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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015.
I haven't used Arial since like 5th grade
I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices this kind of stuff.
Had a printed document somebody sent me the other day in comic sans or something similar. I couldn’t tell what was numbers and what wasn’t.
If I had to guess, some jamoke discovered using Arial saves like 0.0001% in costs or something so they mandated everyone use it.
My mom runs her own property management business and used comic sans for years. I had finally had to have a difficult conversation and she begrudgingly changed it.
It’s awful. This was a legal description of some property, and everything was running together. I eventually just scanned it as an exhibit bc I gave up.
I guess it's coordinated?
If I get something in Arial, demand is increasing $10,000
I was at a firm that used Arial for state cases and Times New Roman of course for federal cases. Same with my first in house position.
I didn’t work there but familiar enough with the firm to say that had Trump’s lawsuit been in state court, 100% would have been in Arial font.
My two upcoming trials:
Week of April 18: In state court. We represent one of two defendant drivers in a multi-vehicle accident. The accident, as described in the multiple police/case reports and original complaint stated that (1) our driver rear-ended the other current defendant on a 2 lane highway in rural Colorado at rush hour; (2) both defendants were negligent as our guy rear-ended the other defendant who stopped abruptly; (3) nearly simultaneously and about 50 yards behind our client, a vehicle carrying Plaintiff, was rear-ended by an unknown hit and run vehicle and pushed into oncoming traffic where there was a head-on collision.
Plaintiff has super serious injuries. Was still in HS. Despite it being a busy time of day, there are no witness statements outside of the individuals involved in the accident.
The original complaint attempted to name the unknown hit and run driver and the driver involved in the head-on collision. Could not serve the head-on driver, so he was dismissed. We designated the driver of Plaintiff's vehicle (15 year old driving on a 2-week old permit with a minor as a passenger), the head-on driver, and the unknown hit and run driver as non-parties.
the case goes on for 6 to 7 months. Depositions of the responding rural police officers do not clarify anything besides them thinking it was 2 separate accidents and a potential hit-and-run. Case report contains a statement from the co-defendant saying right before he was rear-ended, he saw 3 vehicles (the one carrying Plaintiff, our guys', and presumably a hit-and-run vehicle).
After deposing Plaintiff and the two defendants, we decided to offer policy limits. Our thought was, even if our car accident happened ahead of Plaintiff's, we were negligent and it will be hard to prove that the accidents are not somewhat related (AKA, the accident in the back occurred due to braking to avoid the accident up ahead). Plaintiff's attorney seems pleased, says he needs to get the other Defendant to offer all of his limits on his minimum-limits policy. We don't hear back for a month. Stuff slows down. Plaintiff's attorney plays dumb and says he is working on the other Defendant and getting limits. Co-defendant's counsel says he hasn't heard from Plaintiff's counsel.
Plaintiff's rebuttal experts put forth a new theory of a case out there that our driver rear-ended both the Plaintiff's vehicle and the other Defendant's vehicle (which we already admitted). This is based on a photo from the police case report (one of 400 photos) showing a dual exhaust imprint on our guy's vehicle. Obviously compelling evidence, even though our client doesn't think he rear-ended both vehicles.
We move to strike the opinion as improperly putting forth a new theory of the case in rebuttals. Court denies it. We ask for a continuance so we can conduct additional discovery and retain new experts. Court grants it. We realize we are fucked on liability and turn our focus to damages experts. Court issues an order saying the continuance was ONLY for liability experts and discovery related to liability, not damages experts since we had our chance to do that with our initial expert deadline. That ignores how the new theory of the case changed our litigation and trial strategy entirely, but whatever. Now we are going to trial where the guy has 1.4 million+ in past medicals, is super young, has serious physical and mental injuries, and we have no experts.
Clearly Plaintiff's counsel wants to get a huge number at trial, then go after the insurer for bad faith. For some reason, they won't stipulate to a judgment so I have to go through this absolute loser of a trial. And I think their bad faith case stinks given that all the police and original pleadings operate under the insurer's understanding of the accident and it wasn't until their second accident reconstructionist uncovered this photo did the theory of the accident change.
My best guess on liability is that our driver was in fact behind, not in front of the vehicle carrying Plaintiff. That the driver with the learner's permit slammed on his brakes and began to veer into the other lane, our guy hit him (further pushing him into the other lane), and then rear-ended the co-defendant. It makes no sense to me that our guy could rear-end someone, push them into the other lane, and continue forward and rear-end another vehicle up ahead. This was a two-lane road with one lane going in each direction and no shoulder.
May 9th in federal court: Bad faith claim is all that is remaining. I will go into detail of that case after this first trial ends.
