaintiffs tried the case with no expert witnesses. It was tried in department six of the central Riverside Superior Court. The trial was six weeks long.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCarmen Jordan was represented at trial by Trial Guides author Nick Rowley of Carpenter, Zuckerman \u0026amp; Rowley, LLP. Rey Jordan was represented by husband and wife team Keith and Angela Bruno of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca class=\"jump\" href=\"http:\/\/www.keithbrunolaw.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eBruno|Nalu\u003c\/a\u003e. Their trial consultant was Trial Guides author Steve Halteman.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eYou can find more about the case at:\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eJordan, et al. v. TGI Fridays, et al\u003c\/em\u003e., Riverside Superior Court, Case No. RIC 1100955.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLearn more about how to apply these winning trial tactics to your case by reading the bestselling book,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eby Nicholas Rowley and Steven Halteman.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-08-12T16:24:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T16:25:24-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"40-million-verdict-for-nick-rowley-and-team","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T16:25:24-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/40MillionVerdict.jpg?v=1539375924"}}},{"id" : 13970997307,"title" : "Ken Levinson Reviews: On Becoming a Trial Lawyer by Rick Friedman","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "July","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/ken-levinson-reviews-on-becoming-a-trial-lawyer-by-rick-friedman","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Levinson_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539379318","articleDate" : "July 15, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "“There are a plethora of books and resources to improve your technical skills. But among the countless tomes and guides on shelves these days, Rick Friedman’s On Becoming a Trial Lawyer provides a decidedly fresh perspective on the mechanics and traits necessary to become an effective trial lawyer. Perhaps the fact that Friedman admits he isn’t a “naturally” gifted trial lawyer helps us to feel this way. It’s this encouraging sense of honesty that gives him credibility; a candid approach for the newly minted — even veteran — attorneys who might feel discouraged by recent shortcomings. His insights are often an invigorating reminder...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970997307,"title":"Ken Levinson Reviews: On Becoming a Trial Lawyer by Rick Friedman","created_at":"2018-10-12T17:21:58-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“There are a plethora of books and resources to improve your technical skills. But among the countless tomes and guides on shelves these days,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/rick-friedman\/\"\u003eRick Friedman’s\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/becoming-a-trial-lawyer-2nd\/\"\u003eOn Becoming a Trial Lawyer\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eprovides a decidedly fresh perspective on the mechanics and traits necessary to become an effective trial lawyer.\u003cspan id=\"more-7346\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003ePerhaps the fact that Friedman admits he isn’t a “naturally” gifted trial lawyer helps us to feel this way. It’s this encouraging sense of honesty that gives him credibility; a candid approach for the newly minted — even veteran — attorneys who might feel discouraged by recent shortcomings. His insights are often an invigorating reminder of why lawyers fight so hard for their clients. By book’s end, your instinct is to put his ideas into action.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDivided into three sections,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/becoming-a-trial-lawyer-2nd\/\"\u003eOn Becoming a Trial Lawyer\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eoffers step-by-step analyses, tutorials, and anecdotes that provide helpful insight into our chosen profession. He doles out practical advice: watch trials, volunteer, try cases despite monetary incentives to settle, and bring in co-counsel. He dispels all-too-common myths: trial lawyers are born, not made; it’s too late to start learning; and the most well-suited trial lawyers never fall on hard times. As much as it is a book about self-improvement, Friedman’s book is also about self-motivation.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMore to the point, Friedman’s work is largely intended for self-reflection, making note of the fact that technique is important, but that a trial lawyer must be willing to give him or herself to the jury to be vulnerable.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003eYou can download the full review\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.trialguides.com\/resources\/free-content\/frie-free-content\/FriedmanReview.pdf\"\u003ehere\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-07-15T17:21:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T17:21:58-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"ken-levinson-reviews-on-becoming-a-trial-lawyer-by-rick-friedman","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T17:21:58-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Levinson.jpg?v=1539379318"}}},{"id" : 13970473019,"title" : "Define Foundational “Human” Issues to Win Your Case","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "July","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/define-foundational-human-issues-to-win-your-case","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_jury_box_150708_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539376335","articleDate" : "July 15, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "If you want to succeed in trial, then you have to find the reasons that will make your juries care. To do that, you have to identify the I just can’t get over issues in your cases and structure your arguments around them. This article gives examples of how Mark Mandell, Inner Circle member and past AAJ (then ATLA) president, applies these vital issues to build the foundations he uses to frame and win his cases: From Mark Mandell: I first came up with the phrase, I just can’t get over after a medical negligence case I tried in July 2010, involving multiple claims of wrongdoing...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13970473019,"title":"Define Foundational “Human” Issues to Win Your Case","created_at":"2018-10-12T16:32:15-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eIf you want to succeed in trial, then you have to find the reasons that will make your juries care\u003c\/strong\u003e. To do that, you have to identify the\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI just can’t get over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eissues in your cases and structure your arguments around them. This article gives examples of how\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/mark-mandell\/\"\u003eMark Mandell\u003c\/a\u003e, Inner Circle member and past AAJ (then ATLA) president, applies these vital issues to build the foundations he uses to frame and win his cases:\u003cspan id=\"more-7397\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eFrom\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/mark-mandell\/\"\u003eMark Mandell\u003c\/a\u003e:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI first came up with the phrase,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI just can’t get over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eafter a medical negligence case I tried in July 2010, involving multiple claims of wrongdoing against a foot surgeon. The following are a few key facts from the case:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNo up-to-date pre-op x-rays were obtained of the foot in question before the surgery. The last previous x-rays taken before the surgery were sixteen months old.