Join us for a conversation with Patrick Salvi II, managing partner of the Chicago office of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. Learn techniques and lessons from one of the best young trial lawyers in the country about presenting your damages case, sequencing your evidence, digging into the details of your damages, effectively using your jury instructions, the importance of your visual presentation, pushing the envelope on your ask and more!
everyone who welcomed on trial the podcast week store, how to build your practice trial tactics and what can make a break? Your case or your hosts? I'm mad highlight. And I'm John. Result way air coming to you again. And today the issue that we're gonna be talking about his damages. But we'll get into that. John, I know you just went through a new experience. You know, something that's becoming more common, but it was new for you. You just had a mediation by zoom. Want you tell us a little about that and how it went. I did. It was great. So I had a, uh I had a big case that had, ah, big statute limitations coming up and there would have been probably a pretty big press component. It would have gotten a lot of news coverage. Given the nature of the case, it involves some sexual assault allegations on, and we were able to get into mediation despite everything being closed over. Zoom on. It was really interesting. So the parties and the insurance adjusters myself, um, and defense counsel were all president. We had a judge at 80. Are Ron Suter is a former chief judge. DuPage County was a great mediator, and they broke us out into separate rooms and he just bounced back and forth, and it was really very similar to how a normal mediation would work. Except that I'm sitting in my office at my house. My clients are sitting in their living room and we're all staring at a screen. The Onley difficulty, um, is that you're not with your client, at least it right now. As it stands, I mean in the future, I think it'll be very easy toe sit in a conference room at our office and have the clients there and do it all the a zoom, um, in the future, just because the technology is so great that technologies is a wonder. I mean, we're using it right now to communicate and Teoh record parts of this podcast. Everything else. It's unbelievable that the legal industry, I think, is so far behind in terms attack everything else because this technology is really making it seamless. To continue to do our jobs and help our clients was really cool experience. I liked a lot that's excellent, were able to get the case results. We did. It was We started the mediation at about quarter to nine, and we settled it at about quarter to 6 p.m. S. It was a very long day of sitting in front of a laptop. Very long day of negotiations, but we were able to get it done. I can't tell you for how much, but it was a very, very good result for the clients. They're very happy. Um, and we're happy we're able to get them. Suggest this. That's a great, always great to have a good result. The end of a long day. Mediation. One question. Honestly, because I have one coming up at the end of month, Is there an opportunity for you in the mediator to talk separately without the presence of your client? Are there just to separate rooms that the media or bounces back and forth between? Yes. So, um, there are typically just two rooms in my experience, doing it once right? There's two rooms bouncing back and forth, the judges bouncing back and forth between the way that we handled it. Waas The judge gave me a cell phone number, and then we would have separate phone conversations and I just explained in my client's, there's gonna be times that the judge is only gonna want to talk to me, to explain some logistical thing to me or some strategic thing to me. And, uh, you don't need to worry about those conversations. That's what you hired me for, and they were very receptive to that. I think you know, before you can go into mediation before you could be successful in mediation because a lot of them are not successful before you can be successful. I think your client has to really trust you, which I think means you have to get to know your client as a human being. You have to really learn who they are and see them as a friend and see them as somebody that you want toe represent, so that that makes a huge difference when they trust you that you could have those sort of yeah, off the off the off the record conversations, the job right and I think that's so important. Some of the mediations that I've seen go sideways, where exactly for that reason is that the mediators and attorneys ended up talking shop in front. The clients or it came to my attention, usually afterwards, that that's what occurred and that led to the mediation going south. So I think it's important for your client to understand that that's something that can happen. And it probably will happen in the course of mediation and that there is the opportunity for that to occur because it's important. Like you said, to address some certain strategic issues and other issues that you know outside the presence of a client that will ultimately be to their benefit. Right, right, of course. And to that end, a lot of what the off the record conversations that you tend to have our are about damages, their got framing your damages, what your damages really are, and sometimes explaining and using the judge to help you explain reasonable expectations to your clients or, um, in this case, it waas. Look, we're gonna resolve this case without setting foot in a courtroom. Do you really want to dredge all of this back up in front of people in a deposition in front of a jury and then keep in mind as well? We haven't really spent any case costs yet. We haven't hired experts except for sort of preliminary reviews. They haven't testified they haven't given depositions. They've been written reports. So right now, you know you gotta get toe X settlement to make up for those potential costs at trial 18 to 24 months down the line. So explain some of those logistics to the client. It's helpful to have the judge do that on. And then you can explain to them sort of the damages and everything else in a way that they understand. Absolutely. So today we're gonna have a nephew that I did with Pat Salvi. And Pat was very generous with his time and also very generous with his experience and his insight into how to present your damages case at trial and also how to leverage the damage is evidence that you've accumulated to achieve favorable settlements. So he for him and I think this is absolutely true. Damages starts in jury selection. You want to ask the hard questions? You want to see what the jury really thinks about your issues of damage when it comes to pain and suffering when it comes, especially in wrongful death cases, you know, there's some people who feel wrong and they feel like they can't put a price on someone's life or for that loss of life. And you need to flesh that out to figure out whether or not that person can play a part in this trial, because it's a matter of following the law. And that's where the law begins. So a jury selection he talks about that he talked about structuring your case is effectively to maximize the impact of your damages witnesses, which was a great part of the interview. Um, he talks about starting with the bad conduct a frame the rest of your case, you know, kind of setting the stage, because if they're not believing on liability, all that damages information, all that damages testimony and evidence is going right out the window. If they don't believe the defendants, it fault they don't get a chance. Stop, You know, assign any sort of value to what's been lost or taken Absolutely. And we got into some of the details you know about the different elements of pain. Why? How does a specific injury cause pain and you have to have testimony from doctors on medical experts to talk about Okay, this person has a disc herniation. This person has, you know, a non operated hip. How is this injury causing them pain? And why will it continue to cause them pain for, you know, the rest of their life? Or until they get a replacement or whatever the facts of your particular case may be? And he talked about the importance of this because, you know, having tried as many cases as Pat has, you know, he has an understanding of you know, what the jurors think about what really sticks with them. What resonates with them in the jury room and those are the kind of details that tend to, you know, make the more skeptical jurors a little more sure because I think Jon, you know as well as I do that everyone's a little bit skeptical of someone who's going into court suing for being hurt. Yeah, they don't trust us automatically, and I think that, you know, that's the human nature. Anybody that's asking for money in any sense is somebody that we are immediately a little bit distrustful of. So I think you are spot on when you say you got explained the why Why is this going to continue to cause pain? Why are these damages? Given the value that they're given, I think if you could explain the why to jurors and you can explain it in a way