The Great Trials Podcast
Zoe Littlepage | Rowatt, Forrester and Scofield v. Wyeth | $134.1 Million Verdict

Zoe Littlepage | Rowatt, Forrester and Scofield v. Wyeth | $134.1 Million Verdict

October 12, 2021

This week we're replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Zoe Littlepage of Littlepage, Booth, Leckman ( http://www.littlepagebooth.com/ ).

 

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Case Details:

Three Nevada women who developed breast cancer as a result of their use of Wyeth’s hormone replacement drugs, Prempro and Premarin. The jury found that Prempro and Premarin helped cause their cancers and that Wyeth misled the public about the drugs’ health risks. The court ultimately awarded $22.8 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages.

Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Zoe Littlepage’s practice focuses on complex cases including mass torts, defective medical product or drug cases as well as human rights issues. She typically spends months each year in trial, all across the country. Ms. Littlepage’s jury awards made the list of the Top 10 Largest Verdicts in the country for 2007, 2009 and 2010.

In 2011, Zoe Littlepage was induced into The Inner Circle of Advocates. Founded in 1972, The Inner Circle of Advocates is an invitation only group of 100 of the best trial lawyers in America who are selected for their character, experience and success in the courtroom. The Inner Circle of Advocates was described by The Washington Post as, "A select group of 100 of the nation's most celebrated trial lawyers" and is recognized as one of the most exclusive groups of attorneys in the nation. Inner Circle members often work collectively to share experience, skills and knowledge in pursuit of justice.

American Lawyer magazine as well as Fortune magazine named Ms. Littlepage as one of America’s “Premiere Lawyers.” She has also been nominated as a “Super Lawyer” as well as “Top Lawyer” in the country multiple years running. In 2008, she received the Clarence Darrow award for Best Mass Tort Lawyer. Texas Lawyer praises Ms. Littlepage’s tenacity stating “all bets should be on Littlepage.” Chambers USA, a legal publisher, recognizes Zoe Littlepage as a leading lawyer in nationwide product liability litigation and notes that “Zoe Littlepage of Littlepage Booth does ‘a bang-up job for plaintiffs.’” According to lawyers interviewed by Chambers USA, “[w]hen you see her, you know you have a fight on your hands.”

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

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Sarah Stempky-Kime | Vaylma Dorado v. McCoig Concrete Company and Leonard Wells | $17.8 million verdict

Sarah Stempky-Kime | Vaylma Dorado v. McCoig Concrete Company and Leonard Wells | $17.8 million verdict

October 5, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Sarah Stempky-Kime of Christensen Law (https://www.davidchristensenlaw.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Sarah Stempky-Kime, an experienced trial lawyer and managing attorney at Christensen Law in Michigan, discusses how she secured justice for Vaylma Dorado, a woman who suffered a TBI and sustained other serious injuries after she was rear-ended by a cement truck. On September 17, 2010, Vaylma sat in her Volkswagen Jetta waiting to make a turn when she saw a cement truck in her rearview mirror that showed no signs of stopping. The 66,000-lb cement truck –– driven by a distracted company employee –– crashed into the back-end of Vaylma's car and propelled her vehicle into a utility pole. As a result, Vaylma endured three spinal fusion back surgeries, hip fusion surgery and shoulder surgery, making her unable to live independently or remain employed. On today's episode, hear how Sarah Stempky-Kime focused on McCoig Concrete Company and the driver's admitted liability at trial and kept the jury's attention on the extent of Vaylma’s injuries, while countering defendants' attempts to minimize those injuries. On June 11, 2014, a Wayne County, Michigan jury awarded Vaylma $17,800,000 in damages, marking the second-largest verdict or settlement in a Michigan courtroom in 2014. 

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Guest Bio:

Sarah Stempky-Kime

Sarah is the managing attorney at Christensen Law, where she recently celebrated her 12th anniversary. Integral to the successful operations of the firm, Sarah has been working alongside founder David Christensen since 2009, partnering on major trials protecting the rights of accident victims.