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe incision made at surgery was too short and too low in the foot. This created difficulty in visualizing the operative field.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe surgeon removed both sesamoids from underneath the right big toe without a good reason for doing so. As a result, the plaintiff developed a claw toe and other problems.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eInformed consent and medical battery were also issues the jury resolved in the plaintiff’s favor.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor this case, we convened a number of pretrial focus groups.\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe group members were highly critical of the defendant’s choice not to order up-to-date pre-op x-rays\u003c\/strong\u003e. His excuse had been that he had enough other evidence that the x-rays would not have made any difference in his surgical plan.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring cross-examination at the very close of trial, the defendant made several key admissions that while they helped our liability proof in a number of ways, lessened our ability to prove that the lack of up-to-date pre-op x-rays had any causal relationship to our client’s injuries.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter the verdict, one of the jurors called me. When I asked him about the lack of pre-op x-rays, he stated,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e“We knew that [because of the admissions by the defendant] the lack of pre-op x-rays may not have caused the plaintiff’s injuries, but we just couldn’t get over the fact that no pre-op x-rays were done.”\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eHis use of the phrase “we just couldn’t get over the fact” had a powerful impact on me.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eGreat meaning resides in that earnest juror’s statement. It perfectly describes the kind of issues that decide trials.\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI just can’t get over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eissues can involve issues concerning negligence, causation, and damages. For example, in a recent trial we had a client that had suffered a significant brain injury that affected virtually all of his daily living activities.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHis brain had been severely damaged, between 25–30% of his pons and mid-brain no longer existed, and each brain lobe suffered injury. As a result, our client had significant cognitive and physical disabilities. He could barely see, could not eat without coughing and choking, could not talk clearly, could not walk without human assistance, and had a profound cognitive disability as well. Our client and his mother, his wife, a physiatrist, and a neurologist all testified to bring this reality home to the jury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSome of the\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI just can’t get over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eissues on damages we used in this case were:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eAs a result of these disabilities:\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003eOur client’s wife became his caretaker.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003eHis children became his protectors.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003eHis mother once again had a five-year-old child back in her life as that’s the level our client physically functions at.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003eOur client can no longer defend his home and family.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eOur client cannot do anything without the help of others. He is completely dependent.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eSo much was taken from our client that there was no “one worst thing.” It was altogether “the worst thing.”\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eOur client was left with no coping mechanism. In my closing argument I stated:\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003e“It’s not like he can’t walk, but he can see.”\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003e“It’s not like he can’t walk or see, but he can talk.”\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003e“It’s not like he can’t walk, see or talk, but he can eat and swallow.”\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e“It’s not like he can’t walk, see, talk, and eat, but he can do other activities of daily living by himself.”\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eFor all he has lost, our client is aware of:\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003eWhat has happened to him\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli class=\"tight\"\u003eWho he was\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eWho he is now\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eOur client was left with just enough physically that he can “struggle” to do all he does—every minute, every hour, and every day.Much of our damages proof involved the change from good to bad in the “intangibles” in our client’s life. Our overall case frame became: “The intangibles in life are what make life worth living.” Our arguments showed that the intangibles that made our client’s life worth living had changed—due to the defendant’s gross negligence. When you use\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI just can’t get over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eissues to focus the jury’s attention on the defendant’s wronging, the harm it has caused, and the senselessness of how that harm could have been so easily prevented,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eyou’ll find that what a jury “just can’t get over” will guide it’s verdict.\u003c\/strong\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo learn how to identify\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI just can’t get over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eissues in depositions and focus groups, as well as Mark Mandell’s other methods for successfully trying cases,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ewatch for his new book,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/case-framing\/\"\u003eCase Framing\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e, available from Trial Guides this fall.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e*\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eMark will be presenting on Case Framing on July 13th\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eat the AAJ’s annual summer convention this week.