that, you know, really lays it out for them that Look, we're not asking you to give us money. This isn't some sort of game. This is fair value compensation for losses. If you lost wages because you were in an accident, you're entitled to those lost wages. I think economic damage is a really, really easy for jurors to understand thes the these the value, the bills thes, the value, the lost wages, those makes sense. But when you start getting into sort of the more amorphous things, the way I like to explain it to friends, and I can't do this in front of a jury. But the way I like to explain it to friends and sometimes even clients is to say, If I were to give you a $1,000,000 right now, would you tear of the rotator cuff in your right shoulder just like you did in your left shoulder? And every single time they say no. So that's how we have to try to explain it to a jury. We can use those sort of golden rule arguments, but we have to make it that clear to a jury that they wouldn't want this to happen to our client again. And that what happened to our client waas wrong? Absolutely. In addition to kind of articulating damages, we also talked about preparing your client to testify, because obviously that's gonna be the cornerstone of your damages. Argument is having your client testify. I'm having your client be a likable, believable witness, and Pat kind of touched on this. But I think this we're talking about more. He talked about preparing your client for cross examination. Obviously, the direct examination you know, it's the attorney's job to get the information out of the client is the client's job to tell their story as best they can. But then on on cross examination, the roles are kind of different, you know, and it's easy for even a sophisticated quiet to get disoriented during the course of a cross examination and had talked about this. They talk about this in the reptile book, and others is having these kind of major truce these fundamental aspects of your case of what happened to your client that are irrefutable and that your client can sort of fall back and rely upon to kind of steer them back on the right course when they get led astray. On cross examination, that's huge. That's absolutely huge. You know, nobody has been cross examined before. By and large, they don't know what it's like. You know what? I'm preparing the client across exam. I like to have somebody else to do it while I'm there. Present that way, I still maintain report. They don't look at me like some sort of bad guy. And then this third party, whether it be a friend or co counsel or wherever the second chair is or whatever it might be, really beat him up. And I mean, just really get after him really go after their credibility and everything else so that they could test the waters. But the thing I explain to clients time and again and I'm sure you do to is credibility is king. If you are not telling the truth, if you are exaggerating, if you are in any way, shape or form stretching the truth you're done. This is this is the time to absolutely tell the truth 100%. Even if you think the truth might hurt you because your credibility is important, right? If you're not credible, they're not listening to you, no matter how good your testimony is, so it doesn't matter. Couldn't agree more on that, had also talked a little about using the jury instructions to argue for damages. I'm not gonna I'm not even gonna attempt to explain it because he explained it so well, I will just let it be. But listen, it's great stuff, and I've seen him do it. Tuition seem. Do it. It's awesome. And if they do a really good job, yeah, the great lawyers Absolutely. He also talked about. And this is important for everybody. And I need to remind myself of this. I know as much as anybody is had talked about how when he goes to trial every morning, he wants to be the most energetic attorney in the courtroom. He wants to come into trial with the energy that people respond to. Then that what he gets up people go. Okay. This I need to listen to this and I think that's so important because, you know, trial Zahra slug, especially if you have one that's going on a week, two weeks, three weeks. It's a lot mentally. It's a lot physically, and it's easy to kind of fall into a rhythm and not bring the energy that you need to to the courtroom. And I think that's just it's something. It's so simple and it's so basic. But I feel like it's even more important to come into the courtroom in the morning and think about the energy that you need to bring to the day. And I thought that was great advice and is something that I certainly will be reminding myself at the every day of my next trial. Absolutely. Your mindset is so vitally important, your mindset and your energy and your ability to be positive and and you're likeable, self. I think that's incredible advice. Absolutely. I'm excited to dive in. Absolutely. So now we'll get to the interview no more summarizing. Hear it straight from Pat Salvi, managing partner of the Chicago office Salvi, Shostak and Pritchard, and my conversation with him about damages all right. Today we'll be talking with Patrick Salvi the second. Pat is the managing partner of the Chicago office of Shall These Shostak and Pritchard at the ripe old age of 37 is a pat, 37 37. Pat already has a long history of achieving incredible results for his clients. His recent trial victories include a record nine figure verdict, 48 figure verdicts and 47 figure verdicts. His recent settlements include 58 figure settlements and many seven figure settlements. Had a I just want to thank you for coming on the show and I'm looking forward to talking with
you. Yeah, thanks for having me. I appreciate it, and I'm looking forward to the discussion
so we could have you on for many different things. But the thing that we want to talk about today is damage is Aziz. We talked about you for history of achieving these great results for your client's. And, you know, obviously a big part of that is not only proving the wrongful conduct of the defendant were then taken to the next step and proving up all of your elements of damages to the most that the case will allow for on I wanted asking the general sense when it comes to damages. You know, there's kind of ah discrepancy of thought within the plainness far about focusing on the conduct of the defendant versus the agony and the harms and losses of the plaintiff. Well, obviously the harms and losses need to be addressed. Where do you kind of
fall on that continuum? Well, I think that, um, whenever you're trying in case, particularly with catastrophic injuries, uh, you want to be able to talk about the conduct. I think it's important to put everything in context. I think it allows for the jury to, you know, look at all the parties, um, and and evaluate all of the evidence. And so to give you an example, um, I will do things sometimes to try to avoid an admission of liability. Uh, you will want to do things such as bringing a bring a punitive damages motion to ensure that the conduct of the defendant remains at issue. Ah, you may want to file a motion for summary judgment if you think that your opponent is going to ah and mid liability in order to at a minimum have the court tell the jury that there was a finding of liability versus the defendant's admitting liability. And so, to juxtapose a case where you get to go through the conduct of the defendant and show the jury what the defendant did versus one where there's admitted liability and the defendant can get before the jury and say what we've admitted, uh, that we made a mistake. Uh, we did something we shouldn't have done, and we're and we're very sorry for that. But we're here because the plaintiff wants so much money. Uh, that's something that you want to avoid. And so, um, uh, certainly every case is different and there might be various reasons why an admission of liability is beneficial. Your client. But it is It is my, ah, deep feeling that we are enhancing damages when we're able to get before the jury and make them angry, and it really and it really starts with, um, the adverse examination of the defendant. Um, I spend an inordinate amount of time in preparing for that because that is just so important to the jury opening up their minds and their hearts to really consider the agony of the plaintiff, the harms of losses that the plaintiff has suffered because I don't look at it necessarily is being a situation where I as the plaintiff's attorney it I'm not trying to deflect the jury away from the actual injuries my client has sustained, uh, and have them focus on bad conduct so that their impassioned and given unfairly high verdict, I think to the contrary, uh, just the way that defense lawyers will often times focus and nit pick and cherry pick various records when it's an admitted liability case to try to focus on the plaintiff and put all the eyes on the plaintiff. I think when you're focusing on the conduct of the defendant before you get to damages, what you do for the jury is, is you show them. Look, this is really truly a victim. And so now let's look at what, uh, that misconduct has caused, and it sets the stage for that.
