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Thought Leadership in Personal Injury


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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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17.14 The Verdict

By Back to Coopers’ Way index
Preparing and using the special verdict form in trial “Judge, we need to meet again about the verdict form” said one of the lawyers. The special verdict was thirteen pages long and as user-friendly as an IRS form – and not the 1040-EZ. Unfortunately, it contained a directional error. A function of last-minute rulings on a case with multiple issues....
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1.1.4 Squared Away

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Clearing out that which accumulates in a law practice “And schedule an LBJ day for me after this trial please – my office is getting out of control. Without a block of time, I won’t deal with it, and it will just get worse.” The lawyer was checking in with the office manager. “A what?” the office manager asked. “Lady...
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3.1 I Am The Business…

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Maintaining the personal touch in personal injury through regular client contact “And John Doe called. He said it had been a while since he had checked in and wanted an update.” The lawyer and legal assistant were doing the daily review. “Let’s pull up the calendar … wow. With this week’s depo schedule it is going to be hard to...
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17.5 Prime Time

By Back to Coopers’ Way index
Mini-openings, neutral statements, and overselling in the name of primacy The defense counsel insisted. The neutral statement, in the defendants’ contentions section, must say defendants contend plaintiff waived his right to bring a lawsuit by signing a contractual waiver. After much argument, the phrase stayed in. The contention, a primacy effort, came back to haunt the defense during jury selection....
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2.1 First Impressions

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The initial contact with a potential client sets the tone The lawyer’s phone buzzed – it was a text from the office. “Good potential case call just now – please check email.” The lawyer pulled up the email. It contained a short summary of the incident and a police report. The lawyer happened to be near the town where the...
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17.6.3 Questionnaire Questioner

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A handy “how to” for effective use of jury questionnaires. Details, details… The lawyer thought about the case. Gay marriage. Chronic opioid use. A waiver. And an impending trial in a conservative county. A few hurdles there. Why try it? Because what the defendants had done was awful, because they weren’t offering anything significant, and because it was the right...
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21.6 Personal Jurisdiction

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Lessons learned from a case with personal impact “Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine I guess.” To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960, HarperCollins Publishers, p. 87. For many lawyers, Atticus Finch epitomizes what we would like to be. An individual...
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When wage loss doesn’t seem to add up

By Personal Injury
Bad injury, bad documentation: Putting together the wage loss picture 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...
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21.4 The Man Comes Around

By Back to Coopers’ Way index
Life lessons in the law following a life lost It was a crisp fall day, the great window in the gathering space framing skeletal trees outside. I sat in the audience, listening to the memorial service. People got up and told stories about the man who had passed, and the man’s contributions to the community. That community included family, friends,...
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1.1.3 That’s Deep…

By Back to Coopers’ Way index
Balancing your “thinking work” with lawyering’s responsive requirements The lawyer focused on the computer screen, considering which direction to go with the mediation brief. There was a knock on the office door – the receptionist had a quick question. The lawyer answered it, and then attempted to go back to the brief. A text came in. The lawyer pulled out...
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