Sarah is responsive and compassionate when it comes to her clients, and a strong litigator with a history of successful verdicts won in challenging court situations. Sarah has far more trial experience than her years in practice would suggest, making her stand out as one of the state’s best young trial attorneys. “I’ve learned that everyone deserves the same attention. People who have been hurt are going through the extreme stress of trying to heal while dealing with the added stress of being in a lawsuit. They’ve been wronged, and they need someone to represent their interests. That’s where I come in.”

A native of Cheboygan, Michigan, Sarah graduated from Alma College in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her psychological background makes her an effective communicator and helps her empathize with clients who are recovering after traumatic automobile accidents.

Sarah attended Michigan State University College of Law, graduating in 2010 with a certificate in Trial Practice from the Trial Practice Institute. While in law school, Sarah demonstrated remarkable advocacy skills, and reached the finals in several national Mock Trial Competitions. She also captained the Arbitration Team, which won the regional competition in Omaha in 2009.

Her success in law school has continued in the courtroom. She has won several multiple million-dollar trials and settlements, improving her clients’ lives after auto accidents impacted their ability to work or live independently. In 2014, Michigan Lawyers Weekly named one of Sarah’s victories second-highest on its list of 2014 Million Dollar Verdicts. Her skills as an orator and success at trial have continued to attract statewide recognition and accolades and awards.

She sits on the executive board for the Michigan Association for Justice , a top advocacy organization committed to making Michigan’s justice system fair, effective, and accessible to all the state’s residents, and is a regular presenter for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Sarah and her family reside in Birmingham, where they are active members of the community, participating in annual neighborhood cleanups around Detroit and various charitable outreach programs. She also provides guidance for other parents experiencing the challenges of childhood brain injury and epilepsy, and supports the Brain Recovery Project and Detroit Horsepower.

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Eric Fong | William Tisdale v. Apro LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Corporation | $91 million verdict

Eric Fong | William Tisdale v. Apro LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Corporation | $91 million verdict

September 28, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Eric Fong of Fong Law (https://www.ericfonglaw.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Eric Fong, an accomplished lawyer who has tried more than 100 civil and criminal jury trials, shares how he successfully represented his client William Tisdale after being brutally attacked by a robber due to a convenience store's lack of employee training and proper security measures. Around 11 p.m. on November 4, 2015, William Tisdale entered an Apro convenience store in Parkland, Washington and was immediately told by the clerk to call 911. Not realizing that there was a robber inside the store who was threatening to kill the clerk and demanding money from the register, William stepped outside to call 911 only to be violently beaten by the baseball bat-wielding thief as he stole William's car. Eric Fong used enhanced animation to show jurors the severity of William's numerous injuries, including multiple skull fractures, traumatic brain injury and retinal damage, as they occurred in real-time via the video footage of the attack. In spite of the defense's attempts to minimize William's injuries and to blame him for not remembering to take his medications due to a TBI, the jury responded to Eric Fong's re-telling of William's story and his appeal for empathy and compassion for his client. In June 2021, a Pierce County, Washington jury — limited by COVID-19 precautions and virtual trial proceedings — found Apro was 90% at fault and William was 10% at fault in this groundbreaking premises liability case. The jury awarded William $91 million in total damages, which is the largest compensatory damages verdict for an individual plaintiff in Washington state. 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Eric Fong

Imaginative and yearning to explore with measured recklessness, Eric Fong lives for the adrenalin only a courtroom provides.  With over 100 civil and criminal jury trials under his belt, he is recognized as an innovator of creative trial work in both fields of law.    

Eric protected low-income housing residents of WA State against oppressive crime control measures, creating the constitutional right to intimate association. His $91,000,000 verdict is the largest compensatory damages verdict for one person in Washington State. His representation of iconic funk musician & legend, George Clinton allowed Mr. Clinton to keep his historic body of work. Decided in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, this is the definitive copyright case in the United States. 

