An important part of being a lawyer is avoiding situations that won’t help your client.
One example I keep giving is the lawsuit that can be filed in two – or even three – different places. In most situations like this, one court or another is probably going to be a better place to try the case.
Another thing I try to do is look at alternatives to a jury trial.
Years ago, I had a case where my client had minor injuries in a personal injury case. She would have accepted $10,000 to settle the case, and I would have recommended it.
I thought most lawyers and judges would say the case was worth $10,000.00. But the insurance company would not offer more than $4,000, and I thought a jury would not give her much more than that.
So I asked the defense lawyer if he would recommend arbitration to the insurance company he worked for. He agreed to do that. (An arbitration is a mini-trial , with a lawyer agreed to by both sides serving as judge and jury.)
The arbitrator awarded her $10,000.00.
I like to avoid fighting with the defense lawyer when a “win” won’t help my client.
The lawyer might want 10 year old medical records. Even if I can keep him from seeing them, that probably won’t help my client – the lawyer will keep trying to see them, and will probably ask the judge to make me let him see the records.
The lawyer might even talk – improperly – about my refusal to produce the records in front of the jury. So I get him copies of the records – especially if they don’t hurt us.
It avoids the delay, and removes the argument that we’re trying to hide something.
And while I usually ask for a jury, there are certain judges that I am sure to file a jury demand on.
Sometimes, I won’t cross examine a witness. This may be because their testimony doesn’t hurt me that much – or it may be because I think that other witnesses effectively counter what they have to say. Why risk a “loss” on a minor battle in front of the jury when you’re winning the war?
The important thing to remember is that it’s like pitching a baseball game – the same “pitch” won’t work every time. You have to mix up your tactics.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I “win” when I get the most money for my client, as fast as I can. Sometimes this means not fighting every battle. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati injury lawyer> about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.