I know of several similar cases right now where plaintiff lawyers have gone to trial with awesome facts and catastrophic damages to get a huge verdict to then go for bad faith. I'm waiting to see how these will play out. In your case with there being several different potential defendants and it being a complicated accident reconstruction to figure out what happened, I don't see there being bad faith. My question is whether the carrier will pay something to settle the bad faith case or fight it to the death no matter the defense cost.
My guess is he assumes the insurer will settle it despite having the good facts / defenses you pointed out. Speaking to them, I am not so sure.
At this point, the insurance company put counsel on the impending bad faith claim. And we advised our client to get independent counsel as we could not advise him regarding any assignment of his 1st party bad faith claim. And somehow, between those two counsel and Plaintiff's counsel, there doesn't seem to be much interest in a stipulated judgment or anything. Which is really frustrating but I guess the noneconomics might be difficult to agree to. We already stipulated to the 1.4 million in past meds.
How would it be bad faith if y’all offered policy limits?
we don’t really have bad faith in Texas
The trial experience will be good regardless of whether you get your ass kicked. And everyone will know what really was going on i.e. trying to get big bad faith verdict/bad facts for defendant.
If the plaintiff makes a time limited policy limits demand , let's say 30 days, and Defendant does not offer limits within that time frame, and Plaintiff gets an excess verdict, then the carrier potentially exposed their defendant to an excess verdict and personal liability. Of course you need pretty clear liability and damages that greatly exceed policy limits, otherwise the carrier can say it had a reasonable basis to not tender limits within the 30 days. They can claim they needed to investigate it further etc. It looks a lot worse for the carrier if the Plaintiff makes several time limit demands over a pretty good time frame-let's say 90-120 days, and liability is pretty clear, and damages are really bad, and the carrier still doesn't tender. Anways the underlying defendant can assign the bad faith claim to the underlying plaintiff. Then the plaintiff's counsel can turn around after the trial if there is a big excess verdict and sue the underlying carrier for bad faith in subjecting the underlying defendant to an excess verdict when a demand was made within policy limits earlier in the claim.
We are in Colorado. We have common law bad faith and statutory bad faith.
Under CL bad faith, the insured party must prove that the insurance company acted unreasonably, and that it did so with knowledge of or reckless disregard for the fact that no reasonable basis existed for its action.
Under statutory bad faith an insured party whose claim for payment of benefits has been unreasonably delayed or denied may bring an action in a district court to recover reasonable attorney fees and court costs and two times the covered benefit.
I assume they will assert generally that the insurer acted unreasonably knowing it had some liability for the accident and that Plaintiff had high damages. And they'll say any settlement offer was unreasonably delayed and should have come sooner.
I think both those arguments stink, but
You say that, but it still sucks ass getting your dick kicked in. That said, there's nothing more fun than getting a defense verdict on liability when you've offered your limits.
Yep. Our client doesn't have money so I assume he will sign something assigning his right to bring a bad faith action against his insurer to the Plaintiff in exchange for Plaintiff's promise not to attempt collect the judgment against him.
I think the argument that the damages were that bad, the coverage was that low, and the existence of negligence (with or without proximate causation) makes the CL argument much better than the statutory argument.
Yeah, I need the experience. But I have a winnable trial on May 9, so I'd prefer to just have one trial and not my first two in a 3-week span.
And yeah, we are going to get our dicks kicked in. No experts. Plaintiff with severe injuries. Damning accident reconstructionist report. Plaintiff is solely focusing on us and not the Co-Defendant with 25k limits who is just staying in the case so we can't designate them as a non-party. We have no evidence of a hit and run driver besides the belief that one existed as noted in the police reports.
And the driver of the vehicle carrying Plaintiff who was driving on a 13-day old learner's permit? he died in a car accident in 2020 (was the driver).
our limits are 250k. co-defendants are 25k.
Guessing you’re not first chairing these?
No. We have a small firm with 5-6 partners and 3 associates. Funny enough, I am with the same partner for both trials. She is a real hard worker and is super demanding (in a good way). I agreed to take voir dire and she would take opening and closings. We have split Plaintiff's 20 witnesses in half. There is a non-zero chance the partner takes voir dire as well after we hammer out an outline for it. I would be more than happy to observe a lot of stuff.
Good luck. Sounds like you’ll be working your ass off for a month
already dreaming of how fucking drunk I plan to get that 3rd weekend in May.
I think I will get a small period (the weekend and a few work days) of relaxation and recreation in between the 1st trial and the 2nd trial, which is just a 3 day trial.
My firm's style guide uses Arial size 10. I switch it to Calibri size 11. Times New Roman is old and out of style, and I only use it when I have to. Personal preferences.