Eric lives with his beloved fiancé and co-collaborator Courtney, 2 amazing daughters, and his courtroom dog “Happy” on the beautiful Burley Lagoon.  

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Daniel Kramer & Teresa Johnson | Louis Acosta v. MAS Realty, LLC et al. | $12.6 million verdict

Daniel Kramer & Teresa Johnson | Louis Acosta v. MAS Realty, LLC et al. | $12.6 million verdict

September 21, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson of Kramer Trial Law (https://www.kramerlaw.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

California trial lawyers Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson of Kramer Trial Law share how they secured justice in a major premises liability case that was one of the first in-person civil jury trials to be held in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kramer and Johnson represented Louis Acosta, a 40-year-old electrician who was severely injured on a job site at a strip mall in Riverside, California in 2016. Two years earlier, Athena Management, Inc. — the property management company that MAS Realty, LLC hired to oversee a shopping center they owned in Riverside — was told by roofing inspectors that a rooftop hatch was broken and the access ladder needed to be repaired in order to meet OSHA compliance requirements and to address safety concerns. The rooftop hatch was never repaired, so when Louis attempted to fix malfunctioning exterior lights, he opened the hatch — not realizing it was broken — and the 40-pound hatch door slammed down on his spine. Louis immediately felt his right side go numb. He continues to struggle with chronic pain and has endured numerous surgeries, resulting in hardware being placed in his spine, neck and lower back. Trial lawyers Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson countered the defendants' attempts to claim they were not notified in 2014 about the broken hatch and to blame the roofing inspector as well as Louis for his own injuries. In August 2021, a Los Angeles jury found defendants Athena Management, Inc. and MAS Realty, LLC negligent and responsible for Louis's injuries, awarding him $12,622,238.75 in total damages. The jury found that the property management company was 80% at fault and the property owner was 20% at fault, with no comparative fault for the plaintiff.

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Daniel Kramer

Daniel Kramer is a trial lawyer who specializes in representing families and individuals involved in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters, as well as employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits. Daniel has obtained numerous jury verdicts as lead counsel, all victories on behalf of his clients. Multiple verdicts have been featured in both The Daily Journal, Verdict Search, The Huffington Post, and Fox 11 News. Five verdicts were ranked as the top 50 verdicts in the state of California for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 by TopVerdict.com.  Early in his career, Daniel tried one of the first cases in Los Angeles County history to embrace a controversial new law regarding the recoverability of health insurance payments in personal injury actions. In his first year with the firm, Daniel obtained a $3 million settlement on behalf of the family of a WWII veteran who was tragically killed when a truck owned by a large grocery store chain ran a red light and crushed their husband and father to death. In 2015, Daniel obtained a $1,237,500 settlement on the eve of trial on behalf of CalTrans worker who was severely injured in a freeway collision. In 2016, Daniel obtained a $1,420,000 settlement just before trial against a shopping center for failing to protect its customers when a vehicle jumped a curb severely injuring a mother and her two daughters. Also in 2016, Daniel obtained a $1,000,000 policy limits settlement on behalf of a family who lost their 87-year-old father and grandfather who fell down a poorly lit stairwell. In late 2016, Daniel obtained a $2,160,000 jury verdict against the City of Los Angeles in a slip and fall case. That verdict was selected as one of California’s Top 100 verdicts in 2016. In 2017, he obtained a $1,830,000 wrongful termination verdict and judgement on behalf of a minimum wage worker who was terminated because of his disability, where the jury awarded punitive damages.  In 2018, Daniel received a $2,847,500 verdict against two large construction companies after his client fell in an open trench resulting in 3 broken ribs and permanent nerve damage.  Last year, Daniel obtained an $850,000 verdict in a very difficult slip and fall trial where the client suffered a fractured knee cap.