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-07-15T16:31:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T16:32:15-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"define-foundational-human-issues-to-win-your-case","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T16:32:15-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_jury_box_150708.jpg?v=1539376335"}}},{"id" : 13971062843,"title" : "Trial Guides Customer Wins $32.5M Verdict using Rules of the Road","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "June","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/trial-guides-customer-wins-32-5m-verdict-using-rules-of-the-road","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/TGCustomer_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539379695","articleDate" : "June 1, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "Mr. Friedman, I once wrote you about the successes my brother and I have enjoyed using the information we learned in Rules of the Road and Polarizing the Case. Well, on Wednesday the Rules prevailed again—this time for $32.5 million. To begin with, my co-counsel initially had the case and took it to trial; but it resulted in a mistrial, which the defense had requested. The defendant’s final offer before the mistrial was $100,000. I enjoy pondering about how much the defense regrets the decision to move for a mistrial, because upon having the mistrial granted our soon to be co-counsel drove to...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13971062843,"title":"Trial Guides Customer Wins $32.5M Verdict using Rules of the Road","created_at":"2018-10-12T17:28:15-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMr. Friedman,\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI once wrote you about the successes my brother and I have enjoyed using the information we learned in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/rules-of-the-road\/\"\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/polarizing-the-case\/\"\u003ePolarizing the Case\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e. Well, on Wednesday the Rules prevailed again—this time for $32.5 million.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo begin with, my co-counsel initially had the case and took it to trial; but it resulted in a mistrial, which the defense had requested. The defendant’s final offer before the mistrial was $100,000. I enjoy pondering about how much the defense regrets the decision to move for a mistrial, because upon having the mistrial granted our soon to be co-counsel drove to our office and asked for our help. I took it upon myself to go through every page of documentation he had accumulated and apply the Rules technique to the case. What resulted was an entirely different way of presenting the case.\u003cspan id=\"more-7170\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI then took the 30(B)(6) deposition of J.B. Hunt’s corporate representative and locked him into the Rules, all of which he agreed with. The panic on the defense lawyer’s face as his witness continued to agree with the Rules was comical. The defense lawyer knew what was happening was bad, but as you know, there is really no way to deal with good Rules. You either agree or look foolish disagreeing. Following the deposition, J.B. Hunt offered $3 million, which we rejected. The week before trial they offered $5 million, which we rejected. I think that shows the power of the Rules more than anything. This was a case that had been fully litigated all the way up to a trial and they offered $100,000. Then I applied the Rules technique and took one deposition and they offered $5 million.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAfter a three week trial the jury returned a verdict of $32.5 million. I thought you’d enjoy hearing about a successful plaintiff’s verdict and wanted to again pass along my thanks for sharing your wisdom with all of us. It is truly incredible how your books have taken what seems to be a very difficult and confusing profession and made it so clear. Thank you again.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSincerely yours,\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAttorneys Todd S. Schafer and Timothy Schafer, II\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca class=\"jump\" href=\"http:\/\/www.schaferandschaferlaw.com\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eSchafer \u0026amp; Schafer, Attorneys at Law\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003eMerrillville, IN\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-06-01T17:27:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T17:28:15-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"trial-guides-customer-wins-32-5m-verdict-using-rules-of-the-road","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T17:28:15-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/TGCustomer.jpg?v=1539379695"}}},{"id" : 13971423291,"title" : "Forget About Your Case and Start Telling a Story","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "May","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/forget-about-your-case-and-start-telling-a-story","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/Froget_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539385382","articleDate" : "May 27, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "The only way to harness the minds and hearts of your jurors is to forget about your case and start telling a story. Threading a storyline into the entire courtroom drama and empowering your jurors to become heroes will awaken each jurors’ desire to be the hero and motivate them to action. Through this change in perspective, you will find yourself becoming the mentor, your client assuming the role of the story’s victim, and your jurors, inspired to action, taking the most powerful role of all. So, what makes a case a story? Stories have a distinctive point of view. You...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13971423291,"title":"Forget About Your Case and Start Telling a Story","created_at":"2018-10-12T19:03:02-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe only way to harness the minds and hearts of your jurors is to forget about your case and start telling a story. Threading a storyline into the entire courtroom drama and empowering your jurors to become heroes will awaken each jurors’ desire to be the hero and motivate them to action. Through this change in perspective, you will find yourself becoming the mentor, your client assuming the role of the story’s victim, and your jurors, inspired to action, taking the most powerful role of all.\u003cspan id=\"more-7137\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSo, what makes a case a story?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eStories have a distinctive point of view.\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eYou can tell a story from multiple points of view. As the jury’s mentor, you need to decide whose viewpoint you will show. It could be that of a frightened mother, laboring with a baby who is not getting enough oxygen; her husband, as he stands helplessly by in the delivery room; a nurse’s aide, who is as helpless as the father; or the distressed baby. It could even be from the point of view of an inanimate object.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eStories have a precise location (scene).