One of the most stressful parts of the trial is juggling the schedule. I have many experts who do not want to be sitting out in the hall cooling their heels, and lay persons who can only testify at certain times on certain days. I always have to have a next witness available or the judge could make me end my case. Or I would have to put the plaintiff on and I want her at the very end.
Day two my $1,000 per hour orthopedic surgeon was there at 10:15 as we requested, but did not get on until 11:00 am. The defense attorney kept on and on and on until it was 1:00 pm. The judge asked if he could finish by 1:30, because if not the judge would break for lunch. The defense attorney refused to say he could be done by then so the judge broke for lunch at 1:00. My client’s father, who is a lawyer, slapped him leg in disgust (that lunch break will cost him an extra $1,500 to the expert). The judge about bit his head off in open court for disrespecting the judge. After lunch, the defense attorney went on so long with his cross that our $600 an hour radiologist had to sit and wait.
The defense attorney is about 1,000 % better than I am with his trial skills. He is a great extemporaneously speaker. He asks his questions without ever having to refer to notes, and he is as slick and smooth as a game show host or disc jockey. I have to refer to my notes, and stutter occasionally, and when trying to ask questions without referring to notes they often come out stilted and awkward. If the jury bases their opinion on form over substance, my client is screwed.
The two areas where I excel over him are my authenticity and my arguments. He argues over every little thing, and he is a big fake. He would dispute that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west if that was an issue in the case. And he tries to make a mountain out of every molehill. He really has no truly good arguments so he tries multiple silly and stupid and made up arguments to try to bull shit the jury.
And he is always fawning over the jury, looking at them and smiling, and getting all theatrical. For instance, he could make the fact that my client had a drink of water sound as though she was a murderer. “DID YOU SEEEEEEEE THE PLAINTIFF IN THE HALL!!??? [Loud, sinister sounding voice!] She. Bent. Over. Water went into her…[Dramatic Pause]…MOOOOOUUUUUUTHHH!!! She swallowed it!!!!!!!!!!!!! There were numerous witnesses!!!!! AND NOW SHE WANTS TO BLAME THAT ON MY CLIENT!!!!!!!!!”
His type of shit would piss me off as a juror, and I would not buy anything that he was selling. But even I have to admit that he is slick. If we lose it will be because the jury is too stupid to see that. I know I am biased, but that is what I believe. I admit that I am scared. He has a great reputation around here for getting good results. Course he wasn’t dealing with me in all those other cases. ;)
It’s Saturday, I’m in Virginia Beach, and the sun is shining. I should be out at the ocean enjoying. Instead I’m trying to catch up and get ready for Monday. Trial will last at least until Wednesday. Not sure I will.
P.S. Okaaaaaay, I admit it. Last night after the trial I had too much to drink. Jose’ Cuervo Especial sneaks up on ya…