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Teresa Johnson

Teresa is a trial lawyer practicing in the areas of plaintiff’s personal injury, wrongful death and employment litigation. Along with Dan Kramer, Teresa has second-chaired several trials, and has secured numerous six and seven figure verdicts and settlements for her clients. Since 2016, four of the verdicts have ranked among the top verdicts in the state of California by TopVerdict.com. As her clients’ legal representative during their most difficult times, Teresa is committed to zealously advocating for her clients from the moment the case is signed up and all the way through trial.

In 2018, Teresa graduated from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Plaintiff Trial Academy, a rigorous six-week course designed to teach advanced trial skills. Teresa has also authored several articles on subjects such as cross-examination of expert witnesses and how to conduct jury selection in a premise liability case.

Prior to joining the firm, Teresa attended Loyola Law School, where she earned her Juris Doctorate in 2015. While at Loyola, Teresa gained experience as a judicial extern to the Honorable R. Gary Klausner in the United States District Court, Central District of California. Teresa was President of the Consumer Law Society, a student-run organization intended to educate other students on the role of the Plaintiff’s bar, and was also on the Editorial Board as the Chief Research Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review. In 2015 after graduating, Teresa completed a Fellowship sponsored by the American Board of Trial Advocates, a prominent organization comprised of trial lawyers throughout the nation.

Teresa is currently licensed to practice in California state courts and federal district courts in the Central District of California, and is an active member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Teresa was selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2020.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

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GTP CLASSIC | Karen Koehler | DINH Group v. Ride the Ducks | $123 Million Verdict

GTP CLASSIC | Karen Koehler | DINH Group v. Ride the Ducks | $123 Million Verdict

September 14, 2021

This week we're replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Karen Koehler of Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore Law Firm (stritmatter.com).

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Case Details:

Acclaimed trial lawyer Karen Koehler, also known as the “Velvet Hammer,” discusses how she secured justice for dozens of victims of the Sept. 24, 2015 mass casualty crash involving a defective duck boat -- a World War II vessel turned amphibious vehicle -- and a tour bus full of international students on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. She held the state of Washington responsible for the dangerous undivided, two-lane highway on which the wreck occurred as well as the Ride the Ducks Seattle and Ride the Ducks International companies for their disregard for safety in maintaining their duck boats.

 

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Guest Bio:

In the mid-2000’s an opponent told me that other defense attorneys were calling me “The Velvet Hammer™”.   When asked why, he said: because you smile so sweetly while you are hammering us into the ground.  I thought that was funny and adopted the name.

Being a lawyer is part of my soul.  My work is part of who I am.  The stories of my clients will never leave me.  The child who could not bear to see his father take his last breath... The son who waved goodbye to his mother as he headed off to school, not realizing that would be the last time he would see her… The teenager on a school trip who woke up to see bones coming out through her skin…  The young man struck down and killed in front of the police who had been ordered not to enter the Mardi Gras riot zone…The siblings who were in the hospital for so long that they had to postpone the funeral for their parents by a year… The eighth grader sitting in the rear passenger seat when the bumper from another car went through the vehicle and into her lovely face… The Boeing worker whose leg was almost torn off from the impact, fragments of bone lying in the street… The maintenance lead burned to death by an acid solution… The widows who created shrines in their bedrooms for their beloved spouses…The sister who saw her baby sister die. So much preventable sorrow.

My job is to make sure that wrongdoers are brought to justice and that the lives and losses of my clients are fully honored and respected.  I love my job.

