Just recently won a big verdict on behalf of my client. Some trial highlights:
1) My client has to prove damages. Put my client on the stand and ask, "What is the total amount of your damages that you are claiming?" Objection - irrelevant.
Now, without proving damages, there can be no case win. The objection is that the proof of damages is "irrelevant"?
Shocker (my opponents brought 5 attorneys to trial, some of whom bill $800/hour - they objected to this question as "irrelevant.").
2) Going through damages -- "And what is $4,000 times 6 years?" "Objection your honor - Leading!" No. Leading would be "And $4,000 times 6 years is $24,000, right?"
3) Now, sir, by sending out this document, was it your intent to frighten my client? "Objection, mischaracterizes his testimony!" Mischaracterizes his testimony? His testimony is mentioned nowhere in the question. The question merely asks if his motivation in sending the letter was to frighten. The question involves neither his testimony nor any characterization of the testimony. And even if it would have (for example, "Didn't you just testify that the letter was designed to frighten someone?') I don't think that is a valid objection to cross examination.
4) Opponents brought 5 attorneys and 3 support staff every day. One of their litigation themes? "We are a small company being bullied." Well, when you have a theme like that, you probably don't want to flood the counsel area with people billing a total of $3,000 an hour and leave them there for 60 hours of trial.
5) One of the key arguments in the case, raised to the judge many times, was that because my client had been in business many years that he could claim many years of future damages. Judge had ruled on that theory 3-5 times during motions, always saying such testimony would, in fact, help to prove damages.
Q - "How long have you been in business?"
Objection - irrelevant.
Um, you have already lost this 3-5 times, there is binding case law directly on point, why continue?
6) Opposing counsel loses to my objections on the relevance of an issue 4 times. Finally says, "You honor, may I approach and be heard?" Judge - "On this line of questioning?" Yes. Judge, "No, you may not." Ouch.
7) One opponent objection was untimely disclosure of a witness. Move to exclude - denied. "We have no time to prepare!" Tough. Witness testifies - they have a rebuttal witness and a 29 page PowerPoint presentation with 4 separate attacks. Guess they were adequately prepared.
8) Local counsel asked me, "If we lose, are we polling the jury?" Uh, no. That is classless and, in my opinion, very unprofessional. These people have given us 8 days of their lives. We aren't doing that. We will take our loss with dignity and thank the folks for their service.
Then we win. Opponent -- "I would like the jury polled."
73 year old female juror, when asked, stops deliberately, turns to look directly at opposing counsel and says, "YES. It IS my verdict!" She is SUPER pissed.
9) When I won, two of opposing counsel walked up very graciously and professionally and said, "Congratulations, you did a good job." Main opponent, "See you at the Court of Appeals!" I relied, "You could, instead, just pay me now." Fucker.
When I was a really young kid, my dad taught us many card games. At the end of the game, you shook hands and said, "Good game." It was required. That was taught to me at age 6. Just stick out your hand and say "Good game." It may be hard in the moment, but it is a sign of class and good upbringing. I have lost cases at various stages and every time I have called or emailed opposing counsel as soon as possible and said, "Good job. Congrats." Or some variant of that. I could never do otherwise.
10) Doing 5 cross examinations back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back is exhausting. I would not wish that on my worst enemy.
11) Client stops me in the hall just before Day 4 of trial. "My wife was here yesterday." Yes, I saw. "Last night she said, 'gee, that guy we have from out of town is really, really good. Really good.'".
That made me smile.
12) I posted my win on Facebook. My sister called my mom and dad. The two 80 year olds called their 52 year old son and said how happy they were to learn I had done something well.
That was nice.