Charles Flaxman, a personal injury lawyer with Flaxman Law Group, has been in practice for over 37 years and was an insurance claims adjuster before that. He has fought countless personal injury cases and knows the ins and outs of the law. In this article, he shares some tips to consider before you step in front of a jury.
In this country, we have a major problem with frivolous lawsuits. People often sue over truly ridiculous things and sometimes have even won. I refuse to take any case that I find at all silly or frivilous. If I dont think I can win the case, why would I waste my time with it?
What is the most important thing to convince a jury of?
In personal injury law, you must convince the jury that you are a credible plaintiff. That is, quite simply, the best assurance that you will have a successful case. If the jury perceives that the person is not working and that he is just lying around because he is lazy or looking for cash, they will punish them for it. Juries tend to like people that try to go back to work and who try to get better and try to make the most out of their misfortune. I always tell my clients that truth sells the best. Juries are very astute at smelling whether you are truly a hardworking person who has had a wrong done to him or if you are a loafer just trying to collect a freebie from the big corporations. If you try to lie to juries, they will smell it a mile away and they will punish you for it. I dont go to court with someone whom I dont believe 100% because the juries will also detect the falsehood. In real estate, they say that location is everything. In personal injury law, the plaintiff is everything. If the person is credible, that is all that matters.
I will never file a frivolous lawsuit. Besides the moral and ethical problems I have with it, there are economical ones as well. I am extremely unlikely to win a frivolous lawsuit. And while some law firms charge the clients their fees, we pay ours out of pocket. If I lose a case, I will end up paying all the fees and expenses for it. In addition, most states have a statute that if you file a frivolous lawsuit, than you can actually be sued for court costs and all the other fees which are accumulated. In the worst case scenario, you can even have a bar complaint filed against you and you can lose your license to practice from that complaint. Its obviously extremely hard to argue a case when a lawsuit is frivolous, so I simply dont want to waste my time.