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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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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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11.8.1 Objection!

By Back to Coopers’ Way index
The strategy, art, and irritation inherent to deposition objections “What did you do next?” The lawyer was deposing the defendant driver about the incident itself. “Objection! He’s already told you that he was not on his cell phone or texting and that after the collision, after first calling 911, he then immediately went and rendered aid to your client,” the...
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13.5 Publish And Perish

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Preparing for the defense expert’s deposition “I see you wrote a book on the topic you’re here to discuss,” said the lawyer to the expert during the expert’s deposition. “Yes, I did. Unfortunately,” the expert appeared to simultaneously shrug and smirk, “it is no longer in print.” “That’s true,” said the lawyer while reaching into the lawyer’s messenger bag, “but...
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19.1 How Appealing

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The trial lawyer and appellate lawyer’s delicate pas de deux The lawyer smiled inside as the clerk finished reading the verdict. Substantially more than the defense’s last offer. The lawyer buzzed a bit while taking down the jury polling and as the judge said a final “thank you” to the jury. Then the lawyer went outside to get feedback from...
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15.4 Take It To The Limit

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Overcoming the inherent challenges when negotiating policy limits cases “I have good news and bad news,” the mediator started, “The defense is ready to make a new offer. But they want you to move off your policy demand before I have authority to extend the offer. They say it is your move.” That was true. It was the lawyer’s move....
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12.2 Brain Drain

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Identifying and proving mild traumatic brain injury – when should you make a TBI claim? “Well, I don’t remember all of what happened. I woke up in the ambulance. Things were kind of fuzzy after that.” The lawyer was talking to a potential client. The emergency room had given the injured person a concussion recovery handout. The individual doubted there...
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12.3 Wage War

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Identifying and proving wage loss without a W-2 The lawyer listened to the client as the client explained the client’s earnings history. “Since the incident, I don’t have the strength to do big procedures. I have to turn those down.” The client was a surgeon. The lawyer looked at the profit and loss statements, which showed almost identical income in...
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17.1 Staff Privileges

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Meet the staff who control the courtroom The lawyer, opposing a summary judgment motion, answered the judge’s question. Earlier, the lawyer had noticed an individual with a notepad quietly sit down in the witness box as their line had been called. The lawyer recognized the individual from past visits. One of the department’s two research attorneys. As the lawyer distinguished...
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13.6 Expert Examination

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Experts need to show, tell and teach. You need to empasize your expert’s objectivity and defuse the common defense attacks The young lawyer cringed when the treating vocational rehab expert, testifying in a civil trial, said “insurance.” Yes, the expert was referencing workers’ compensation insurance. While not a veteran expert, it was the young lawyer’s witness and the young lawyer’s...
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8.2 Complaint Department

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The art of crafting a complaint…and avoiding a demurrer The lawyer knew the case was unusual. There was a worry the other side wouldn’t get it – that there would be significant pleading battles. The lawyer worked hard to put in the right combination of facts plus a case citation for the unique cause of action. That may stave off...
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