\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eStories must have a place. They don’t occur in the abstract. What place brings your story alive? How are you going to show these places to the jury? Instead of telling them about the place, wouldn’t it be so much more powerful were you to re-create the scene in the courtroom? Does that sound crazy? It’s not. It works.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eStories have a logical sequence.\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eHow do you want to sequence your story? Any given portion must move forward in sequence, but that does not mean you have to start at the earliest event and move inexorably forward. You can start at the beginning, but you can also begin your story at the end, or in the middle, or with a flashback. In particular, stories almost always follow the following sequence of events:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eOnce upon a time\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eAnd every day\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eUntil one day\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eAnd as a result of that\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eAnd as a result of that\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eAnd as a result of that\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eUntil, finally\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eAnd ever since then\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e. . .\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis format — evident in all kinds of stories, from Homer to Harry Potter — sets the tone of your case. It also creates the critical subtext from which your jurors’ heroic instincts will develop.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhy should jurors care? Because you have anchored your case to a visual, fact-based storyline. Not only does it compel your jurors to care about your case, but it gives them an active role in the story’s resolution.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo learn more, read the full article\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.trialguides.com\/resources\/free-content\/bett-free-content\/YourJurorsYourHeroes.pdf\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003ehere\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eRecommended Titles for Learning How to Tell Better Stories in Trial:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-05-27T19:02:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T19:03:02-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"forget-about-your-case-and-start-telling-a-story","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T19:03:02-04:00","alt":"","width":955,"height":286,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/Froget.jpg?v=1539385382"}}},{"id" : 13971456059,"title" : "Mark Mandell Wins $25 Million Negligence Verdict","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "May","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/mark-mandell-wins-25-million-negligence-verdict","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_hosp_corridor_150513_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539385712","articleDate" : "May 13, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "Trial attorney Mark Mandell obtained the highest negligence verdict in the history of Rhode Island on April 29 with his co-counsel Yvette Boisclair and Zachary Mandell. The Case: The two Plaintiffs (husband and wife) sued the Rhode Island Hospital. Due to hospital employee negligence, the husband suffered a severe brain injury that caused permanent disabilities in his motor ability and movement, vision, speech, swallowing, and cognition. The $25,590,019.63 verdict accounted for pain and suffering, past medical expenses, expected future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. In addition, the Judge directed interest payments of $5.9 million, bringing the total award to...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13971456059,"title":"Mark Mandell Wins $25 Million Negligence Verdict","created_at":"2018-10-12T19:08:32-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTrial attorney\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/mark-mandell\/\"\u003eMark Mandell\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eobtained\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ethe highest negligence verdict in the history of Rhode Island\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eon April 29 with his co-counsel Yvette Boisclair and Zachary Mandell.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Case:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe two Plaintiffs (husband and wife) sued the Rhode Island Hospital. Due to hospital employee negligence, the husband suffered a severe brain injury that caused permanent disabilities in his motor ability and movement, vision, speech, swallowing, and cognition. The $25,590,019.63 verdict accounted for pain and suffering, past medical expenses, expected future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. In addition, the Judge directed interest payments of $5.9 million,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ebringing the total award to $31.5 million.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan id=\"more-6967\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Story:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOn August 28, 2009, the Rhode Island Hospital admitted the husband for injuries from a fall. In the next forty hours, hospital employees negligently diagnosed him and failed to offer ordinary care or follow orders. He went from being able to walk and function normally to being unable to speak, take fluid or food by mouth, walk, or respond. At the end of the forty hours, the client’s brain herniated on his brain stem, and the increased intracranial pressure, brain swelling, and herniation caused permanent and irreversible damage to his brain — preventable damage caused by the negligence of the hospital’s employees.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eNegligence Details:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003cstrong\u003eThree radiologists\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003emisread the CT scans, failing to identify evidence of increased intracranial pressure.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003cstrong\u003eThe first hospitalist\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003edidn’t examine the client during the first or third twelve-hour shift, didn’t follow up to ensure the neurosurgeon examined him, and didn’t transfer the client to an intensive care unit, despite his worsening condition.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003cstrong\u003eThe second hospitalist\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eexamined the client but did not provide any treatment for increasing intracranial pressure. The hospitalist found him to be non-responsive and arousable only to painful stimulation. The hospitalist also called the neurosurgeon to examine the client but didn’t follow up when the neurosurgeon failed to answer the request.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003cstrong\u003eThe first neurosurgeon\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003emisdiagnosed his condition as post concussive syndrome and didn’t re-examine him at the hospitalist’s request.