The firm was called in to defend an insurer in a personal injury lawsuit. A woman sought damages for past and future injury, disability, pain and suffering and punitive damages. The insurer’s previous counsel had withdrawn without so much as deposing the Plaintiff. Our defendant’s insured refused to cooperate in the case or even to attend trial. With discovery closed, trial would be utterly unpredictable.
Associate Bill T. McKee accepted the challenge. He succeeded in prompting key admissions from the plaintiff on cross examination, won motions to exclude categories of damage for insufficient evidence, and in the end, the jury awarded the plaintiff only a fraction of the damages she had sought. Foreseeing this possibility when others were predicting a substantial award, Bill had made an offer of judgment before trial, and the offer exceeded the amount of the jury’s award. Net result: judgment for defendant.
All that aside, we recommend that plaintiffs be deposed before trial, that the defendant appear for the trial, and that the potential for summary judgment be at least explored. But for those rare times when basic trial preparation is not an option, we recommend that you call Bill McKee.