When opposing counsel objects to the introduction of a document at trial, a good attorney will be able to respond by citing the evidentiary basis for why the objection should be overruled. This is the result of good preparation.In advance of court, write out the evidentiary basis for every document you intend to offer into evidence. Juries need to be able to see the documents that support your case. Know how to lay the foundation for business records. Know when you need a custodian of records. Know by statutory reference when a document is self-authenticating. Know the particular exception to hearsay. You do not want the jury to be denied the ability to review documents because opposing counsel’s evidentiary objection is sustained. This mishap can, and should, be avoided. … [Read more...] about Today’s Tip for Commercial Litigators: Have a Game Plan for Introducing Documents at Trial
Illustrating the importance of expert testimony in establishing a factual basis for private nuisance claims and damages in tort actions, a Pennsylvania federal judge vacated a $4.24 million jury verdict and granted a new trial in a case about alleged contamination from natural gas drilling. See Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Civil No. 3:09-CV-2284 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 31, 2017)In 2009, plaintiff landowners sued defendant Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. for allegedly causing them injuries and property damage, including restricting their access to clean water, through its natural gas drilling operations. The plaintiffs originally brought claims for breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, private nuisance, negligence, negligence per se, medical monitoring, and violations of state environmental laws. When the case went to trial in 2016, only two claims—private nuisance and negligence—remained because the court had granted the defendant’s motions for summary … [Read more...] about Federal District Court Orders New Trial in Tort Lawsuit Against Natural Gas Producer
The place where a trial court's jurisdiction over a case on appeal meets the competing jurisdiction of the appellate court over that same case is a busy intersection. It is often hard to tell when the trial court no longer has the jurisdiction to make rulings in a case that has been appealed. That power was the issue in two rulings from Business Court Judge Robinson, one in a published Opinion, in SED Holdings, LLC v. 3 Star Properties, LLC, 2016 NCBC 62, and the other in an unpublished Order in that case which followed several weeks later. The General Rule And Its ExceptionThe "general rule", as observed by Judge Robinson, is that "an appeal divests the lower court of jurisdiction." Op. ¶33. So you would think that once an appeal is filed (and docketed) that the trial court is powerless. But, that's not so:the lower court nonetheless retains jurisdiction to take action which aids the appeal, and to hear motions and grant orders, so … [Read more...] about Does Petition For Discretionary Review Divest Trial Court Of Jurisdiction?
Are you unsure about what themes would be effective? Is your best witness on the facts a terrible communicator? With a very small investment of time and money, a good trial consultant can provide preliminary answers to some of these concerns based on their years of experience across many similar cases. Simply spending a few hours with a consultant to discuss your case issues can provide insight and solutions: including identifying what jurors will care about, geographic customs, determining whether pre-trial research is necessary, possible settlement strategies mid-case, outlining the strongest case themes and story elements, and/or creating an action plan.Good research allows trial lawyers to uncover how pre-existing attitudes, opinions, life values and experiences impact a person’s perception and decisions about the evidence. It helps create a persuasive case story that overcomes your opponent’s arguments. Done early enough, pretrial research can improve … [Read more...] about Top Ways Trial Consultants Help Trial Lawyers and Their Clients
Those interested in the trial challenging California’s ban on gay marriage beginning Monday can catch a delayed broadcast of the proceedings on YouTube.U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker allowed the broadcast under an experimental program adopted by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to stories in the Recorder and the San Jose Mercury News. The program allows broadcast of civil nonjury trials on a case-by-case basis.“I think it’s worth trying in this case,” Walker said. He is the first federal judge to allow broadcast of a civil trial in the new program. The trial will be recorded on cameras operated by court personnel. The Recorder says the tapes will be broadcast sometime at the close of the day’s proceedings, while real-time broadcasts will be available at other federal courthouses.The U.S. Judicial Conference opposes televised proceedings and has urged each circuit to ban cameras. Walker turned down a request by In … [Read more...] about Coming Soon to YouTube: Federal Gay Marriage Trial