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Case Studies

COURTROOM REALITIES

The vast majority of lawsuits are settled before trial. Despite the many lawyers in today’s defense firms, most employment discrimination cases that go to trial involve only two or three lawyers–one for employee-plaintiff and two for the employer-defendant. To maximize the chances of obtaining a favorable pretrial settlement, or winning a trial, the lawyers for each side try to efficiently research the controlling law; discover and organize the relevant evidence and witnesses; and then sculpt the evidence and the law into an imaginative and persuasive presentation for the jury. It is not the size of the law firm that dictates the outcome of the litigation.

Counsel for both parties may consult with forensic experts to rebut the strengths, and identify the weaknesses in the opponent’s case. Such experts help trial lawyers develop strategies for winning cases; and for creating exhibits that dramatically present facts. This website contains a few of the exhibits that Jackson & Associates has used to prevail in trials and arbitrations. What makes these exhibits and our trial presentations so effective is the quality of the exhibits that convey the thoughts, the effort we spend developing themes and arguments of the case, and the imagination employed to simplify ideas for ease of understanding by the judge and jury.

Psychological Testing

Many personal injury and employment cases involve allegations of severe emotional distress. Often these types of claims rely on plaintiffs’ subjective testimony. To rebut such testimony, we have established relationships with several expert witnesses who provide this service. A by-product of that relationship is the MMPI-II exhibit below which we used to advantage in a trial.

Illustrative and evidentiary exhibits that communicate important and relevant information to the jury can assist lay and expert witnesses during their testimony, as well as counsel during opening statements and closing arguments.

Economic Damages

Plaintiffs’ claims for lost future income are often inflated and speculative. In a particularly egregious example, the plaintiff claimed that he suffered a disabling back injury in an accident while on a bus. Our exhibit, based on the evidence of what plaintiff had actually earned before the accident, and what he was claiming that he was deprived of by the accident, dramatically demonstrated to the jury that the plaintiff was overreaching. Our relationships with expert forensic accountants and economists also have yielded invaluable assistance [and trial exhibits] in proving damages for our plaintiff clients.

The goal of most plaintiffs is to maximize the amount of money they recover from defendants. And defendants’ goal is to minimize that amount. When there is a verdict in favor of plaintiffs, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) provides that the court shall order defendants to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees in an amount which the court deems reasonable. The jury’s verdict in favor of plaintiff, plus the court’s award of attorney’s fees to plaintiff, could amount to a substantial sum. To avoid that result, defense counsel is often motivated to have the case dismissed or settled, rather than allowing it to go to verdict.

Illustrative and evidentiary exhibits that communicate important and relevant information to the jury can assist lay and expert witnesses during their testimony; and counsel during opening statements and closing arguments.

Case Study Examples

1) MMPI-II CASE STUDY

The plaintiff claimed to have suffered major depression following an accident. The bar graph depicts her scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory II (MMPI-II). Her answers suggested depression on the diagnostic scales; but she also scored high enough on the “L” (Lie) scale to cast significant doubt on the validity of the entire test.

With an above the redline score of 75 on the “Lie Scale,” you should not believe Plaintiff’s claim that the accident is causing her severe depression.

MINNESOTA MULTIPHASIC PERSONALITY INVENTORY II EXHIBIT FOR MYRA BROWN
Below are examples of the plaintiff’s responses to questions that contributed to her “L” score:
Once in a while I think of things too bad to talk about. False
At times I feel like swearing. False
I do not always tell the truth. False
Sometimes when I am not feeling well I am irritable. False
My table manners are not quite as good at home as when I am out in company. False
I gossip a little at times. False

 

2) DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES CASE STUDY

For the last three years, Plaintiff-salesman has received good performance appraisals, but each of them mentions that he regularly fails to complete his paperwork on time. For two consecutive years, Defendant-employer has not promoted him to the position for which he has applied–District Sales Manager. Plaintiff claims that his race and national origin are the reasons employer has not promoted him. This Exhibit shows that apart from race and national origin, the Plaintiff-salesman does not qualify for the District Sales Manager position, which regularly requires timely completion of at least four times as much paperwork as a salesman must complete.

 

3) SOURCES OF INFORMATION TO THE BOARD CASE STUDY

Members of the Board of Directors of a Savings & Loan are negligent by ignoring many other sources of information readily available to them, and relying exclusively on the President of the Savings & Loan, for information about the business of Savings & Loan and their role as Directors.

 

4) CLAIMED LOSS OF EARNINGS CASE STUDY

The plaintiff claimed that as a result of injuries suffered in a 1986 accident, he was unable to work; and therefore entitled to an award for loss of earnings until he reached retirement. But the exhibit created by Jackson & Associates demonstrated that his claimed loss of future earnings was unreasonable in light of his brief employment history before the accident.

California Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Attorneys Disclaimer:
The California employment law, trial information, mediation or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of a particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee with respect to your case.

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