A memorable "gotcha" moment during a cross-exam can critically undercut your opposition’s case and swing a jury verdict in your favor. During an in-depth webinar with Arash Homampour, Steve Vartizarian detailed how the cross-exam of an accident reconstruction expert included one of those "gotcha" moments and helped set up an $11 million verdict in a truck crash case.
Jose Garcia was killed when the truck in which he was travelling struck a big rig parked on the side of a California highway. Vartizarian, of The Vartizarian Law Firm, represented Garcia’s widow. He claimed that the big rig was illegally parked, and its driver, who was also killed in the accident, had stopped to relieve himself.
However, the owner of the trucking company claimed the driver had actually stopped to attend to an unforeseen mechanical issue. And its accident reconstruction expert offered testimony to support that claim.
The problem? The pathology report showed tire marks from the big rig across its driver’s back that were inconsistent with the defense expert’s theory.
During cross-exam, Vartizarian got the expert to commit to his theory that the tire marks went horizontally or diagonally across the big rig driver’s back. Then Vartizarian showed the drawing from the autopsy report, finding the tire marks actually went vertically up the driver’s back, undercutting the expert’s conclusions.
“And it was all downhill from there,” Vartizarian said, adding he saw jurors shaking their heads at the expert.
Vartizarian said the case faced long odds at first blush, including a mountain of damning defense evidence. But using real trial video, Vartizarian detailed how he flipped the defense evidence to secure an $11 million verdict that far surpassed a $700,000 midtrial offer the defense made to settle the case.
The discussion with Homampour, of The Homampour Law Firm, was part of a three-hour webinar, sponsored by litigation support firm Phillips, Fractor & Company, LLC, analyzing the techniques Vartizarian and Homampour use to win outsized verdicts. The pair touch on topics ranging from reframing evidence in your favor to when to hire experts.
Now CVN subscribers can watch the webinar on demand. It's fully indexed by topic, allowing you to skip to the specific portion you'd like to see. Or, if you'd prefer, simply watch the whole webinar from beginning to end. It's part of CVN Discovery's Webinars Demand, bringing discussions with the country's preeminent trial pros to you, at your convenience.
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