So when you're preparing your case for trial and you're conducting your adverse examination of the defendant, is that something you want at the very beginning of your case, or do you save it for the end, or does it depend on the case?
Yeah, it depends on the case, but I think for the most part it's early and what I try to do. And sometimes it can be challenging with experts, schedules and Dr Schedules when you're talking about treating physicians things of that nature. But I try to traditionally do, and I think it's, uh, most effective. And then there might be some exceptions. But the first thing I want to do is convince the jury that I'm talking about evidence. Now. The first thing I want to do is show the jury that were in the right that there's a reason we're here. This is a meritorious case. We deserve toe win. This was bad conduct. Uh, then, uh, if you're if you're off and running and you are, you've put your best foot forward as it relates to the negligence, then you get to causation and causation. His a proximate cause when you look at the standard. Ah, and I think rightfully so. It is a very reasonable standard that allows for a broad causation standard in Illinois. A proximate cause, not the last year nearest doesn't have to be the most substantial. It just needs to be a cause. We're in the natural in ordinary sequence of events that would produce the injury. Uh, and so once you're once you have the jury with you on the conduct, then then you're in a better position to bring your causation evidence before them. Uh, and now they're with young conduct and causation as you start to bring your damages evidence. Ah, and so it's much more compelling if you don't win right off the bat. And then you start talking about damages. If you don't have the jury with young liability, your witnesses on damages or not are not really going to be given much attention and nor will your closing argument. And when the defense experts and the defense witnesses get in front of the jury, you know they're going to get the benefit of the doubt. So I think you got to do it early. And, um, I think there are certain cases where you want to do it first. But I think you better be darn sure you're going to really enrage the jury that the jury is, uh, not going to believe the defendant not going to sympathize, empathize with the defendant. Uh, because, uh, what you what you may want to do. And what I have done in cases is you put up a really good, whether it's an expert or some other witness of the case, some witness that sets the stage a little bit. It's not antagonistic. It gets facts out there. Ah, and it sets the stage. I give you just a quick example in our brain damage. Baby verdict From, uh, late 2018. It was, Ah, substantial verdict, and one of the things we did that I thought was very effective is the first witness we put on was was the resident. It was a brain damage baby case. It was a birth injury, a delay in doing a C section in the negligent administration of Potosi in that led to fetal distress, intolerance, the labor, lack of oxygen and brain damage. And so the resident, we'll set the stage because she was the resident obstetrician that was there from the beginning, when Mom came into the hospital when the field monitor strips were looking very good, there was every indication this was a healthy baby, and that was, uh, that was somewhat devastating to the defense's case. Is it related to causation that the child had been injured previously before the mother even got to the hospital for labor and delivery. Then we showed how, over the course of time, that she was on the case when she was treating the patient that there was deterioration of the baby's condition. And so that set the stage for when the attending obstetrician picked up. Uh, from there after she was her shifted ended. And he's the one that is ignoring this deterioration. So that was an example where you have a real good lead in to the defendant is the adverse witness. Um, so it does depend on the case, but I am very much an advocate off putting that up front. And I'm also, as I said a few minutes ago, an advocate of in preparation, Uh, what I do is I spend it really a disproportionate amount of time because I know just how important the adverse examination of the defendant is. When the jury ultimately goes back to deliberate, they're gonna remember how they felt in their gut about the defendant. Uh, whether they believe them or huh, they're gonna remember that. And so you need you need the impression you leave from that examination to be outstanding. Otherwise you're gonna be in trouble. Um,
as a Segway, you're talking about impressions of the jury and things that stay with the jury when they're going back into deliberations. I know his attorneys. We all want to improve our language and make sure that we're naming things at trial. And we're talking about the issues, a trial in a way that sticks in a way that resonates with the jury. What kinds of things do you do when you're preparing for trial to kind of create those little sound bites, Those little phrases that stay with the jury when the case is ultimately done
and they're back in the deliberations? Well, I think what's important, um, for any try alert, Understand? Um, you can't. And this goes for so many things. That goes for what you just described as phrases that you want to be part of your theme. It goes for, uh uh and and I know it's something that we may want to talk about, but, uh uh, the amount of money that you're going to be suggesting and closing argument, uh, a jury trial is such. It's such a statement on human psychology. It touches on everything it touches on, uh, you know, people's hereditary predisposition, their genetics, how they feel about things, how they were raised, how they consume news, how they consume the world at large. And then what? Those experiences that they bring to the courtroom. So impact how they hear the evidence in the context in which they absorb the evidence. And then beyond that, it is whether you're able to persuade them and whether you're able to give them that ammunition that they actually remember. I think so frequently, lawyers think that, uh, anyone question was a gotcha moment when the witness said yes. And now that is actually not typically how these trials air decided. It's not about, uh, walking the witness through ah logic game and getting them to admit that which is obvious. But rather it's about touching the jurors in their minds and in their hearts as to how they really feel about how society ought to operate. And so when you talk about phrases, um, or just otherwise trying to get jurors in the frame of mind that you want them to be in, it's something that has to start in jury selection and then be carried out throughout the trial all the way through closing argument. And so, you know, one of the very classic examples. Ah, and there various permutations to it. But Rick Friedman's rules with Road talking about safety rules very classic example. Its's actually gotten so much attention and so much it has such an effect that is actually the subject of motions eliminated that defendants file to prevent plaintiffs from talking about safety in the context off what reasonable care is in our society. That doesn't really make a lot of sense that you wouldn't be able to talk about safety, but I will. I do follow some of that advice and sit down a depositions with defendant corporate representatives or the defendant or the defense experts, and go through safety rules. You know, 3458 safety rules. Not too many, but enough and cover your case and have them acknowledge it. Uh, that this is a safety rule. If if they don't agree, then you work through it to get an agreement. Ah, and you, you know, assuming you've chosen a meritorious case to file and pursue, You should be able to establish some safety rules that were broken, or at least safety rules that everybody agrees exists. And then you know what the facts and circumstances of your case will support. So it's hard to put, you know, any, uh, you know, term into every case. But certainly I think the more important invited is what you do determine. When you make a determination as you're preparing for a trial, you got to make sure the jury you think to yourself, I need the jury to remember this, or I need the jury to think this about a particular topic. Don't think it's gonna sink in because you mentioned it once or twice because you said it in opening and then closing. No, no, it means to be a consistent theme. It needs to be like a drumbeat. Um, and it should really start in jury selection because I find the jury selection is, uh, without question, the most opportune time. Assuming you get adequate time to make sure that number one you're getting jurors that have an open mind and are going to listen to you but then also putting things into the appropriate frame right from the beginning. Um, you know So, for example, in medical malpractice cases, one of the major concerns that we have our jurors, that even if they think the doctor did something wrong, they're just uncomfortable sitting in judgment of a professional. They don't have a medical degree, they're uncomfortable with it. And so it is my philosophy. You confront those issues head on, you don't dance around them, you confront them head on. Uh, and you and you ask, Does anybody here feel Aziz? Though you may have some trouble even a little bit sitting in judgment of a physician given that you're late people, you're not doctors, But with the help of experts, will you be able to do so? And you asked various questions like that. And so, um, I'm getting a little field from the question, but I think I think my main point is that you gotta carry it all the way through. That's the key.
