Monday, November 12, 2018

"I do this all the time and nobody objects"

I went to a pre-trial conference a few weeks ago on a rear end collision case.  The judge is no nonsense and calls balls and strikes as she sees them.  The lawyer for the other side is a nice guy who talks really fast.  He is exceptionally proficient in cross examination, but his directs are basically him testifying about his position in the case and not really asking questions.  A lot of the questions are compound questions.  I had a decent amount of objections to his questioning.

The most interesting (objectionable :) questions he asked related to whether or not my treating physicians would respect the decision of the jury if the jury awarded my client zero money.  To me that is objectionable on two levels: 1) it invades the Provence of the jury and 2) its irrelevant.   Its the equivalent of me asking his doctor: so if the jury awards 14 million dollars for my client you are ok with that, right?  A jury shouldn't care what he doctor thinks about their award.  A jury should award or not award damages based on the testimony and evidence.  A jury shouldn't base their opinion on damages because some person in a white suit says they will be happy with whatever the jury does.  Happy the judge got this one right.

As I'm walking out the lawyer for the other side, who I genuinely believe is trying to help me in other cases, said I should use that line of questioning in other cases.  I'm not going to do that :)