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003cstrong\u003eThe second neurosurgeon\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003efailed to examine him until after the brain herniation—forty hours after his admission to the hospital.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003cstrong\u003eTwo nurses\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003efailed to perform neuro checks as ordered or notify doctors of the client’s worsening condition.\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs a direct result of the hospital’s negligence, Mark’s client now lacks voluntary muscle control, can’t drive or walk by himself, needs assistance for transfers to the toilet, transportation, or bed, and suffers from spasticity, cognition impairments, a loss of balance, vision, speech, and swallowing. Everything is a struggle, and he suffers emotional suffering and loss of independence with twenty-four hour supervision and little privacy or independence. His wife also lost the consortium of her husband.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThe Method:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the following paragraphs, Mark Mandell explains some of the ways he used case-framing in this case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCase-framing combines three important, new concepts:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003col\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eoverall case-frame\u003c\/em\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eI-just-can’t-get-over\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e(IJCGO) issues, whose collective meaning provide the foundation for identifying the overall case-frame\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eThe\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eechoes\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ewe need to create of the IJCGO issues throughout trial\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ol\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBecause of the powerful influence of early-presented evidence, we need to begin our trials with our key IJCGO issue and then immediately address, in the sequence of their power, all of the other IJCGO issues beneficial to our case. This should almost always be done at the beginning of opening statement.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn this case, I asked our trial judge to let me call my first expert witness even before I gave my opening statement. I have never done this before or ever heard of it happening. That expert was a neuro-radiologist from Chicago. His role was to show the jury our client’s profound brain injury on CT scans. The extent and severity of the brain damage was our key IJCGO issue. I was able to present that expert testimony earlier than ever before. Judges tell the jury that what the lawyers say in opening statement is not evidence. In this case, I was able to cite real evidence supporting our key IJCGO issue in my opening.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis was the first time we have ever been confronted by the defense using decision science principles against us. The defense used our day-in-the-life-of film and also went through our life care plan in their opening statement. This is unheard of but very clever. The defense’s goal was to desensitize the jury to our damage proof before we really got a chance to explain it. For example, several jurors cried when the defense lawyer showed the film for the first time. When we showed the film later, it was still powerful, but no one cried.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eEach day, we kept turning the defense’s tactics around on them. For example, after the defendant showed large parts of our day-in-the-life film. In its opening, we “framed” the film by describing how it was meant to show how hard our client was working to do his therapy, to practice his speech, to eat by himself, to be normal. In other words, we weren’t looking to get sympathy for our client’s plight. We were attempting to show he hadn’t given up, and that he needed the jury’s help because he couldn’t do it on his own. The frame we present our evidence in is as important as the content of the evidence itself.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn closing argument, I used the bill the hospital foolishly sent to our clients (for the very same admission that caused our client’s severe brain injury) as an “anchor” for our\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eper diem\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003edamage argument. The hospital charged $4,000 a day for the room for our client. If the hospital thought that was a fair and reasonable charge, why couldn’t we use the amount as a daily rate for our\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eper diem\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003edamage argument to project our noneconomic proof out into the future? “Anchors” are powerful ways to create echoes of our IJCGO issues throughout trial. The IJCGO issue anchored here is the enormity of the daily struggle my client has to live and deal with.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eVerdict:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe jury awarded my client $15 million for pain and suffering, $1,247,631.63 for past medical care expenses, $4,342,388 for future medical care and treatment, and $5 million to his wife for loss of consortium, making a total of $25,590,019.63. In addition, the Judge ordered the defendant to pay an interest of $5.9 million, bringing the total award to $31.5 million.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAbout\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca class=\"dark\" href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/mark-mandell\/\"\u003eMark Mandell\u003c\/a\u003e:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark Mandell is a senior partner at Mandell, Schwartz \u0026amp; Boisclair, Ltd in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the “Lawyer of the year 2014–15, Appellate Practice, Providence” in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eBest Lawyers in America\u003c\/em\u003e, as well as the “Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury Litigation, Providence” in 2013. He also is a member of the elite Inner Circle of Advocates. You can read more about Mark’s extensive accomplishments on his Trial Guides Author page.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eStay Tuned:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark Mandell has developed new ways of trying cases, including his unique case-framing method, choice theory, and the need for protection. Learn about case-framing in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/case-framing\/\"\u003eMr. Mandell’s new Trial Guides book\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecoming in 2015.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eRecommended Books:\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark recommends\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/rules-of-the-road\/\"\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eby Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone, as well as\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/winning-medical-malpractice-cases\/\"\u003eWinning Medical Medical Malpractice using Rules of the Road Techniques\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eby Patrick Malone with Rick Friedman. Mark discusses how he applies the Rules of the Road and other methods as part of his upcoming new book on case-framing.