Feel free to go a field. This is great stuff. So I'm going with it. I want to switch gears just a little bit. I know that a topic that is discussed among the Planus bar is the concept of being anchored when you get a case where you have a big impact on a person's life. But sometimes the economic damages aren't really in proportion. So what the u noneconomic damages are, Um, what do you think about the concept of anchoring? And have you ever tried a case without putting the economic damages in as an element of damage? I
have. And I think it's a very important concept that plaintiffs lawyers need to understand. So, um, you know the concept of anchoring being that if if I asked for $10,000 for funeral and burial expenses and then $10 million for loss of society, what impact does it have that I'm seeking $10,000 over here to the fact that I'm seeking $10 million over there? Because clearly, uh uh, when you talk about your and when I'm talking about funeral and burial expenses, of course I'm talking about a wrongful death case. Clearly, the major aspect of the injury the damage is in such a case is the loss of society and then also the grief, sorrow and mental suffering. And so, um, jurors have, uh, only so much band with on DSO. The first concept, I would say, is Let's focus the jury on that which is most important now. I'm a proponent of having many elements of damages, Uh, because they number one, the plaintiff is entitled to them under the law. And number two, uh, that's one way for the total damages to add up. Ah, as it should. Pain and suffering is different than loss of a normal life is different than disfigurement. And so, if a seven figure amount belongs on all three of those lines, then that's gonna add up Teoh either many millions or even an eight figure amount. And that's how it should be. Uh And so, um, uh, with respect to anchoring number one on the medical bills issue. Yes, I had a case where my client suffered a pelvic fracture, multiple public fractures, but wasn't operative. So it wasn't the type of fracture that necessarily required an operation. She was in the hospital for a couple of days. She went to a rehab facility for two weeks, had some physical therapy they're after. But beyond that, it was a pain case. It was a case where, uh, the moral for Ayman eso where the nerves exit in the lowest part of the spine was was not only was there a boning fracture, but it, uh, caused a nerve injury on days when the details of that were very important, but also not much in the way of economic damages. And so the medical bills in a case was $20,000 roughly, but we were going. But this was a 20 something year old girl early twenties who had 60 plus years of life expectancy. And we're gonna be seeking a far substantial sum, uh, far, far more than $20,000. And so the calculation waas Not only is that going to hurt, that's going to take away from what the jury can focus on. It's going to, uh, uh, essentially introduced something that just isn't that important. And so, um, we don't want that $20,000 to have any sort of an impact on what we think of the more significant damages. And so you forgo the $20,000 understanding that it means you're noneconomic requests, uh, will not have that anchoring effect where they're looking at. In that case, I think we asked for a little over three million. We ended up getting a little over two million. Uh, and it was It was essentially, we did have a future weight loss claim, but it was essentially 90 plus percent non economic damages. Um, and I think if we would have introduced the medical bills, uh, that may have, uh, anchored the total damages down in the interesting story. And the proof is really in the pudding, because at the end of our case in chief, we went to rest. You know, we told the judge we've no more witnesses. We breast. And the defense lawyer said, Well, what about the medical bills? And I said, Well, we're not putting the medical bills in the evidence. And he made a motion to the court to put the medical bills in himself. Yeah, and he says, Judge, there they sandbagged me and it was Judge Siriano. He had a great line. He goes, Yeah, they say you're telling me they sandbagged you by by, uh, withdrawing a claim that doesn't make any sense. They should really sandbagging and non suit the case. And they were like, Yeah, that makes no sense. Were the plaintiffs we get to make the claims that we want to make strategically as we want to make them. And I am very much a proponent of carefully analyzing whether your economic damages, if they're low, are going to have a limiting effect on how the jury
looks at the rest of your damages when you're seeking significant compensation. You know, I had heard an anecdote defense attorney is trying to do that, but I've never actually spoken to someone where that occurred in the case of theirs, and that it's just a nun believable thing that you somehow withdrawing, taking a line item off the verdict form is somehow prejudicial.
And think about that concept for a moment because I always look at these things, you know, um, as plaintiffs lawyers, we have an obligation where client to deploy strategies that maximize their damage is that's our job. But we also have, on obligation to, you know, bring the truth to the jury and have them deliberate with an open mind. And so what a tragedy it would be if the pain and suffering of this young girl was somehow diminished because various jurors wanted to juxtapose her pain and suffering to her medical bills, which were artificially low based upon the severity of the injury. Given that it happened to be a non operative pelvic fracture that didn't necessarily require a lot of Karen treatment going for it, it just required our client to endure a lot of pain and suffering and limping and, uh, on a daily basis, having to deal with this for 60 years for that to be diminished simply because for medical bills weren't very high. Uh, to me, that's not fair. And it's our job to make that calculation and do its best for our client. And the defense obviously wanted damages to be lower by virtue of their comparing the non economic asked to the economics of the case. And so in that case, we effectively prevented them from doing so. And I think I don't know if you know, I I don't think a judge should ever allow a defendant to do that just to get past this anchoring issue. You know, I theoretically, I could potentially see some reason it might be relevant. Uh, but absent some other relevance, the defense should not be able to make a claim for the plaintiff just because they think it will draw away from other claims. That's that's not fair. I
agree with you more on that, uh, jumping topics just a little bit. Um, in any damages case, you know, your key witnesses are going to be obviously your client, that they're still around family members, friends. But I am assured that achieving some of the results that you've had you've had to look beyond the normal scope of damage witnesses to find something compelling to a jury. What are some unusual places where you've been able to find damages? Evidence?
