Think Outside the Box

This post discusses thinking outside the box to succeed as a trial lawyer representing injured people.

The Time is Now. A trait of a quality trial lawyer is living in the moment. Preparation is essential as in having a thorough understanding of the facts and the law. Also it is important to image the case so the steps of the trial are imagined or imaged as an actor does before the play. This preparation  should not, however, substitute for allowing the trial to unfold naturally while staying in the moment. Staying in the moment lives the case as the jury lives the case. This creates connection with the jury. Staying in the moment removes any plastic rehearsed presentation.

Ditch Prior Successes. Great trial lawyers rarely use the same argument again. They move to the next case and present it in a new way that fits the story of the case. Defense lawyers at times pick the brain of a prior opponent to try and find out how the lawyer will approach their case. Trial lawyers who think outside the box could care less about what the prior lawyer has to say because the last case is done and they have moved on to the next with a fresh presentation that fits the story of the new case.

Do the Opposite. Under the classic personal injury case situation the lawyer presents a settlement demand prior to filing the case. Although this still makes sense in some cases, in many cases the pre filing demand is a waist of time. Further it telegraphs to the insurance company the lawyer wants to settle the case rather than take the case to trial. This results in the insurance company paying less for the case. Full value is paid when the insurance company knows the lawyer is prepared and willing to file the case.

Try the Case Without Medical Records. With the advent of Evidence Rule (ER) 904 trial lawyers routinely submit voluminous medical records of their plaintiff which are then introduced at trial. Consider thinking outside the box and forget about submitting ER 904 medical records. Have the treating physician testify to all relevant medical facts. In closing reiterate key medical testimony. The jury does not take any medical records into the jury room. This allows for a decision based on the medical testimony rather than on what a juror may chose to focus on when medical records are available in the jury room.

Never Stop Learning. Although the saying is success breeds success, success is dangerous when it breeds contentment, failure to reflect, and failure to grow. In today’s world change is rapid and those who fail to change and grow are left behind. Remember to forget the glory days, grow from the past and live originally in the present.

    2 Responses to “Think Outside the Box”

    1. Hey, you used to write magnificent articles, but the last few posts have been kinda lackluster… I miss your great writing. Past few posts are just a bit out of track!

    2. Joan Lilei says:

      Just as good as your last post.

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