A retired attorney who left practice to start a business.
The retired attorney stayed in touch with one of his former clients he considered a friend. When that friend became terminally ill, the lawyer tried to help the family in a number of ways — informally as a business colleague, not as their attorney.
After the friend’s death, the wife of the deceased accused our client of acting as their lawyer, committing malpractice, and taking advantage of her and her husband.
The facts and circumstances were complex, involving many business transactions and relationship dynamics.
There were over 800 trial exhibits, and approximately 125 of those were admitted into evidence.
The case was set for a three week trial. Given the complexity of the case and the natural sympathy for the grieving widow, we were concerned that a jury might decide the case based on emotions rather than facts.
We took a three-step approach:
- First, we worked hard to select educated jurors. Our panel ultimately included a nurse, a finance executive, and the owner of a marketing company.
- Second, we used a traditional technique for presenting evidence: a time line. However, we used computer graphics and a series of parallel time lines to show how events related to each other. The time line was revisited at every stage of the trial so that jurors could put each allegation, witness statement, document, and argument into context.
- Third, we used a very large touch screen display with trial presentation software so that we could show the jury how we were paging through documents and finding key provisions. We could enlarge documents on the desplay for detailed analysis.
The jury entered a verdict entirely in favor of our client, the retired attorney. The jurors were able to process the complex material, understand our position, and reach the right result.