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Thought Leadership in Personal Injury


We believe sharing knowledge helps improve our profession. If you have questions about anything we’ve written, reach out. Discussing concepts helps us all hone our skills.

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When wage loss doesn’t seem to add up

Past and future wage loss. What was and would have been versus what is and will be. Significant wage loss can drive case value. In a best-case scenario, your seriously injured client is a high-wage earner with indisputable wage loss. But how often is wage loss more nuanced? When wage loss is not crystal clear, it’s time to scrutinize the details.

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I feel your pain: the Gerry Spence method taken over the top

On Thursday, May 3, I met with Ms. B___ and her daughter. Ms. B___’s arm, specifically her radius, was shattered when she took a bad fall. Surgery, a plate, ten screws. I took notes as she told me how she could not work at the hospital for now and how difficult it was to care of herself. On Friday, May 4, I had a court appearance in Redwood City.

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Most Powerful

The Stoic

The lawyers sat there, stunned. The doctor sat across from them, giving the couple time to absorb the information. Their three-year-old daughter’s cough and fever? Not pneumonia. Cancer. A tumor. A big one, crushing the little girl’s right lung. Rare – a few hundred reported cases. And tough odds. Chemo, a surgery, more chemo. A year-long process and the hope that it doesn’t recur… because recurrence with the particular cancer does not end well.

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8.1 Discovery Process

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Developing and drafting discovery before filing suit The lawyer typed while the expert rattled off a laundry list of “like-to-haves” in the case. The lawyer had reached out to the expert shortly after undertaking representation. The goal was to develop a discovery plan well before filing suit. The lawyer would then be able to get the information the expert needed,...
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15.6 Settle Up

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Getting the most out of a Mandatory Settlement Conference The lawyer walked down the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed hallway in the court section of a county building so unique it was used for a science fiction movie years ago. The client sat waiting on a bench, while other attorneys milled about waiting for courtrooms to open. The lawyer nodded a hello...
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4.2 Compensating For Something

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Pointers and pitfalls when a client is entitled to workers’ comp benefits The client described the incident to the lawyer. “I was a sprinkler fitter working for a subcontractor. The general contractor was supposed to build access platforms for us. They hadn’t built them yet but told us we needed to start work. I was trying to get to the...
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1.4.3 Asking For A Friend

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Helping the addict in our midst take steps toward recovery Over the past few months, the lawyer heard various stories. “Pat is going to die,” said one. “I’m worried about Pat’s drinking. It’s worsened during the pandemic,” said another. Pat was another attorney, one the lawyer drank with back in the rootin’ tootin’ days, when after the party came the...
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5.7 Give Me A Break

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Evaluating bicycle product-liability cases involving carbon-fiber parts The lawyer looked at the images. Some showed various angles of a broken bicycle fork. Others depicted the client’s damaged face. One didn’t need a radiologist to recognize the orbital fractures. As the lawyer enhanced the fork image, the obvious question arose. Did the fork snap, causing the crash? Or did the client...
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20.2 This Is The End

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Concluding client representation at the end of a case; make it worthwhile for you and your client The lawyer was looking forward to the next item on the day’s calendar, a client-exit interview. These calls were set after the formalities of the case were concluded. “Pat,” the lawyer started out, “Thanks for making some time today. As I understand things,...
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7.1 Pre-Party

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Settlement efforts before filing suit are worth the effort The lawyer’s phone buzzed. “The new adjuster in the Jane Doe case is on the other line.” The lawyer asked that the call get put through. It became apparent the out-of-state adjuster was unaware of California’s Vehicle Code section 22517, known in bicycling circles as the dooring law. The lawyer asked,...
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11.6 Admit Nothing

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Practical and tactical use of requests for admissions The lawyer read through the defendant’s responses to requests for admissions. Surprise, surprise – nary a straight admission nor denial. And a flurry of “calls for a legal conclusion,” and “calls for expert opinion,” objections. Totally inappropriate, and totally expected. Admissions are frightening – admit it and the answer cannot be changed...
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15.5.3 Settle In

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Mediations succeed when clients know what to expect before they go The lawyer and client spoke about the upcoming mediation. The client understood things, up to a point. “I get it. So the mediator goes back and forth, and tries to get us to agree to some number to settle?” The lawyer confirmed. “And if we can’t agree, this retired...
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1.7 Strained Relationships

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Rapport building with clients, counsel, and co-workers in socially distant times The lawyers sat at the dinner table with their children. “How are you liking Zoom karate?” one of them asked. Their eight-year-old told them karate was fine, but he missed his friends. The lawyer followed up, “You see them during class, don’t you?” “Yes,” the child said, “But it’s...
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