Monday, May 18, 2015

Why Your Boss Is The Best Witness In Your Case

   Clients regularly ask me who would be the best witness in your case.  Without hesitation, it is your boss.   While your spouse or your friends may know you better, it is the boss that is the most powerful witness at trial.

   Here are the reasons why.

   An important part of any case is showing how each client is different from the liars, cheaters, and malingers of the world.  We all have heard stories about people who are hurt and think they have somehow won the lottery.  At trial, the defense lawyers will always suggest that the accident victim could do more.  The strongest response to arguments like this is for a client to share how he has gone back to work.  Having the boss as a witness destroys this argument.

   The boss also sees the client more than any other person outside his home.  If the client has ongoing pain symptoms, the boss will be able to share this information with the jury.  More important, the boss will be able to share how the client's works despite the pain because of his work ethic.  Once again, this eliminates the defense arguments that the client is not doing everything possible to respond to his injury.

   Finally, unlike a spouse, a relative, or a friend, the boss cannot be accused of being biased.  When spouses testify, the defense lawyers will always minimize their testimony as being predictable due to marriage.  The testimony of friends will be minimized in the same way.  But with the boss, the bias goes the other way.  If the client is not doing his job, the boss will have no choice but to let him go.  As a result, the boss' testimony cannot be questioned.

  Clients can be reluctant to involve their bosses in their case because they consider it to be private and are worried about drawing unfair attention to themselves.  But here is the kicker:  if the boss doesn't testify for the client, the defense and insurer will call the boss anyway.  In other words, one way or another, someone is going to talk to the boss about the case.

  You have to play your hand smartly.  See

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Why Is There Good Reason To Question the Credibility of Physicians Hired by Insurers and Defense Lawyers to Conduct "Independent Medical Examinations"

    The neutrality and objectivity of physicians in the business of "independent medical examinations" for defense lawyer is often questioned.  This recent experience explains why.

     A client suffered a work injury and was required to be attend an "independent medical examination."  The physician, a 77 year old retired orthopedist wrote a 16 page report and concluded that an accident had "aggravated" a pre-existing condition justifying the need for surgery.  In a second letter written 1 year later, he repeated these opinions verbatim.

    Last week, the defense lawyers noticed his deposition to perpetuate his testimony for trial.  Before the deposition, he refused to speak to me because of concern over the "legal protocol."  During the deposition, he shared that he had met 3 times with the defense lawyer, had been provided with medical records generated after his examination, and had been provided with the report of another colleague also hired by the defense lawyer.

   The end result was that his opinion had magically changed:  the injury that he had previously said was "related" was now "unrelated."

   Is there any wonder why accident victims require legal representation?  You have to play your hand smartly.  See