RESULTS FROM A RECENT TRIAL A RIGHTEOUS VERDICT 1600 S. BRENTWOOD BLVD., SUITE 220 • ST. LOUIS, MO 63144 // FINNEYINJURYLAW.COM // 314-293-4222 // AUGUST 2019
"Mr. Foreperson, has the jury reached a verdict?”
the damages of the plaintiff to be: $2,500,000.” My client couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t sure what was just read. I hugged him again. He cried and so did I (again). His wife cried. My coworker cried. Justice was served. As the jurors filed out, they shook our hands. Some hugged my client. He thanked them for their service. They told him they wished he had a better life now. I have rarely had that experience. The jurors were committed to the cause. We gave them all of our trust for this case. They were forced to sit for this trial. In return, we offered up all the power. What they said was how it would be. The trial lasted three days. It was not all rainbows and butterflies. On the second day, we took it on the chin, hard. The skillful defense attorney had picked through stacks of medical records and attacked our client. As I drove the 45 minutes home that day, I talked with Craig. He felt the same way, but he is an eternal optimist in trial. He had cross- examined the defendant and skillfully showed how the crash occurred and how it was more than likely all her fault. He reiterated that our lay witnesses were fantastic. It felt like those were really our only two highlights. The judge said my opening was too long and asked if I was trying to put the jury to sleep. I kept hearing “preexisting arthritis” over and over in my head. I sat at my counsel table as their expert went
“We have, your honor.”
“Please hand it to the bailiff.”
These are some of the most agonizing moments a lawyer and client can experience: waiting for the bailiff to get the paperwork and walk over to the judge, waiting for the judge to read it to himself, waiting for the judge to say, “The verdict form appears in order,” and waiting for the result. I looked over at my cousin, Craig, who had recorded the time the jury came back, not saying anything and not even really looking at each other. Our table was clean, and everything was packed away. What can be said in those moments? We received a verdict last month in the case I most recently wrote about. It was a true and righteous verdict. $2,500,000 for a man whose life had been terribly and unnaturally altered. Despite all the efforts of the defense to blame him for the crash and say it was only worth $5,000, the jurors saw through it. As I stood with my client, seconds before the verdict was read, he told me he was proud of me and that he loved me. I started to tear up. I couldn’t help it. I hugged him. The judge read the verdict: “We, the jury, find percentages of fault as follows: defendant 100%, plaintiff 0%. We, the jury, assess
at our client. I felt helpless. I questioned why I would subject myself to this bloodbath. It was brutal. I woke on the third day at 3:30 a.m. I couldn’t sleep. I texted my client, who I knew would be awake. I told him I didn’t know what would happen that day, but I truly enjoyed representing him. I told him that no matter what, I enjoyed meeting him and getting to know him, and nothing could ever change that. I left for the office at 5 a.m., arrived at the courthouse at 6:30 a.m., and sat on the bed of my truck in the parking lot until the bailiff let me in. We had our jury instruction conference. The judge charged the jury. Both sides argued their case. The jury of 12 people retired to deliberate. Justice prevailed.
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