  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), 2005

  • Named as Top 10 Super Lawyer in Washington State, Super Lawyers, 2014

  • Named as Top 100 Super Lawyer in Washington State, Super Lawyers, 2007-2018

  • Named as Top 50 Women Washington Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2003-2018

  • Named as one of the top 500 leading Lawyers in America, Lawdragon Magazine, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015

  • Listed in "The Best Lawyers in America", Best Lawyers publication, 2006-present

  • Top Trial Practice Blawg, American Bar Association, 2011, 2012

  • Rated AV, Martindale-Hubbell (highest available rating)

 

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Ronald Johnson & Jay Vaughn | Alton G. Godwin, et al. v. Eaton Asphalt Paving Co., Inc. | $70 million verdict

Ronald Johnson & Jay Vaughn | Alton G. Godwin, et al. v. Eaton Asphalt Paving Co., Inc. | $70 million verdict

September 7, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Ronald Johnson and Jay Vaughn of Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery (https://justicestartshere.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Kentucky trial lawyers Ronald Johnson and Jay Vaughn of Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery explain how they held an asphalt paving company responsible for causing a car crash that killed Amy Skiba. On the morning of January 9, 2019, Amy was driving her 12-year-old twins to school on a two-lane road when a 2013 Chevrolet truck's front tire went off the side of the road. When the truck returned to the roadway, it hit Amy's Honda Accord, and she died on impact. In this episode, learn how Ronald Johnson and Jay Vaughn explained to the jury that Amy's death was not the fault of either driver, instead demonstrating that Eaton Asphalt Paving Co., Inc. was ultimately responsible due to the fact that the company incorrectly re-paved the road two months prior to the accident and created hazardous conditions by removing safety wedges and rumble strips. In spite of Eaton Asphalt Paving Co., Inc.'s attempts to assert they had the permission of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to not mill the road and to cast blame on the driver of the Chevrolet truck, the Boone County, Kentucky jury found in favor of the plaintiff. On July 12, 2021, the jury awarded Amy's surviving children $24 million in damages as well as $50 million in punitive damages against the defendant.

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Ronald Johnson

Ronald Johnson is a veteran trial lawyer who has spent his career representing families and persons who have been injured or killed by defective drugs and medical devices, chemicals, dangerous conditions on a property, semi-truck collisions, automobile wrecks, medical malpractice, and other product liability claims.

Ron’s experience and success in this field have been recognized by his peers and by federal courts across the country. Ron is a former president of the Kentucky Justice Association and has been designated as “AV” rated (pre-eminent) by the peer-reviewed publication Martindale, as well as designated a “Super Lawyer” by his fellow attorneys. Ron has also been appointed to numerous leadership positions in nationwide litigation by federal judges. In fact, Ron is the only lawyer currently practicing in Kentucky who has been appointed as lead or co-lead counsel of multiple Multi-District Litigations (MDL’s) in Federal Courts. Ron has tried numerous complex cases, including a medical device case that resulted in a verdict over 7 million dollars. He has also negotiated settlements up to 230 million dollars.

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Jay Vaughn

Jay Vaughn is one of the first attorneys to be Board Certified in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Jay was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He received his undergraduate degree from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky in 1999. Jay graduated from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2002. He is licensed to practice in both Kentucky and Ohio.

Jay has received Martindale-Hubbell’s esteemed “AV” rating, which recognizes lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability. Since 2013, he has been named to the Kentucky Super Lawyers, which recognizes no more than 5% of attorneys in Kentucky. Jay has tried numerous cases ranging from automobile collision cases to multi-week nursing home neglect cases. He is asked to speak both locally and nationally to other lawyers on a variety of legal topics as he is very active in Kentucky Justice Association and American Association for Justice, serving on the Board for both trial organizations.

Jay focuses his practice on personal injury, car wreck, trucking crash, traumatic brain injury, and wrongful death cases. He understands that his clients have had their lives turned upside down due to the fault of someone else which is the reason for him working tirelessly to achieve justice for his clients, help make up for what was taken from them and giving them hope for the future.

