In the March 2017 issue of Plaintiff, beginning on page 28, Jude Basile at the Basile Law Firm in San Luis Obispo, CA, explained how to help a jury find damages by focusing on the defendant’s bad conduct at trials.
Basile represents plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death suits. Basile advises: “Spend all the time you can in the life of the person you represent,” according to Plaintiff. Trials are based on credibility. A plaintiff ends up with few money damages when the plaintiff, expert witness, or the attorney representing the plaintiff, does not appear honest. To become credible to a jury, an attorney needs to investigate the plaintiff’s values.
To put away a wrongdoer, Basile shows curiosity in the plaintiff’s life, beginning with birth. For example, the plaintiff may value family, love, or compassion. Bastile accompanies the plaintiff to work, and appointments with doctors and physical therapists. By spending time with the plaintiff, the attorney learns the events that shape and influence the plaintiff, and connects with the treating medical providers.
The defendant concentrates on the greed of the plaintiff, and the lawyer representing the plaintiff. Attorneys are not seen in society as trustworthy, while doctors or nurses are consistently ranked near the top of trustworthiness, even though they may commit medical malpractice.
By getting to know the plaintiff, the attorney learns the plaintiff’s emotions. The plaintiff is no longer a medical description of an injury, or seen as medical bills.
To enhance damages themes, an attorney can use the defense’s witnesses and experts against the defendant. For example, use defense medical expert witnesses to describe surgical procedures or drugs being administered. Show the coldness of a defendant by pointing out the lack of contact with a hospital to follow up on the how well the plaintiff is doing.
Bastile concluded the article with, “We are human beings, telling a human being’s story, to a group of human beings. Always keep becoming human. Explore feelings, look at who we are, why we do what we do and share it all with others.”
Read the article here.