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-05-13T19:07:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T19:09:55-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"mark-mandell-wins-25-million-negligence-verdict","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T19:08:32-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_hosp_corridor_150513.jpg?v=1539385712"}}},{"id" : 13971554363,"title" : "Ten Wrong Reasons for Not Doing Focus Groups","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "April","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/ten-wrong-reasons-for-not-doing-focus-groups","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_conf_room_150422_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539386240","articleDate" : "April 22, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "Excerpt From Advanced Depositions Strategy &amp; Practice by Phillip Miller and Paul Scoptur 1. I have all the proof I need.This statement is an example of ego gone wild. As we have said, there is lawyer proof and there is jury proof. The proof that the jury needs to find in your favor is often very different than what we as lawyers think is important. Without knowing the jury proof, you will miss critical evidence and testimony in your case. When there is something the jurors want to know—part of their proof—and it is missing from the evidence, they will make up whatever facts they...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13971554363,"title":"Ten Wrong Reasons for Not Doing Focus Groups","created_at":"2018-10-12T19:17:20-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eExcerpt From\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eAdvanced Depositions Strategy \u0026amp; Practice\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eby\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/phillip-miller\/\"\u003ePhillip Miller\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/paul-scoptur\/\"\u003ePaul Scoptur\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e1. I have all the proof I need.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eThis statement is an example of ego gone wild. As we have said, there is lawyer proof and there is jury proof. The proof that the jury needs to find in your favor is often very different than what we as lawyers think is important. Without knowing the jury proof, you will miss critical evidence and testimony in your case.\u003cspan id=\"more-6844\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen there is something the jurors want to know—part of their proof—and it is missing from the evidence, they will make up whatever facts they need for the story to make sense to them. This is called the filling defect. You will not like the answers the jury fills in for you at trial. The only way to learn what your jury proof is, is to talk to a focus group. Or two. Or three.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e2. Focus groups are too expensive.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eIt is not uncommon to hear lawyers say they cannot afford to do focus groups. They may spend tens of thousands of dollars on experts, animations, reconstructions, document or product analysis, and exhibits, but they will not spend money on the one activity that will provide the most critical information possible for the presentation, framing and sequencing, and ultimately, the success of their case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFocus groups can be much more cost effective than you think. If you have a small case, consider working with several other attorneys with similar cases and share the expenses. We are both trial consultants and trial lawyers. Because of that, we are\u003cbr\u003eoften willing to work on a partial or total contingent fee, which is a cost on the file, not a fee split. This minimizes the up-front cost of the focus groups. If you consider a cost-benefit analysis, focus groups are one of the best investments you can make.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e3. I know how to talk to a jury.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eWe all went to law school and learned how to think like lawyers. Unfortunately, your typical juror does not think, or talk, like you do. Your words must resonate with the jury, and the jury must remember them. Your analogies must be something that the jury can relate to. Your themes must make sense. They must understand you. Will the jury remember and understand “preponderance of the evidence”? Not likely. But, will they understand and remember that your burden of proof is that the evidence be “more likely than not”? Will they understand that your damages are the harms and losses that your client has suffered? These phrases did not come from lawyers; they came from focus groups. Lawyers often use legalese or have other technical terms associated with the case. Juries tune this language out, and that will affect your case. You must find the themes and phrases that the jury will remember\u003cbr\u003eand the ones that will hit home with their own experiences and beliefs. It is not what you say but what people hear that counts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFrank Luntz is a Republican consultant. He was instrumental in developing the Contract with America that Newt Gingrich made famous. He has written a book, Words That Work, which is essential reading for any lawyer. He came up with “gaming” instead of “gambling,” and “death tax” instead of “estate tax.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHis key point is simple: It is not what you say, it is what people hear. And focus groups tell us what they hear, and remember, and believe.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy the way, one of the greatest themes ever came from a focus group. Johnnie Cochran did not come up with, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” It came from a focus group.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e4. I have been doing this for years.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eDoing the same thing the same way and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. If you have never been disappointed or surprised in trial and if you have never gotten a result that was unjust, maybe this is not for you. On the other hand, if that was true, why would you waste time and money reading this book?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eYou will eventually find out what a jury thinks about at trial, but that is an expensive way to get answers. Would you pay $1 million for a car without taking it for a test-drive? The focus group is the test drive for your case. Every case has land mines\u003cbr\u003ethat will blow up your case. Focus group participants let you know what those land mines are. And more importantly, they can tell you the fixes for them.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eYour client has one day in court, and you have one chance to present the best case for her. Wouldn’t it be better if you test-drove it first? We are best at things when we have the chance to practice. A focus group lets you experiment with your presentation sequence, analogies, themes, and sequencing and see if your exhibits say what you want them to. Focus groups let you dry run your case. Focus groups give you the chance to lose without a real jury so that you can find your land mines and fix them before they come to light in the jury room. Wouldn’t you rather hear about a problem with your case while you still have the chance to fix it?