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Tyler Thompson | Lori Rone, as Legal Guardian of Shannon Houchin v. Republic Services of Kentucky, LLC d/b/a Monarch Environmental and Jackie Jones | $27.3 million verdict

Tyler Thompson | Lori Rone, as Legal Guardian of Shannon Houchin v. Republic Services of Kentucky, LLC d/b/a Monarch Environmental and Jackie Jones | $27.3 million verdict

August 31, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Tyler Thompson of Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC (https://www.kytrial.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Kentucky trial lawyer Tyler Thompson of Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC explains how he successfully represented a teenage girl who sustained a permanent brain injury after a crash involving a Monarch Environmental garbage truck parked on the wrong side of the road. On Thanksgiving Day in 2000, 17-year-old Shannon Houchin was driving to work when she crested the top of a hill and saw the headlights of a garbage truck in her lane. She quickly swerved to avoid the large Monarch Environmental truck and swerved again to avoid a pedestrian, which sent her car spinning and sliding sideways into the garbage truck. As a result of the crash, Shannon spent over 50 days in a coma and sustained brain and physical injuries that require round-the-clock care, including involuntary muscle contractions, bilateral third nerve palsy, dementia and hyperphagia -- a memory-related eating disorder. Trial lawyer Tyler Thompson shares how he utilized testimony from residents who had near collisions with Monarch Environmental garbage trucks and how the company ignored warnings about parking on the opposite side of the street for two years — some incidents being as recent as one week before Shannon's accident. In spite of the defense's arguments, a Warren County, Kentucky jury found that Shannon was not at fault and awarded her $27,335,667.87 in damages. 

 

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Guest Bio:

Tyler Thompson

Tyler Smyth Thompson is a graduate of Berea College and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, and currently the senior partner at the law firm Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC in Louisville, Kentucky.  He and his wife, Frances Travis Thompson MD, have three daughters, Calley, Madison and Ellery.  

Mr. Thompson has represented clients in medical negligence and products liability cases throughout the United States.  He has achieved a number of eight-figure settlements on behalf of injured clients and has obtained a number of multi-million dollar verdicts at trial, including three verdicts exceeding $10 million dollars and two verdicts exceeding $20 million dollars.  

In 2008, Mr. Thompson became an invited member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a trial lawyer organization limited to 100 lawyers in the United States, which the National Law Journal has called "a fraternity of superstar personal injury litigators" and the Washington Post recognized as "a select group of 100 of the nation's most celebrated trial lawyers."  Super Lawyers Magazine has selected Mr. Thompson as one of the top 10 attorneys in Kentucky on multiple occasions and in the 2021 Edition, he was ranked number one among all Kentucky lawyers.  

Mr. Thompson is an invited member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a past recipient of the Peter Perlman Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award, given annually to an attorney in Kentucky who has demonstrated excellence in the courtroom.  He has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Thompson's community service consists of serving as a trustee of Berea College, where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Development Committee, as well as serving on the Boards of the Kentucky Justice Association, Historic Locust Grove and the American Museum of Fly Fishing.

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Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey | New Segment: Listener Questions

Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey | New Segment: Listener Questions

August 24, 2021

This week we have a very special episode. Your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview each other and launch a new segment for listener questions.

 

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Episode Details:

Have you ever wanted to ask a question on The Great Trials Podcast? Well now you can!

We’re launching a new listener question segment where you can submit your questions to be answered live on the air.

 

To submit a question:

Send us a direct message on Instagram (@greattrialspodcast).

Send us a direct message on Facebook (@greattrialspodcast)

Email us at info@greattrialspodcast.com

  

 

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Gregorio Francis | In re Pigford II or “Black Farmers” Litigation | $1.25 billion settlement

Gregorio Francis | In re Pigford II or “Black Farmers” Litigation | $1.25 billion settlement