Sure. So I do think that when you're looking for damages evidence, you need to consider carefully. Ah, and ask multiple times your plaintiff, who might who in their lives might be helpful with respected damages. And, you know, a lot of times, a lot of times these come from obvious sources, but it requires ah, diligence in order to find it, particularly the specific. So, uh, in this same case, I have been describing where we didn't put the medical bills and evidence. Um, this was a girl who was on her bike. She was crossing the street. She was doing everything He was supposed to be a woman and a car turned left. Uh, light was green and, uh, hitter while she was in a crosswalk. And, um, it was a pretty strong liability case. And we were actually, I thought somewhat fortunate that the defense did not try to admit liability. We were able to put the conduct in. And so, with respect to the damages evidence, one of the most compelling aspects of that case and sometimes the best evidence eyes right in front of you. But you have to think carefully about it. We put her dad on, understand? And, uh, what you do in your diligence, you you gotta figure out what's gonna make it. Really? I mean, think about it. You By the time you get to trial, the plaintiff has lived through his or her injury for 23 or more years. So many moments, so many hours. Whether spent in a hospital, in an operating room, in a rehab facility, or at home in pain, not being able toe work dealing, going from doctor to doctor to therapy, appointment to therapy, appointment. Whatever the case may be. Over the course of 23 more years and you're trying to condense that into a week or two weeks or three weeks for what would be a long trial and having the jury understand what they've gone through. I mean, it's nearly impossible. If you're just trying to marshal the evidence out there, it's not gonna really work. And so what are those trigger points where you actually are able to give the jury a riel true glimpse into the impact that this injury has had? And so with that, um, uh, witness the father he was asked a question about when he first found out that his daughter had been injured. This is a pretty stoic guy, kind of a, uh, very straight narrow And, uh, you know, kind of your typical suburban dad who has two kids and tries to keep them in line. And, uh, you know what? One of those fellas doesn't seem like the kind of guy that shows a ton of emotion. And so maybe five or 10 minutes into his direct examination, cause it was along the whole direct was private less than 30 minutes to maybe 20 minutes. So about 5 10 minutes into it, he was asked Well, do you remember how you found out? And he started describing how he found out about his daughter getting hurt. And you could just tell the the fear that he felt, um in the sadness that his little girl was hurt. And it's all backed up by the medical evidence, right? I had already shown the jury she in fractured her pelvis in multiple places. And so that was a glimpse into how this injury had impacted this plaintiff. And it was through the window of her father explaining how we heard about the injury. He starts tearing up, and I wasn't exactly sure how that case was going. But when I saw three jurors tearing up with him, um, I felt a lot better about the case. Kind of emboldened me. There were settlement negotiations going, you know, I'm going, and it kind of emboldened me when I saw that, because jurors don't usually cry if they either think you shouldn't win on liability or if they think you're injury claim is illegitimate. So that's one that that's one that has always resonated with me. Now the other place that I would implore people to look other than really digging for those trigger points cause it's not. It's not obvious. In one case, it might be, uh, asking a particular witness. Just like in that case, how did you find out about it? In another case, it might be something different. Maybe somebody was trying to go back to work, and it was just clearly not going to happen. And that was devastating for the plaintiff in somebody else. Observed that And and maybe that's a trigger point, something that opens up the window and gives the jury a glimpse of what of of really, truly what's going on here. But I also implore plaintiff's lawyers to look at the details as carefully as you can. And so, um, you know, damages evidence. It comes through in stories in compelling testimony. But it also comes through, I think, in great education and find an expert. Or, if you're lucky and you have a treater, find somebody who's gonna be able to explain that my new details, um uh, as to why the plaintiff is experiencing this pain. What's going on in those nerve cells? Uh, that is causing his plane. If they experience uncontrollable and just unbearable pain or what is it about the deprivation of oxygen that then leads the brain cells to die, never to come back? And why in that region of the brain did it lead to this plaintiff? Uh, not having various function anymore Ball, bladder function, control of their motor function, cognitive function and really show them the details. Right? Haven't dimasa of exhibit that an expert can walk through, walk them through it in opening statement, do it with an expert or more talk about it again in closing, uh, piqued their interest, uh, in jury selection, because I I think that the details are what is most persuasive. So I really focus on the details because when the jury understands that they understand better the legitimacy of your clients injury because that's always an issue in every case is whether the plaintiff is credible. Ah, and whether they're injury is being portrayed accurately, so to show them natural in the details, it's
an excellent point. And that kind of Segways in the next thing I want to ask you about, I know personally one of the most agonizing things for me is trying to get my client ready for trial. you know, getting them comfortable with the whole situation, getting comfortable with the courtroom with the judge with the jury and having them talk about this injury. This thing that happened to him that was so hurtful and so painful. And I wanted to know if you had any ideas to help clients open up and share those details. Um, with the jury in a way that, um that makes them as comfortable as possible and allows them to get across the information that the jury needs to help decide their case.
Yeah, I tell. I tell all my clients a couple of things. One thing I tell them is that when you're on the stand, this is your only shot. Ah, so there's really no use in holding back trying to be tough. Uh, you just have to be open and honest and really bare your soul. Spill your guts. And you know every plaintiff is every client is different summer. Some are more willing to do that. Some are better at it. And so you have to make judgment calls is to what level of detail you going to do? You want to have them up for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes? Or does it have to be much longer than that with in what level of detail that they have to go into a liability? Um, you know, you have to make a lot of judgment calls in that regard, but with respect to the images, I tell them, uh, open yourself up and number. And and actually, I shouldn't say before you even get to that point. You want to create the halo effect, right? You want by the time your client gets up on the stand because I always if they're not last there close to last I By the time they get up on the stand, the jury should be thinking A This person is a victim because you've already put all your witnesses on to prove your liability case. Uh, be this injury is legitimate. You've put on your doctors, you put on your experts, you've shown Look at this injury. It's bad. Here's the effect it's had on this is from a scientific and medical perspective. And so when you and then and then perhaps with other lay witnesses, they get to know him a little bit. You get to like him a little bit. They think of them not as a plaintiff looking for money, which is probably how a lot of them thought of the plaintiff when they first walked in and to serve on the jury. By the time they testify there thinking completely differently, this is a human being who's been harmed. Now I got here and I want to hear from them A So what if what the effect has been. So then they get more of the benefit of the dollar and tell your plaintiff, um uh, that they should expect they have that whether it's true or not. Tell him they have that make, you know, make him confident s so that they can get up there and spill their guts. Ah, in the in the right way. Eso I want them to be open. I want them to act as if it's just me and then talking at their house just like when we were preparing. But then, in addition to that, so that I don't put too much pressure on