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e5. This case will probably settle.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eLet’s face it, most cases settle. Cost-conscious (pennywise, pound-foolish) attorneys, optimists, and those who will cave at the first series of substantial offers, believe that they do not need to conduct focus groups because the case will settle. When trial is looming, they realize that a focus group will help them prepare for trial. Unfortunately waiting until discovery is closed is not the best time to do focus groups. Although you will gain new insights, there are questions you cannot ask and evidence you cannot get in.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt is equally as important to learn about your case to prepare for settlement conferences as it is for trial. When you hear jurors (focus group members) use catchphrases to describe your case and you incorporate them into your deposition questions, your proof has the potential of being more persuasive with the kind of people who are likely to be in the jury. How about learning what a jury really thinks of the opposing side’s case and explaining that at a settlement conference? You will always have the upper hand when you really understand what a jury thinks of the entire case.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e6. I had a professional prepare my exhibits.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eStudies show that we spend hundreds of hours working on a case to get it prepared for trial, writing and practicing an opening statement, crafting the killer cross-examination. Yet we often spend little time thinking about and creating the exhibits we use to explain the case, or, even worse, we delegate the task to someone who does not know the case well. Focus groups can describe what they want to see, and they can critique exhibits with a fresh eye. Focus groups will always help tweak the exhibits you have started so that they are the best they can be, and send the right message to the jury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e7. I already have the smoking gun discovery.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eToo often, we have heard focus group participants ask for specific testimony or documents that they believe they need to determine the case or award significant damages, and the lawyers do not have it. Why? Because they waited until discovery was closed before running a focus group. In any significant case, conduct focus groups while there is still time to send out discovery requests or lock in deposition testimony. Focus groups conducted during the pretrial phase provide the opportunity to send discovery requests to the opposing side, obtain the documents and information that is important to the jury’s decision, and ask the right questions at depositions.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e8. I know my case better than anyone.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eExcept maybe the opposing counsel, because they are running focus groups. The fact is, you don’t know what you don’t know unless you run a focus group. During recent focus groups, the lawyer told us that he learned more about his case in the two focus groups we ran than he had with his experts during the entire pretrial phase. Focus group participants say some amazing things, and every time, it is a surprise to find out what they think. Issues that we think are important or that we can handle easily at trial may not be so clear to the focus group. Focus groups often discuss things we think are irrelevant—alcohol usage, or lack of alcohol usage, in a car crash case is one example—within minutes of their deliberations. Questions or assumptions about routine documents like a police report are not so routine to focus group members. We spend much of the pretrial phase trying to obtain and learn the information that the other side possesses. We send interrogatories, take depositions, review documents, and analyze them. Why would we then fail to conduct focus groups and allow the other side to be the only one with the knowledge? To create a level playing field, you must learn what the other side knows, and the other side knows to run focus groups.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e9. That evidence will never come in.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eThe evidence may come in and it may not, but sometimes you find out you want it in so you can explain it to the jury, as opposed to having the jury make up an answer you do not like. In a recent case, a lawyer wanted to exclude facts concerning why the client was in prison. It was evidence that he could clearly keep out, but we found out that the jurors’ reasons for him being in jail were a lot worse than the real reason. When he presented the real reason to the focus group, they were less harsh on the plaintiff. In fact, some felt sorry for him. You need to know how to handle these issues and the other points that you think will never come into evidence but the jury wants to know about it. Questions you leave unanswered can become problems for you.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e10. I have an expert for that.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eLawyers think that experts are the silver bullets for all their problems.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“What about this land mine?”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e“Don’t worry. I have an expert for that. I have it covered.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eResearch shows that experts often cancel each other out or the jury simply does not believe them. This is based on various factors, including the amount they are compensated and the frequency with which they testify. Jurors don’t know which expert to believe, so they don’t believe either of them. Experts get you past summary judgment, but facts get you verdicts. Use focus groups to find out which facts you need to arm your jurors with to carry your fight during deliberations.