Although the pandemic upended traditional Georgia court proceedings, 2020 still featured an array of big trial-related moments captured by CVN cameras. From an armored truck crash verdict to webinars and interviews featuring the industry’s top attorneys, here are the top CVN Georgia trial-related moments of 2020.
We have much more in store next year. Here's to a bigger, brighter 2021!
Following $584K Win in Armored Truck Crash Case, Joseph Wilson Breaks Down Trial With Nick and Courtney Rowley
Jurors in February awarded $584,000 for the armored truck crash that shattered a Georgia woman’s arm.
“This is a case about a young woman who has a caregiver’s heart, but no longer has a caregiver’s future,” Joseph Wilson, of Joseph Wilson Injury Lawyers, told jurors in openings, en route to winning the six-figure verdict for the former nursing assistant in the trial over damages.
And later, Wilson broke down his courtroom approach with Carpenter Zuckerman & Rowley’s Nick Rowley and Courtney Rowley, of The Rowley Law Firm, in a CVN webinar analyzing how to win “the tough cases,” as Nick Rowley terms them. They're the low-speed crash suits, the slip-and-falls, the soft-tissue injuries, the cases that many trial lawyers work at some point. And the winning tactics in those cases are the same that are often key to winning the bigger trials, as well.
The webinar covered everything from Pulp Fiction-style openings to preparing your client to testify.
"What we've started doing really within the past, maybe, three [or] four years, is we put the dollar amount up right away," Nick Rowley said in advising when to specify damages in openings. "This is what the case is worth for changing a human being's life."
Bethany Schneider Details Trial Techniques That Won $5.5M TBI Verdict
A year after her $5.5 million win for the traumatic brain injury a Georgia taxi driver suffered when a pipe fell from a hotel roof and struck his head, Schneider Injury Law’s Bethany Schneider broke down the techniques that secured that verdict.
First, in an in-depth interview, and later during a CVN/TBI Med Legal webinar with Littlepage Booth Leckman's Zoe Littlepage and Baron and Blue’s Lisa Blue, Schneider covered issues such as how she successfully flipped a time gap in treatment and her critical cross-exam of the defendant building contractor in the case.
“You have to take your worst fact and you have to figure out a way to actually make it work for you,” Schneider said during the interview, when discussing her approach to perceived weaknesses in a case.
Dan Huff and Scott Bailey Break Down How They Cleared Pair of Physicians in Wrongful Death Med Mal Trial
This fall, Huff Powell & Bailey’s Dan Huff and Scott Bailey sat down for a deep-dive interview into the defense techniques that helped them clear a urologist and radiologist in a 2017 trial over the cancer death of a former patient.
The wide-ranging interview covered everything from their approach to voir dire to the best methods for presenting expert testimony that will resonate with a jury.
“When [experts are] really explaining what happened and showing the jury what happened, it not only is more memorable for the jury but it’s just more interesting and it keeps their attention better as you’re explaining things,” Huff said about his penchant for getting expert witnesses out of the witness box to testify using demonstratives.
“I always think about, if I’m a juror, what’s going to bother me about this witness’s testimony,” Bailey added, in detailing his approach to questioning his client. “I want to answer those questions that jurors might have. And I want to do it such a way where I might ask it in the same way that they would ask my client.”
CVN will offer more on this interview soon, along with it fully-indexed and on demand for subscribers. For now, subscribers can watch the full interview here.
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Jim Butler Jeb Butler & Other Product Liability All-Stars Break Down Blockbuster Jeep Explosion Trial
Jim Butler, of Butler Wooten & Peak, and Jeb Butler, now of the Butler Law Firm, made national headlines in 2015 when they won a $150 million verdict against Chrysler for the death of a Georgia toddler in a Jeep Grand Cherokee fuel tank explosion.
And in October, the Butlers joined Panish Shea & Boyle’s Brian Panish, Greene Broillet & Wheeler’s Chris Spagnoli, and Tab Turner of Turner and Associates to break down the trial.
The panel provided their views on issues ranging from effectively deposing defense experts to properly framing arguments concerning other-similar-incident evidence.
“In a case where there is no defense, and that applies to a lot of auto products cases, you tell the jury that. You show the jury that,” Jim Butler said of his approach to auto products liability cases.
“Think about what is really going on in the case. Not evidentiary battles, not particularly what the law has to say but what is really going on in the case and the truth of it, with no flash at all and no cover,” Jeb Butler advised as the best way to approach damages arguments.
Lloyd Bell Outlines Techniques That Win Major Med Mal Verdicts
The Bell Law Firm’s Lloyd Bell has won a slate of blockbuster medical malpractice verdicts in front of CVN cameras. And in an interview that launched CVN Discovery, Bell discussed the courtroom approach that has delivered those wins.
The interview covered topics ranging from using your body as a demonstrative to how to approach damage requests. They are the techniques that helped Bell win a $26 million verdict for a woman who suffered brain damage after complications with a blood clot, and a $15 million award for a man paralyzed in a fall from a medical exam table, among other headline-grabbing awards.
“It helps the jury to see things in motion. That’s just a fundamental principle of good trial advocacy,” Bell said, when explaining how he often uses his own body as a demonstrative to reenact the story underlying a case.
Fried Goldberg Attorneys Detail the Closing Argument Techniques That Won 4 Blockbuster Verdicts
In the past two years alone, Fried Goldberg attorneys have won four blockbuster verdicts in front of CVN cameras, in cases ranging from motorcycle crashes to hospital falls.
And in December, Fried Goldberg’s Joe Fried, Michael Goldberg, Brad Thomas, and Eric Rogers analyzed the closing argument techniques that were common to each of those big wins.
Viewers joining the CVN webinar learned how the attorneys approach issues such as using jury charges to focus jurors and the best way to tell your client’s damages story.
“You pick the person who is the closest and maybe even the most vulnerable person in your life and really allow yourself to think about what this would have been like for them to be going through," Joe Fried advised as the best way to settle on a damage number. “Let yourself really be specific about it, and then ask yourself… the [damage] number. It will change your impression.”
Goldberg agreed, saying, “You can’t say [to jurors] 'Put yourself in the shoes of my client.' However, you can... present your case in such a way that the jury literally understands and feels what your client is going through.”
Email Arlin Crisco at acrisco at cvn.com.