them, I remind them that while their slice of the pie is an important one and perhaps bigger than any other witness it's still just a slice of the pie. It's still just, um uh, you know, some percentage now. It's not everything. And so just remember that you have your role and just fill your role on then in that context of filling your role, always make sure they have that fall back, that foundation on which they can fall back on if the going gets tough and I always tell them the direct examination, it's my it's my job. You're just answering my questions. It's my job to get that out of you. So But then when its cross examination, then you have a job, and you've got to answer those questions as best you can. And I tell them, Don't change your demeanor. You know, don't look at the defense lawyer cross eyed and don't go from answering very directly with my questions to being very evasive with theirs. You gotta have the same demeanor, be yourself with me and with the defense counsel. Otherwise, they're not gonna believe you because I've seen I've seen witnesses give beautiful direct examinations. Teoh, where it completely is lost on the jury when the jury sees their demeanor across. So I never want that to happen, particularly with the plaintiff. But then, on cross examination, you know generally where the defense is going to go, so you gotta have some answers ready. But then also make sure they have that general foundation. They can always fall back on the fact that you broke your arm or you've been diagnosed with this herniated disc, or if it's a more serious injury even than that you've got an amputation or you have some level of paralysis or there's been a brain injury, and you give them ways to fall back on the very basics of their of their case on and buy it. And without ever being combative, things that are irrefutable where even if a record here and there is brought out by the defense to say, Oh, look how you improved over here on Ben. You had six months without treatment over there. We want to have an answer for that, and it usually comes from, uh, ah at whatever level of severity. The injury is that that severity. So those are just the bothersome those air. Some hints that I like to give plans because at the end of the day, when you want it in the right frame of mind so they come across as credible unlikable. That's the most important thing. That they're credible and they leave a good impression on the jury if if that's accomplished and you can mix in a few good moments, which we all know. I mean, I described one earlier with the father who teared up. I've got one more. We're, uh ah fizz. I interest, uh, was testifying and was talking about our client who has to fully cath arise four times 4 to 6 times a day because she had a spinal cord injury and she's got bladder control issues. So you seemed she has to use a fully catheter four times a day. And so, uh, he'd be We had a model there. Ah, model of the anatomy. So he could show what you have to do. Toe Cath arise to to use a fully capture. And you know, it's a process. You put the lubricant on your first to take the thing out of the packaging. You put the lubricant and pray and and he showed the whole process from beginning that. And then in the right, when he was done, he looked at, the jury goes and then 34 hours later, you do it again. It was just the perfect. You just kind of deadpan the perfect way to articulate what? What a miserable thing they have to do multiple times a day, every day for the rest of your life. I think that big picture preparation is very important. Don't get too bogged down in the question to question preparation, but think big picture preparation, what you're trying to accomplish and how you can ensure that when the plaintiff Lee is the stand, the story she she told here, she told the damages here she described credible and leaves a lasting impression on the jury that cause that's the key.
Absolutely. We've been talking a lot about trial so far, and you know, as we know, small percentage of cases actually go to trial. Muslim resolved before that in the form of a settlement, what do you do? And are there any ideas that you have for other attorneys out there for an effective presentation of damages, evidence to insurance companies to make them hit those high dollar marks like you've achieved in some of your past cases.
Yeah, I do think that when you're going to mediation, you have to think about the information that's being communicated to the decision maker. So, man, you know, I mean, you've you've been on both sides, and so you know how that works, and that gives you great insight. I've I fend learned from the other side of my career because I've never been on the defense side. But I've We've got a couple lawyers that were on the defense side at our office. And just in talking to folks, you get an understanding that you need to get that information in front of the decision maker. And so it's always a balancing act between, you know, one of the reasons I like, um, taking most of my cases all the way to trialist Not only because I feel is, though, that's when you get the best value in settlement for for obvious reasons, the pressure being right there on the insurance company, the decision makers. But also I figure that by then everybody's very well educated. Ah, and I and I won't do like a very detailed demand letter because I don't feel the need to educate anybody on what's going on. The the either know what's going on and they're prepared to so or they don't. Now, if you're trying to settle the case earlier on, you have to balance Well, what do I want? Oh, do I want to reveal everything or do I want to hold something back in case the case doesn't settle Or but But in turn, will that potentially lead to the reserves Not being a size they could be. Uh, if I do harp and explain why I think this particular fact is just so helpful for my case. And so, um, you know, on a case by case basis and on a client by client basis, you figure out the best way to do that. But I am a proponent in the right case of doing a settlement video and having witnesses that would testify a trial, uh, give little snippets of what essentially would be the direct testimony and then my getting on the video and giving ah little vignette of what a portion closing argument might be. I think another thing that's very important and, you know it takes time and for me personally, really, over the last, I'd say six years or so. I've I've tried and gone to trial. Ah, lot more than in the previous seven years of my career. Um uh, and and that is by going to trial and showing them that you're willing to do that by going there and showing them that you're able to do it successfully, but that also your you have, you have no hesitation and asking the jury for a large amount. Well, now you've created a lot of pressure. And so then when you go to a defense where you submitted demand and you put in that demand or you put in that settlement video that you intend to ask a jury for 10 or 20 or $50 million when you goto a trial, they know that that's true. And they take that into consideration. So there's really no substitute for that. I would certainly encourage young lawyers to try to get to trial a soften as possible and to push the envelope with respect to your damages request A little thing that I always say to lawyers in my office when I asked, they're going to try a well, what were you gonna ask the jury for and they given amount. And I say, Well, why not ask for this? And it's a higher amount and they'll say, Well, then I'm worried that, uh, it'll, you know, sticker shock, the jury award less. I said, Well, let me get this straight. You think you're going to be awarded, lest by asking for more, uh, Or put another way, are you going to get more by asking for less? And so I am very much a proponent of pushing the envelope because I think it can effectively be done when you start in jury selection and all the way through. Make it clear what you're asking for. Uh, that, uh uh, you can ask for big numbers. So when you demonstrate the ability to do that, that helps considerably In mediation. The beginning you mentioned that I've had some eight figure settlements. I think some of those eight figure settlements would not have been as high as they were. Maybe not all. Maybe all of them would have been aside as they were if me and or our firm did not have a track record of success, a trial, I think that's a major driving factor. Um, and then and then, uh, just showing them how prepared you are. Give them a demonstrative exhibit early. Um, I'm not saying prepare your whole trial early. That can be very costly. But, uh, maybe a key damages demotion of you put together, and you put it with your settlement demand package to show just how just how devoted you are to this case and what you're prepared to do A trial. And I think that could be very effective to in bringing up settlement, uh, numbers. What? Your case settles for