August 17, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Gregorio "Greg" Francis of Osborne & Francis, PLLC (https://www.realtoughlawyers.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Award-winning Florida trial lawyer Gregorio "Greg" Francis of Osborne & Francis, PLLC shares his experience serving as lead counsel for nearly 20,000 African-American farmers who received disparate treatment from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), resulting in the largest settlement of a civil rights case in the history of the American Civil Justice system. Widely known as the “Pigford” or "Black Farmers" cases, this national class action lawsuit sought to address the racial discrimination Black farmers experienced between 1981 and 1996, including the denial or delay of their applications for federal farm credit services, loans or benefit programs. Citing the USDA's internal report of a failed civil rights complaint management system and a lack of diversity in Farm Service Agency county-level commissioners, Greg was able to negotiate a record settlement with the USDA for $1.25 billion to be distributed to class members in the form of damages, forgiveness of debt owed to the USDA and/or a tax payment to offset the awarded funds. This historic settlement was reached on February 18, 2010. As part of the settlement, President Obama signed the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which provided $1.15 billion to pay successful claims. In May 2021, Gregorio published Just Harvest, a book detailing these groundbreaking cases against the U.S. government.

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Guest Bio:

Gregorio "Greg" Francis

Awarded the Vince Monroe Townsend Legends Award by the National Bar Association for historic leadership in the area of Civil Rights and designated as a Game Changer by Politic365. Gregorio (Greg) Antonio Francis currently serves as lead counsel for the historic Black Farmers case. This national class action challenged the ongoing disparate treatment of Black Farmers across the United States resulting in a $1.25 billion dollar settlement. Nearly 20,000 Black farmers or their descendants received the “JUSTICE” they had long demanded. In RE: Black Farmers is the largest settlement of a Civil Rights case in the history of the American Civil Justice system.

Francis began his legal career in 1994 as an associate with a statewide defense firm specializing in medical malpractice defense, nursing home defense and municipal defense.

In 2001, Francis joined the law firm of Morgan and Morgan, P.A., as a Partner, focusing his practice on medical malpractice, police misconduct, wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. From 2004-2006, Morgan & Morgan, P.A., participated in a joint venture with famed trial lawyer Johnny Cochran to open an office in Miami, Florida where Francis served as the co-managing partner. After achieving great success with The Cochran Firm, Francis became a shareholder of Morgan & Morgan, P.A. As the firm expanded, Francis was instrumental in opening new offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Jackson, Mississippi. He held the position of managing partner for the Jackson, Mississippi office from its inception through 2014, Francis also served on the firm’s Executive Committee.

In 2018, Francis joined longtime friend and colleague Joseph A. Osborne in forming their own firm, Osborne & Francis, PLLC. The firm has offices in Boca Raton and Orlando. Their firm will focus primarily on product liability, medical device litigation, pharmaceutical litigation, medical malpractice and personal injury litigation.

In addition to his professional achievements, Francis serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Bethune Cookman University. Additionally, Francis has served as legal counsel to the Lay Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church which boasts membership of over 3 million. In 2010, he was appointed to serve on the Ninth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission by Governor Charlie Christ. Francis is very active at all levels of the National Bar Association having served on the Executive Board of the Florida Chapter and as President of the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association from 2001-2003. In the community, Francis is an active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Winter Park Chapter and was recently featured in the Kappa Journal, RYSE Magazine and Onyx Magazine for his contribution to the local community and for his national accomplishments.

Mr. Francis was born in the Panama Canal Zone and moved to the United States as a young child. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School with honors in 1986. Francis then earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Florida in 1991, and a Juris Doctorate in 1994 from the University of Florida Law School, where he was a Virgil Hawkins Fellow. In law school, he received writing and oral honors in Appellate Advocacy and was named to the Dean’s List. He was appointed as a Justice for the University of Florida Board of Masters, the highest Appellate Court for student disciplinary matters, and rose to the level of Senior Presiding Justice in 1994. He was also a member of the Frederick Douglas Moot Court Team and Publishing Editor for the UMDJA Law Journal. As a result of his academic achievements and extracurricular activities, he was inducted into the prestigious Florida Blue Key Leadership honorary society.

Currently, Francis volunteers his time to a number of local non-profit organizations. Most recently, he launched his own philanthropic platform, Believing In Good, which funds and hosts an annual “For the Kids” toy drive where he returns to the neighborhood of his childhood and distributes Christmas gifts to the children. He serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Mark AME, is a member of the Orlando Chapter of 100 Black Men of America and a Board member for Nap Ford Charter School. Francis is married to the former Keisha Berry, has a daughter, Grier, a son, Gregorio II (Rio), and resides in Windermere, Florida.