Like Bluebooking, who gives a fuck if it accurately conveys the information and doesn't make anything difficult on the reader?
I agree with your last sentence. But goddamn you, don't call Times New Roman out of style!!
The Middle District of Florida changed their form requirements and axed Times New Roman. Your choices are:
I inherited a pretty nasty trucking case where another firm got fired. Not great venue, and though removable, wasn't removed. I pull it up on AlaCourt, and I see it's set for non-jury trial. Apparently, the plaintiff put a jury demand on the complaint, but didn't check the box when e-filing to get a jury and didn't pay for the jury demand. The previous defense firm did not make a jury demand. I'm now trying to figure out if there's any way around this case trying in front of a very pro-plaintiff judge, and it does not look good.
Re: bro Honestly I prefer going to trial on dogshit cases. You can practice your fundamentals and work on reading and working juries without the pressure of fucking up a case you should or could win.
Imo there is nothing more stressful and nerve-wracking than a trial you’re supposed to win
For that reason, I’m glad the dog shit trial is first. Get my reps in and try a winnable case in May.
They're all "winnable." It's just a matter of determining what's a win.
I had something similar happen. Co-defendant made a jury demand and settled. I take over and plaintiff argues to no jury demand on any pleading by my client.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that, in Ohio, one jury demand by anyone converts the case to a jury for everyone. There is no need to plead duplicative jury demands.
I would check to see whether the actual rules have caught up with electronic filing.
If Plaintiff made a jury demand on a filed pleading, that’s typically all that is required. If you didn’t get notice that e-filing rejected their jury demand, you may be able to rely upon the filed demand if your jurisdiction follows the same rule that once a demand is filed by anyone it’s a jury case for everyone.
True. I suppose I meant a defense verdict is definitely on the table for trial 2. A win for trial 1 may be damages below 3 million
Book Antiqua all the way here.
doubt I’ll ever have another middle district of Florida case but judge Byron is a great guy. Never had a case in front of him but knew him when he was in private practice.
Except for kicking someone else's dick in when they offer you peanuts and you get a soul-taking verdict on them.
I submit all my pleadings in wingdings
This is a first: submitted a demand to a CNA adjuster on an MVA this afternoon. Within an hour he had an offer back to me.
I’ve handled and tried a lot of cases in Miami over the years. But it’s my first time back in court since just before Covid and maybe I forgot how bad a venue it was. The case mistried 3 days in because we ran out of viable jurors. What a shit show.
Damn. Bet yall spent a shit ton on experts too.
Experts, hotel, trial support, etc.
I hope the firm is able to keep the lights on with all those costs still outstanding tomorrow.
The thing with Miami that blows me away is how little respect the prospective jurors have for the voir dire process. Several of them showed up over an hour late. We had at least 3 separate jurors just stand up and walk out without asking anyone permission because they had to make a call or move their car. A couple of them came back from lunch 45 minutes late and just walked in like they had no care in the world. Like 95% of other jurisdictions would have sanctioned these folks somehow. In Miami they just don't care.
Heard a story once of a juror who was selected and on the jury, simply decide not to show up for day 2. Judge sent a bailiff to his house. He was playing PS4 without a care in the world. When the judge asked him why he didn’t show up, he said he thought it was optional.
he wasn’t held in contempt.
We have a legendary M&A partner who is about 70 now. We’re talking a dude who’s basically a shadow general counsel to several Fortune 100s. He wrote a “style” guide for our documents once. It’s unhinged. Arial is necessary, he claims, because it reduces page length and is more “environmentally friendly” to print. The man prints his emails.
Also, he’s known to take the first draft of a 100+ page merger agreement from the seller’s counsel and send them back a revised with every single “shall” changed to “will.” We’re talking several hundred of these in a redline. Again, partly because it’s a shorter word (what a genius) and thus he has decided that the entire industry and world should transition to “will” instead of “shall.” It’s one thing to think this should happen; it’s quite another to be so arrogant as to believe you could do this single handedly. Of course, this ends up creating more work for everyone, energy use, and environmental damage than if he would just leave all the “shalls” alone. He only does hand markups (again, not a big read on the screen guy), and will circle every single “shall.” This printed hand markup gets scanned and sent to a document center who then has to take hours of time and computer energy to correct these throughout. Then an associate has to check these edits, which takes even more time and energy. Then, we send them to the other side’s counsel, who gets to ask us why we’re such fucking losers.
He’s right about “shall” though
Ok he and bwi2 will lead the transition two-handedly
“Shall” has its very own page on plainlanguage.gov!
but seriously, is it not just some associate’s job to find and replace all shalls before he does it the hard way?
I don’t think I would last a day working for that dude