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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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Settlement talks – it’s not over until the foreperson sings

By Lawyers

We knew the case was tough. Taking on the employer in a tiny county is difficult. Our case made that look easy. The witnesses seemed to be going in well though. Granted, our client was hit with a couple (read significant) inconsistencies. But the defense lawyer’s approach—scorched earth—seemed to alienate a few members of the jury. Given the evidence, the…

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Second chair is much more than second fiddle – the role of the second seat in trial is to be present and anticipate

By Lawyers

I watched the exchange from down the hall. I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong – a missing exhibit, exam outline, witness, or the lead attorney’s favorite pen. Obviously the second seat had done something that the lead felt was an error. The muted acidity in his tone virtually stripped paint from the hallway wall. “That’s going to improve the…

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Directing the direct when your witness is not an expert

By Lawyers

Some time ago I was asked to help a lawyer with his first jury trial. He finished voir dire, opening, a cross-examination of a corporate witness under Evid. Code section 776. All were masterful, textbook. You could tell he practiced and studied. The next witness, late in the day, was a direct exam of a percipient. The defense lawyer, a…

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What the camera does not show

By Lawyers

Turning surveillance video to your client’s advantage We were packing the last box for the trip up to Placer County when it arrived. Sub rosa [1], or surveillance, video of our client. We stopped packing to review it. Ten minutes of video shot over two separate five-day periods. Our client, with a neck injury, exhibiting a full range of motion…

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A Lawyer for all Seasons

By Lawyers

Successful lawyering requires many different skills The jury panel sat in the box, in rapt attention. The man talking was one hell of a defense lawyer. Old school, pre-discovery act. He told stories – none of that computer slide show crap – and jurors listened. The plaintiff’s lawyer was nervous – as one should be when you dance with the…

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Relax, I’m a Professional

By Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

Understanding bicycling experts in the context of urban riding’s evolution The plaintiff’s lawyer sat in the conference room, hoping the expert would eventually answer her question. “I’ve been doing this for over forty years,” explained the bicycle expert in a condescending way, barely omitting a “little lady” at the end. “And during that time we’ve trained vehicular cyclists to…” The…

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