Verdict - Fall 2015 - (Page 12)
> hoW i obtained justice for my clieNt
on the road:
and Trial Boots
By ChuCk Clay
hat do you do when you get a call about a
Vetting is more than just finding a well-respected lawyer in the
catastrophic case outside of Georgia? it
general area where an incident occurred, or getting a recommen-
depends on the circumstances. Let's say
dation from a lawyer you trust. the latter is no doubt an important
damages are substantial, liability seems
consideration; however, if the case goes to trial, and you plan to be
clear and you know the subject matter. that
actively involved, you need to know your co-counsel on a deeper
was precisely the situation i found myself in
level. Solicit second opinions. meet with prospective co-counsel
nearly two years ago when i was asked to help
and their staff in person. Visit their offices. two quick, obvious
a friend of a friend . . . in teXAS.
the injured man was t.L., a 31 year-old superintendent who suffered
points: 1) discuss the anticipated division of labor upfront; and 2)
make certain your client is comfortable in all respects.
an above-the-knee amputation after a crane collapsed and caused a
Find out how prospective co-counsel think about cases. most
150-foot structure to fall and trap him to the ground. Seconds before,
importantly, know how experienced and respected they are in the
t.L. was standing about 100 feet away from what proved to be a severely
venue you collectively feel would be ideal for your case. have they
overloaded crane. he played no part in causing this tragedy.
tried cases there in the past? do they know the judge? do they
my friend called me just days after the incident, while t.L. was still
recommend hiring "local, local counsel" for trial or earlier in the
in the iCu at the equivalent of Atlanta's Grady hospital. the following
case if the best venue is a small town, or for other reasons? Get a
17 months offered unexpected results: t.L. returned to work two weeks
flavor for how they feel about experts, mediation, jury consultants,
after the incident, the culpable parties blamed each other, and, on may
focus groups, etc. Find out how they organize files. Ask whatever
6, 2015, a jury awarded approximately $44,000,000 to t.L. and his family.
you need and spend as much time as necessary to gauge whether
that verdict was due to incredible clients and a jury who wanted to
you will click.
bring them justice. Forming a cohesive trial team certainly assisted in
the outcome. i gladly share some guidance i received, mistakes made,
and lessons learned in taking cases far from home.
i am not suggesting local counsel needs to be your mirror image. it
is synergy that is critical. Justin and kurt wore cowboy boots ("trial
SELECTION OF LOCAL CO-COUNSEL IS ESSENTIAL
boots") to every deposition and every day in court. We had unique
kurt Arnold is an exceptional trial lawyer with phenomenal staff. if
styles, aesthetically and professionally, but our combination added
you happen to be near Angleton, tX, Justin Gilbert is a name to know.
diversity, not diversion.
i litigated the t.L. case with these gentlemen but i had never heard of
Arnold & itkin, Justin Gilbert or even Angleton when my friend called
BEING ACTIvELY INvOLvED
me about t.L. We spent 17 months together before trial and three weeks
WITHOUT BrEAKING THE BANK
trying the case. We worked and ate many meals in a modest conference
We had 37 depositions in t.L.'s case, a few of which lasted more
room at the Best Western in Lake Jackson. thankfully, we all got along
than one day. i was present for nearly all of them. initially, i went
and worked well together.
back and forth to houston on short trips. it not only wasted time and
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Fall 2015
What’s New at HQ
Tips for Selecting and Implementing a New Case Management System
How I Obtained Justice for My Client
What You Need to Know About Mass Torts & Multidistrict Litigation
London Calling: Navigating the Waters When Taking a Deposition Overseas
Ethical and Practical Considerations of Co-Counseling
Avoiding Landmines: Identifying, Locating and Serving the Non-U.S. Corporate Defendant
Powerful Weapons: Public-Private Alliances Between State Attorneys General and Private Lawyers
Multidistrict Litigation: Friend or Foe?
Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery
Getting Out-of-State Evidence: Domesticating a Subpoena
New Lawyers’ Corner: Five Tips for Hanging your Shingle
Case Updates: What’s New?
Workers’ Comp Updates
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Index to Advertisers
Verdict - Fall 2015