We Treat Every Day As If We Are Going to Trial
After years of litigating and trying cases against some of the wealthiest corporations and insurance companies in the world, JB Law knows how to best prepare a case for trial. While most personal injury firms look for excuses to avoid trial, JB Law takes a mindset that all cases will be tried unless and until the Defendant agrees to pay a good settlement to our client. Even though the majority of cases settle well in advance of trial, we prepare as if we are going to trial every day.
There is no way to tell what cases will end up going to trial, so we treat every case as if it will go to trial tomorrow. From the moment we meet our Client, we start preparing. Something as mundane as providing documents to an insurance company must be done with trial in mind. Having started my career many years ago working for insurance companies, I am aware that every piece of evidence matters when it comes to maximizing the value of a client’s case.
Once it is determined that a case will be going to litigation, the potential for trial becomes even greater. Most cases resolve prior to filing a lawsuit, however the larger cases typically require putting as much pressure on an insurance company or self-insured Defendant as possible. That is done through litigating and possibly trying the case.
After a case is filed, the Court will typically put the case in a trial docket. This does not mean we will know exactly when we will go to trial. It simply means we are placed on a four- or eight-week calendar with dozens of other cases. Prior to that trial docket period, the Court will typically conduct a Calendar Call where all the attorneys appear and discuss scheduling. Often times the attorneys won’t know exactly when they are trying a case until a few days before. This is why it is so beneficial working with JB Law – the preparation starts the minute we receive your case.
During litigation, there will be hearings argued, discovery documents exchanged, and depositions taken which provide a road map to what the opposing party will argue at trial. It is crucial for the attorney to keep detailed notes throughout litigation in order to best anticipate the Defendant’s arguments at trial. While we are focused on arguing our case, we also must be prepared to offer evidence that rebuts the arguments made by the Defense.
As the trial period approaches, there are a few crucial tasks that must be completed in order to be ready to go when the Court makes the call.
- Evidence Organized and Ready – First and foremost, your evidence must be printed, labeled and ready to be introduced weeks in advance of the trial. You cannot be scrambling to print out medical records or photographs. If you forget it at the office, the Court does not wait for you to go back and get it.
- Deposition Testimony Outlined – All depositions must be flagged and prepared to be used to impeach witnesses at trial. If a witness gives an answer at trial that is not consistent with deposition testimony, a prepared attorney will have the deposition transcript to impeach the witness so the jury knows that witness was either not being truthful during the deposition or there at trial.
- Jury Selection Prepared – It is also best to have your Jury Selection questions drafted so you know the important areas to cover before deciding which jurors you wish to have stricken or accepted. You will not know who the potential jury members will be prior to their entering the courtroom but you know the parts of your case that are most important. To a large extent, your jury selection strategy should line up with the important parts of your case.
- Know the order of your witnesses – This might sound basic but the order of the witnesses is helpful both for strategy and logistics. Sometimes a doctor or other expert witness cannot testify on a specific day. You do not want to find that out once the trial begins. There is also an advantage to having witnesses testify in a specific order. Know the order before you step foot in the courtroom.
- Opening Statement Ready to Go? – In many cases, the Opening Statement is given on the first day of trial immediately after Jury Selection concludes. A basic outline or general idea of what to include in the Opening Statement should be prepared prior to entering the courtroom because once Jury Selection begins all attention is paid to your prospective panel.
There are of course many other important factors in trial preparation, but these are the most important factors that we are always considering as we head to the courthouse to represent our clients before a jury. If you were injured, contact us for a free case evaluation. We can discuss these factors and others that will determine if you can likely receive a large personal injury verdict.