You talked a little bit about demonstrative there. You talked about, ah, model earlier. Where are you In the importance of visuals. And you prefer high tech visuals. Are you more low tech with, you know, the human brain and the spine spinal cord model? Right. There was your preference with
that. So I like him all. Um, I like the high text stuff, so I'll get and I'll get an animator illustrator involved. I'll get I'll put together power points as it relates to liability where, you know, I'm clicking on boxes and things were popping up, and it's very interesting. Very CS I You know, we talk a lot about how jurors these days see the TV shows, and they really want the high tech demonstration. So I think it's important to have a little bit of that. But I also like the footboard. Um uh, I like a flipboard. Where? During trial. Particularly if you're gonna have a long trial. Uh, keep track of stuff. Um, maybe it's on damages and you're keeping track of all the illness. Um, and every time a witness says something about an element of damages, you write it down and lo and behold, by the end of the trial, you've got ahold ah, board filled with what the plaintiff is going through or on liability. Um, one of one of the important hallmarks of fetal distress in an obstetrics all case, if you're alleging brain damage from the delay in the delivery of a child is deceleration in the fetal monitor strip. And the more of those, the more it is evidence of fetal distress that the baby is not getting oxygen. And so and so in that case, from witness toe witness, I was writing on the board right in front of the jury, every deceleration in a particular timeframe. And by the time we got to the end of the trial, you know there must have been 40 50 to sell decelerate. I mean, tons of deceleration is on that chart. And so, over the course of a three week trial, the jury remembers Look at all the instances where there was an indication that the baby wasn't doing well. So I think there's great utility in both the high tech and low tech, and I do like the the actual physical models you mentioned like the spine. I think that's great. I like to create my own world in the courtroom, whether it's whether it's, you know, with with Mr Spine, where I'm where I'm explaining, You know what all the different areas of the spinal cord are about, or cervical for ASIC lumbar. Uh, you know, whatever the case may be, I love doing that. I also like, uh, using my space wisely. So, for example, we had a witness who claimed she saw something. It was a case where ah, 13 year old boy was killed by an ambulance and she claimed she saw something. Ah, uh, with respect to the incident. She was, you know, maybe 101 150 feet away, and and she said, And then I I saw the boy go up in the air and come down and, uh, what I did was I walked around the courtroom and I said, OK, so you're over here, and I, you know, I was I was standing where she would have been. Then I walked over to another area and the ambulances over here, right? And then the boy on the bicycles over here, right? And then they came together in this fashion, right? And and mo and behold, the jury could see spatially that there was no way she could have seen she would. She would have to have X ray vision to see through the ambulance. There's no way she could have seen what she claims she saw, and it destroyed the credibility of her story. And so, you know, whether it's higher, low tech, demonstrative, whether you're using the space within the courtroom, it's all it's all about, uh, touching on the audio visual learning that that that the jury does and and not just learning, But remember doing it in such a way that they remember,
absolutely couldn't agree more. He got engaged. Their senses got to keep it interesting is that they're not paying attention to you. I mean, what are they paying attention to?
Yeah, right. And and as the plaintiff's lawyer, with the burden of proof, we get the first crack we get to go first. And so it should be our desire and our goal to exert as much control over that which the jury hears from beginning to end. Uh, that's our job. And I think it's our job to be, uh uh, whether I don't know if entertaining is the right word, cause I'm not talking entertaining like it's a you know, like it's a variety show, but I mean entertaining in the sense that you're keeping their attention. You're keeping the jurors attention, and you always have energy. I always, I say to myself, Every morning I go to trial, I say to myself, You need to be the most energetic lawyer in the courtroom. When you stand up, you want the jury to be excited. You don't want the jury to kind of sit back in their true not this guy again is in your intro. You want the jury to be excited. You're getting up to do something now
in Illinois. I want to ask you about this because in only one of the states where you can't make a per diem damages argument, I know that in other states that's permissible. But in Illinois, we have to find other ways to make our case the jurors, especially when you have a permanent injury type case about how this is gonna affect them for the rest of your life. How do you show the logic behind your ask in your closing argument without making an impermissible, per diem type argument,
right? And I So I think one of the most powerful jury instructions for damages in Illinois, particularly for a young person who has been injured, is the instruction that tells the jury that you do not reduce non economic damages in the future to present cash value, and I think somewhere is mistakenly believe that that's a concept that is lost on the jurors. Uh, but I have had other experiences. I had a blue collar guy, not not super well educated. Ah, by no means unintelligent, but just, you know, not educated formally. Ah, And hey came up to me afterwards. I had I had gone through my argument on that and I explained that that what that means and here is kind of how I do it. What it means when future noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering, loss of a normal life are not reduced to present cash value. That means the pain that the plaintiff is going to feel in 2040 2050 2060 2070 2080 that needs to be compensated at dollars in terms of, uh $2040.2050 dollars. 2016 2017 $2080. And so to give a little context to that to look forward. 50 years 40 50 60 years. Let's look backwards. Let's look at what the dollar waas in 1980 1970 1960 when gas was 1/4 s. So what does that mean? As far as what appropriate compensation is for the fact that this ah child is going to be suffering pain and is going to be suffering loss of a normal life in 2060 2070 2080. Um, and and sometimes what you do is you put a number that has some relationship to the life expectancy of the plaintiff, you know, 60 years, uh, $600,000 or $6 million depending on the severity of the injury. So that's not per diem. And I think that's been challenged in the appellate courts. And there's nothing, uh, inappropriate about it, so long as you don't make that 1 to 1 connection. Ah, and, uh, that's that's, I think, a very powerful, uh, jury instruction. Uh, and then, um you know, there there are other arguments in closing that I just think are essential. So future future medical, Uh, you want to talk about how that keeps the plane of safe? Uh, that's how you that's how you make sure that the plaintiff ah ah, is in as little pain is possibly still gonna have pain, but it can be mitigated. Uh, if you allow for the spinal cord stimulator and the battery replacements over the course of his lifetime. Uh oh. Are, for example, have a case where the plaintiff so badly injured that the defense is saying there's a limited life expectancy. I always get into that with the life expectancy expert. I say, Well, how's the plane is gonna die? And they'll say, Well, there's a lot of different ways that Children with cerebral palsy may die early, but the leading cause would be pneumonia. All right. Well, how do we prevent pneumonia? Let's talk about that. How many nurses is it gonna take at home? What equipment is it gonna take? What kind of monitoring? What can we do to prevent this? Ah, and you try to bolster the need for the future medical care in that regard. And then you make the point to the jury. Uh, future medical care is the plaintiffs. Just a middleman that that money passes through. They don't get to keep it. They just hold onto it until eventually they have to give it to a doctor. Um, and you and you want to make that point as an example. So, um, depending on the depending on the category of damages, there are plenty of ways to make effective arguments other than other than per diem. And, you know, those were just a few.