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Tracey Dellacona | Ellen Wadsworth v. Howland. PA-C, Paustian, M.D., and Georgia EM-I Medical Services, P.C. | $5 million verdict

Tracey Dellacona | Ellen Wadsworth v. Howland. PA-C, Paustian, M.D., and Georgia EM-I Medical Services, P.C. | $5 million verdict

August 10, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Tracey Dellacona of Dellacona Law Firm, LLC (http://www.dellaconalaw.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Georgia trial lawyer and nurse Tracey Dellacona of Dellacona Law Firm, LLC shares how she strategically represented emergency room patient Ellen Wadsworth, whose misdiagnosed pain resulted in the amputation of both of her legs. On Thanksgiving Day in 2008, Ellen arrived at the hospital with severe pain in both of her legs and cold feet, which a physician's assistant -- after only a brief physical exam and vein testing -- determined to be cellulitis, a type of bacterial skin infection. Despite Ellen's inability to walk and pleas to be admitted to the hospital, the supervising doctor and physician's assistant sent her home with morphine. Hours later, Ellen returned to the emergency room after collapsing in her home, and it was discovered that she had arterial blockages in both of her lower legs. On December 4, 2008, Ellen underwent a double leg amputation below the knee. The defendants argued that Ellen's symptoms and physical conditions were entirely different at each emergency room visit and tried to place blame on Ellen's smoking and pre-existing medical conditions. In 2012, a Gwinnett County, Georgia jury found in favor of Ellen, awarding her $5 million in damages and charging the attending healthcare professionals and medical practice with ordinary negligence. 

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Guest Bio:

Tracey Dellacona

Ms. Dellacona graduated cum laude in 1985 from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and worked as an emergency department nurse and cardiac care nurse for several years in North Carolina before moving to Georgia to attend law school. She maintains a current Georgia license as a registered nurse. Ms. Dellacona graduated in 1994 from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia, where she began her own law firm, Dellacona Law Firm. 

In 2007, Ms. Dellacona obtained her Master of Business Administration Degree magna cum laude from Wesleyan College.  She has served as president of the Middle Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, as an at large Vice-President for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Bootle Inn of Court, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Middle Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the State Bar of Georgia, the American Association for Justice, the Professional Negligence Group, Stroke Litigation Group and the Nursing Home Litigation Group.  Ms. Dellacona is AV rated (the highest rating in competency and ethics attorneys can receive by their peers) and a selected Super Lawyer for the past 10 years.

Ms. Dellacona has served as a legal consultant on medical issues for Fox News in Macon, Georgia.  She is a frequent guest lecturer on medical negligence issues at numerous legal workshops and healthcare facilities around the nation and in the state of Georgia.  Ms. Dellacona also conducts peer review analysis on articles submitted to Trial magazine and is a published author in Trial.  She has also been an invited guest speaker at the conventions for the national American Association for Justice.

For 27 years, Ms. Dellacona has worked with numerous attorneys all over the state on medical negligence cases as well as other personal injury matters and she has served as an adjunct professor at Mercer Law School. She also supports numerous charities such as the Alzheimer’s Association and Jay’s Hope and is a member of the Women In Unity Group, an organized group of women whose goals are to support voting, vaccinating and other worthwhile projects. 

Ms. Dellacona has obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts including a $ 5 million dollar verdict that changed the law in emergency medicine, a $4.3 million dollar verdict for the wrongful death of a 23-week old fetus, a $5.2 million dollar verdict in a spinal injury case, and a $20 million dollar settlement in a wrongful death trucking case.

Representing clients and families who have been injured by the carelessness of others, whether by negligent healthcare providers (hospitals and/or doctors) or negligent drivers or other corporations, is Ms. Dellacona’s passion. 

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

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