1600 S. BRENTWOOD BLVD., SUITE 220 • ST. LOUIS, MO 63144 // FINNEYINJURYLAW.COM // 314-293-4222 // APRIL 2020
FIGHTING HARD AND LOSING HARDER
A bout six weeks ago, our office had another jury trial. It was the same story — AAA did not want to pay for the chronic, lifelong damage that their insured caused to a young woman. Despite trying to settle with AAA a long, long time ago, we could never reach an agreement. So we proceeded to a jury trial. We prepared for this case hard, just like we do for any trial. I was confident going in that we were going to obtain a solid, just result for our client. She is a tremendous, honest person who did everything we asked of her. You cannot find a better client to have. I am lucky to represent this great person. Our office worked hard. We spent time away from our families. We were in the office at 6 a.m. on Sundays. We made sure we had all the logistics coordinated and witnesses ready. We had all our filings together. We organized all the files at the courthouse so we could easily find them. So much behind-the- scenes work goes into a trial. Team members never get the full recognition, but this is a full-scale production. And we lost. We got an unjust verdict. As the judge read the decision, I was shocked. I could feel my forehead compile beads of sweat, and my body temperature rise. The powerlessness
and the gut level awfulness is dreadful and disgusting. The feeling of losing a trial is the worst form of losing I can imagine, where the decision-makers basically call you a total liar, and there is nothing you can do about it. It is a total and complete lack of control. In that moment, I questioned who I was and why I was practicing law. I felt like I had failed my client, my employees, and even the profession. I let everyone down. In these situations, you wonder how you will ever win again and how you won before. Were those just flukes? How can I ever replicate that? I am not exaggerating — this is the crazy self-talk and doubt that goes through your head. And you are scared. So, what do you do? How do you respond? Really, there is only one realistic, viable option. You tell yourself that losing is a risk, no matter how unfair it seems or how good your case is. You breathe. You settle down. You decide what type of lawyer you want to be: the one who never quits. Even in the face of injustice, you trust that you are on the right side of the case and you would rather lose every case than switch sides with the insurance defense lawyers. Even in the face of this loss, your life and career are better for having represented this client, this human who needed to fight for their
experiences and their right to their own life. You trust your moral compass.
And you get right back to it. You get right back into the case. In this particular case, that meant spending more money and energy on the motion for a new trial. I told our client we are not giving up, we won’t give up, and we are going to do everything in our power to right this wrong. Will it work? We will keep you posted.
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