Monday, October 1, 2012

The Result of A Successful Appeal: Retrial

     Last week, the Alaska Supreme Court Opinion in my Case, Thompson v. Central Plumbing was issued.
The Supreme Court held that the Trial Court had made a mistake in not allowing my client's doctors to testify that his serious injury was caused by a T-Bone collision and that the Trial Court had made an additional mistake in not instructing the jury that the negligent driver was also responsible for any medical mistakes that the defense doctor testified was the alternate explanation for the client's injuries.    As a result of not being allowed to hear relevant evidence and to be properly instructed on the law, the jury, returned an unfair verdict.
     Clients sometimes misunderstand what it means to "win" on appeal.  In this case, the "win" does not mean that my client will soon be paid a fair amount for his injuries.  Instead, it means that the first trial is considered to be a "mulligan" and that there is a "do-over" of the trial with respect to damages.  This client's case has been a long journey with the appeal, alone, taking 2 years of time.  Now, he is waiting for a second trial, free from the mistakes of the first trial, which most likely will be scheduled within the next year.
     It is the long wait that requires clients to play their hand smartly.  However, sometimes they have no choice but to pursue their remedies to the end.  See