How do you know if a jury will like the defendant in an injury case?
It’s pretty simple.
The same principle even applies to victims in an injury case.
The principal is this: If you as the attorney like the defendant it is almost certain that the jury will like the defendant also.
By the same token, if you think the defendant is arrogant or lying or holding something back it is virtually certain that the jury will feel that way too.
Because we all have similar life experiences.
We know when someone is lying.
We do not need to read a book on body language to figure it out. It’s just something that our gut tells us almost immediately.
We know immediately whether the person is likable and trustworthy or not.
Recently I had this experience in an auto accident case.
I was deposing the defendant truck driver in the case.
The defendant truck driver was an immigrant from Albania.
He knew nothing of America and did not speak English. Yet he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and got a job driving a big rig truck for a trucking company.
I liked him immediately.
I knew that was bad news for our case. Because I was almost certain that a jury would like him also.
In fact because he had some problems expressing himself in our language, I found myself trying to help him with the answers as he was groping for the right word to use.
Here I was the attorney for the other side trying to help him use the right word to answer my question.
That’s how nice of a fellow he is.
I knew at that moment that we had better settle the case rather than going to trial.
Because a jury would’ve loved this guy.
Even though my client was severely injured in the truck accident, they would likely temper any award in the case against the trucking company.
I had a genuine concern that a jury would not give my client adequate compensation because of the defendant driver’s likability.
Therefore we are going to make every effort we can to settle this case.
In this instance the alternative of going to trial is just too risky.
Pittsburgh wrongful death, medical malpractice, slip and fall and criminal defense attorney Bernie Tully believes this is not a bad decision.
It’s just dealing with the reality of what we would be going against.
A likable defendant is a deadly opponent in an injury case.
That’s never a good thing for an injury victim in a case.
Pittsburgh wrongful death, medical malpractice, car accident and criminal defense attorney Bernie Tully believes you got to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. This is the time to fold ’em and call it a day.
Well at least that’s the way I look at it for this particular case.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading.
Bernie the attorney.