John Bratt is an attorney at Miller & Zois, LLC. He represents injured plaintiffs in all trial and appellate courts in Maryland. He also accepts attorney referrals for all types of civil appeals.
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How to Make Sure A Corporate Representative’s Deposition Testimony Sticks at Trial
In my opinion, one of the most powerful, yet underused, discovery devices around is the corporate representative deposition. This is because whomever is selected as the representative bonds the corporate entity with whatever their answers are. They are not testifying based solely upon their personal knowledge, but based upon all information known or available to the corporate entity.
So, uh, yeah, the Internet is Public. Just so you know.
You know what’s funny about stuff you post on the internet? It’s public, and that means people can see it. This includes those you would rather not see it. For example, if you are a disability claimant, you may want to forego that chance to post a video on Youtube of yourself half-naked, covered in tin foil, breakdancing to “Magic Carpet Ride.”
Staying Objective Is Not Always Easy
Nobody ever calls me because something good happened. That’s an unfortunate reality for lawyers in my line of work. Every time the phone rings, it is because something bad happened. At best, the bad thing is a totaled car and a painful, but treatable, injury. At worst, the bad thing is a catastrophic injury or the death of a loved one. Empathy is an emotional quality that is a job requirement for personal injury lawyers. If I can’t imagine myself in my client’s shoes, how can I hope to tell their story to a jury in a compelling, persuasive way? I don’t think I could.
Professionalism on Appeal
One of the many hats I wear at Miller & Zois is that of our in-office appellate specialist. What that really means is that I handle all of our law firm’s personal injury cases that wind up being appealed, and that I accept referrals (from other lawyers only) to handle civil appeals of all types.
How to Handle Expert Witnesses with Disciplinary Charges/Orders
It can sometimes be difficult to locate medical providers who will treat patients who were injured in accidents or on the job. If the patient was injured in an accident, the physician may have to wait for payment until the personal injury case resolves. In the case of a work-related injury, the physician must by law accept payment according to the fee schedule set by the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission, which is usually far less than the rates paid by private insurers. Many medical providers aren’t willing to accept these conditions, so the few who will are an invaluable resource for Maryland personal injury lawyers and our clients.
Defense Research Institute Poll Shows Most People are Confident in the Fairness of Our Civil Courts
A poll recently released by the Defense Research Institute found that an overwhelming majority of respondents found that our civil courts are fair. Check out the DRI’s release, explained below. Note that the headline says “41% Doubt Fairness of Civil Courts” when the article explains that 58% expressed confidence in court decisions.
A (Very) Quick Writing Tip
Today I got a spam email trying to sell me some editing software specifically for lawyers. I won't name it, because, duh, they sent me spam email. Somehow it avoided my junk mail folder, so I accidentally read it.
Don't Forget About Your Witnesess When the Case Settles
I just reached a settlement in a case that was set for trial next week. Obviously that is great news for my client, who now has some closure on a difficult period in his life.
In the past, I have written about alternative dispute resolution as a means for resolving personal injury cases before trial. Well, there is a new article out in the Maryland Bar Journal about how mediation is being used to resolve cases on appeal in the Court of Special Appeals.
Trial Organization Part 2: The Trial Box
In Part I, I talked about how useful a set of portable office supplies can be for staying organized at trial. But that is just a small part of the required level of organization. In this installment, I discuss another vital part of my overall organizational system- the trial box. Keep in mind that I am describing how I organize the typical 2-3 day jury trial. Longer, more complex trials travel in a larger set of boxes that are organized following the same basic outline.
Another Fun Technique for Cross-Examining Defense Medical Experts