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eDiscover more great tips and tactics about how to use focus groups and other tools for strategic case planning in:\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/advanced-depositions-strategy-and-practice\/\"\u003eAdvanced Depositions\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/anatomy-of-a-personal-injury-lawsuit\/\"\u003eAnatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eas edited by\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/john-romano\/\"\u003eJohn Romano\u003c\/a\u003e,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/focus-groups\/\"\u003eFocus Groups\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eby\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/david-ball\/\"\u003eDavid Ball\u003c\/a\u003e, and\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eby\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/nicholas-rowley\/\"\u003eNick Rowley\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-04-22T19:15:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T19:17:20-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"ten-wrong-reasons-for-not-doing-focus-groups","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T19:17:20-04:00","alt":"","width":943,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_conf_room_150422.jpg?v=1539386240"}}},{"id" : 13971750971,"title" : "Trial Team Obtains Record $10M Verdict Using Trial by Human and Rules of the Road™","articleTags" : [{ "tagHandle" : "rick-friedman", "tag" : "Rick Friedman" }],"articleYear" : 2015,"articleMonth" : "April","articleURL" : "/blogs/news/trial-team-obtains-record-10m-verdict-using-trial-by-human-and-rules-of-the-road™","articleImageURL" : "//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0002/1341/8043/articles/news_bicycle_150311_1024x1024.jpg?v=1539386920","articleDate" : "April 11, 2015","articleExcerpt" : "In a county where it’s said that civil plaintiff cases go to die, the trial team of Nicholas Rowley, Courtney Rowley, and Theresa Bowen of Carpenter, Zuckerman &amp; Rowley tried a case deemed unwinnable by other lawyers. They obtained a record $10 million verdict. The three attorneys worked as a team using the methods in Trial by Human and Rules of the Road to win a case where the police named their client as at fault. This case, like many others, hinged on a detailed investigation and a trial team that understood how to overcome difficult odds. The Case Their client was a 15-year-old boy riding...","articleReadMoreText" : "Read more","articleJSON" : {"id":13971750971,"title":"Trial Team Obtains Record $10M Verdict Using Trial by Human and Rules of the Road™","created_at":"2018-10-12T19:28:40-04:00","body_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/files\/GroupPhoto_large.jpg?v=1539386985\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn a county where it’s said that civil plaintiff cases go to die, the trial team of\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/authors\/nicholas-rowley\/\"\u003eNicholas Rowley\u003c\/a\u003e, Courtney Rowley, and Theresa Bowen of Carpenter, Zuckerman \u0026amp; Rowley tried a case deemed unwinnable by other lawyers. They obtained a record $10 million verdict.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe three attorneys worked as a team using the methods in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/trial-by-human\/\"\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.trialguides.com\/product\/rules-of-the-road\/\"\u003eRules of the Road\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto win a case where the police named their client as at fault. This case, like many others, hinged on a detailed investigation and a trial team that understood how to overcome difficult odds.\u003cspan id=\"more-6531\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch4\u003eThe Case\u003c\/h4\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTheir client was a 15-year-old boy riding his bicycle at night on a busy commercial street without a helmet. He was in an accident with a driver for AT\u0026amp;T. The police report listed the boy as completely at fault, claiming he had darted out and run a stop sign. Paramedic and emergency room records showed no loss of consciousness, a normal Glasgow Coma Scale score, and no abnormal neurological symptoms other than a headache.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe client was an eggshell plaintiff. He had a severe learning disability before the crash. He had been born two months premature and the defense blamed any problems on pre-existing issues and a “pathogenic dysfunctional family.” Given his already fragile cognitive abilities, the changes caused by the brain injury ruined his life. He had deficits caused by a small amount of damage to his prefrontal cortex (shown on high resolution MRI), as well as memory problems.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eAT\u0026amp;T offered $100,001. No other formal offer was ever made.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe trial team established liability using the Rules of the Road™ method. The driver said it was dark, that he had the right of way, and that the kid ran the stop sign. Defense experts said the concussion was minor and resolved. The defense neuropsychology expert called the client a malingerer. However, Rowley’s team discovered that the AT\u0026amp;T driver was on his cell phone. And that he had lied to the police about it. When caught, AT\u0026amp;T said, “He was on Bluetooth.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe trial team used the methods discussed in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eTrial by Human\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eand\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eConnecting with the Jury\u003c\/em\u003e. They spent a lot of time with the client and his family to help them learn the human story, revealing that the client was devastated by the injury — that he had changed significantly. His special education needs had doubled, and despite extra help he still had to drop out of high school. He went from being active and social to losing all of his friends, gaining sixty pounds, being unable to sleep, living with constant headaches, confusion, and personality problems to the point where he regressed in his behavior and had a short term memory of less than 1 percent of the population. He was twenty at the time of trial. His family explained him as frozen in time, the mind of a teenager trapped inside the body of a young man.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eThe defense asked the jury to give a verdict of $50,000.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe jury returned a verdict for past noneconomic damages of $550,000, future noneconomic damages of $8,050,000, and future economic damages of $1,400,000, for a total verdict of $10 million. The plaintiff’s statutory offer to compromise was for a fraction of the amount. As a result, the plaintiff gets awarded costs and prejudgment interest.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe team described the case as a long and very tough fight, and not just against AT\u0026amp;T. On top of difficult facts, and what was expected to be a conservative jury pool, the team faced a very angry court and courtroom staff. The clerk disliked the case so much that after the verdict he told the defense lawyer that the plaintiff should have received nothing. Thankfully, the jury understood the plaintiff’s loss. This confirms how powerful it is to use Rules of the Road in difficult liability cases, and how Nick’s methods help you to understand and convey your client’s losses in a way that even unreceptive jurors accept.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur congratulations to this trial team and the jury for doing the right thing by helping a family that truly needed it. We wish you the same success in your upcoming cases.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":8099790907,"author":"Cindy Ward","user_id":12448333883,"published_at":"2015-04-11T19:27:00-04:00","updated_at":"2018-10-12T19:31:34-04:00","summary_html":"","template_suffix":null,"handle":"trial-team-obtains-record-10m-verdict-using-trial-by-human-and-rules-of-the-road™","tags":"","image":{"created_at":"2018-10-12T19:28:40-04:00","alt":"","width":942,"height":282,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0002\/1341\/8043\/articles\/news_bicycle_150311.jpg?v=1539386920"}}} ] }