Another element of damaged only applies in certain cases. Obviously, is a wrongful death cases. Um What do your advice for effective methods to get a jury, not just to feel sorry for, but to effectively compensate family members for losing a loved
one. Yeah, I'm such a believer in, um I'm such a believer in jurors by and large getting things right. You know, the collective wisdom of 12 people. Uh, you know, you can't You can't put lipstick on a pig on Expect to get some magical damages award. And so particularly in wrongful death cases, uh, it's really our job to make sure that the relationship between the decedent and the air's comes through appropriately that that we don't do something to get in the way of the jury, seeing just truly how important that relationship Waas. Um so I mean, in wrongful death cases, I think it's so important Number one in jury selection to make sure that you figure out confronted directly, Uh, whether or not anybody thinks that a wrongful death cases really unnecessary, that the person is gone, there's nothing that could be done. This is blood money. The plaintiffs just want a pound of flesh, and so you want I ask it directly. I think some lawyers are afraid that it poisons the well when you do that during jury selection, and I disagree. And here's my experience. That, I think is is most effective is when you ask those tough questions where you're wondering off my my poisoning the well on my am I putting a seat in someone's mind that wouldn't have otherwise been there by asking this question. And the answer is no, because what you'll get is Number one. You get people that will acknowledge. Yes, I I agree. I think wrongful death cases lack utility, can't bring the person back, can't put a price on a life. Uh, God's will you get what you get some of that as well. A certain juror's, whether it's a death case or or even an injury case. Think that things are just meant to be. And so you want to make sure that those folks that are not going to follow the law because that's really what that is, is folks that are gonna follow the law that they're figured out. But once they expose themselves, anybody that's willing to raise their hand and say, Yes, I have trouble with wrongful death damages. Then you ask, Does anybody else feel like Mr Smith even a little bit and you'll get some more hands and you might have some other folks that will acknowledge in questioning that they deserve to be disqualified. But then you ask the flip side of it, Uh ah. And if you've created a good environment with jury selection, will where people feel free to share and they're able to open up, then you'll get people that will say, Well, no, I I think it's important for accountability, you know, and and what you're really trying to get is you're trying to get the jurors to say the things that you're thinking without saying it to them because it's much more powerful of the come to that conclusion. And somebody says that well known, there needs to be accountability. There needs to be compensation, you know, the loved ones that are left behind deserve compensation to, and then you ask, and then you. And then a lot of times, what I like to ask is I play Devil's Advocate. I say, Well, and I all kind of reiterate Well, yeah, but what about the fact that you can't bring the person back and what does? What do those folks typically do when they're confronted with the devil's advocates position. They dig in their heels, right, and they start making arguments. You know, they turn into the plaintiffs where they start making arguments that you're going to be in making and other jurors air, hearing them for the first time fellow juror. And then you get other people that raise their and to agree with that potential juror. Um and so I think that could be I think that could be very valuable and should be confronted directly and wrongful death cases. Um, and then and then really, uh, on then really again, going back to that diligence of making sure you've got the right witnesses that can articulate, uh, that can articulate the los that was suffered. Uh, that can really talk about who? The decedent waas what the decedent meant to the errors. Uh, get getting in somebody Not not only the heirs, but also somebody who is neutral who doesn't have anything to gain, uh personally to come in and talk about the type of person that the decedent Waas and and usually by the end of a wrongful death case, the jury has a pretty good sense is to what type of person that isi moi's. What type of relationships the decedent in the years had. Uh uh, That usually shines through after a full trial. Well,
bad. I I really appreciate you sharing all this with us. I know this has been very informative for me. I think it will be really informative for anyone out there who's, you know, has a big case coming up or is looking out of work up a case. Present their case to trial before I let you get out of here. I know you've been very generous with your time. If someone wants to get a hold of you to ask a question of referred the case, what's the best way for them to do
that? Uh, email. Probably. P Salbi s, a L V. As in Victor I two at salvi law dot com P. Selby To win. Salvi law dot com. Uh, or our office through 123721227 Thanks, man. I really appreciate this. And thanks again for your time and sharing all this great stuff with us. Thanks for having me. It's this stuff,
all right? That was Pat Salvi talking about damages wouldn't awesome interview. What? What insight? It's so incredible to hear from a really great young trial lawyer how he achieves fantastic verdicts and great justice for clients. I was really interested, like we always do. At the end of these podcasts, I'm gonna give you sort of my 32nd trial tip. Matt's gonna do the same right now as we're still sort of stuck in quarantine. The courts are closed. Depositions air slow to come by. We're still trying to work cases. What I found is is reading a ton about how to make my case is better has helped me. And so my 32nd tip is Go pick up a book called Running With the Bulls. But Nick Rally and Courtney rally there to fantastic travelers in California. The book is all about this. It's all about how you figure out your clients damages and then how you frame them so that you can settle cases before trial. Um, for the maximum justice, the maximum dollar value you can get for them. I've read it a couple times. I'm re reading it again. It has a lot of work book, sort of activities in it as well. That I think will really help you think about damages. That's a great point, John. It's always good to read. It's always good to hear about what other great trial lawyers are doing. You know, it's the practice a lot. We're never finished. We're always trying to learn to get better After talking with Pat. My tip is Heston of visuals and demonstrably exhibits. He has a good philosophy about, you know, keeping it interesting, keeping it fresh, using different things to keep the jury invade engaged. So I think the key to that is planning these exhibits in advance. You know, you wanna have your macho of exhibits ready well, in advance of trial. I know other times in the past, I've seen attorney scramble at the last minute, and it doesn't end up turning out the way they that they want them to go. So plan your visuals. Your dementia of exhibits in advance have AZM any of them. It's possible you really want to be explaining the key elements of your case in visual form, because that's how Juries digest information. That's the most effective way to present your case on behalf of your client is by having compelling visuals about you know, the intersection where the collision occurred, the injury that your client suffered.
You know you can have the the
visual spine or an animation or something along those lines. And then when it comes to you know ongoing damages, you know you can have a day in the life video. You can have some sort of other visual representation to show the ongoing issues associated with your client's injuries. So that's my tip. Do do as many as you can take them early and really highlight the key points of your case with visuals. Absolutely. Jurors Air used to watching Courtroom TV. Essentially, they think that our jobs are just like TV loitering. And so you have to put on a little bit of a show in that sense and keep them engaged. And so you're absolutely right. And compassion is your key. That's awesome. And with that, we're gonna wrap up our episode for today. I want to think Pat Salvi again and remember, you can follow us and send us comments, questions, episode ideas or you send emails on trial podcast at gmail dot com, or you control us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at on trial podcasts. He's also rate download. Give us any feedback. You can help us get the word out. Share this podcast. And if you are interested in being a guest, shoot us an email and let us know. We're always happy to talk to as many trial lawyers. We can tow, learn the best tactics and and tips to move your cases forward and to get the best amount of justice. So until next time I'm John, Reserve old. I'm at home. We'll see you on trial.