The Great Trials Podcast
Lee Hunt │Eric Armstrong & Luke Armstrong v. Express Ranches, LLC. │ $5.256 million verdict

Lee Hunt │Eric Armstrong & Luke Armstrong v. Express Ranches, LLC. │ $5.256 million verdict

June 2, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Lee Hunt of The Hunt Law Firm (https://huntlaw.com/).

 

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Case Details:

Top 25 New Mexico Super Lawyers honoree Lee Hunt discusses how he secured justice for Eric and Luke Armstrong, two brothers who were hit by bullet fragments fired from neighboring hunters on Express Ranches, LLC’s Atmore Ranch. The hunters were mistakenly told by their guide that their targets were between 240 and 250 yards away, causing them to aim high at the elk, which was actually only 160 yards away. While walking on the main road between Atmore Ranch and neighboring Ute Creek Ranch, Luke was hit in the mouth with a bullet fragment, which left him with permanent facial nerve damage and a numb limp. Eric had a bullet fragment lodged in his abdomen. A New Mexico jury found Express Ranches, LLC negligent for failing to adhere to safe hunting practices and awarded $5,256,000 in damages to the Armstrong brothers.

 

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Guest Bio:

 

Lee Hunt

You want to know more about your lawyer than whether he is capable of handling your case. By the end of the case, you and your lawyer better trust each other, know each and honestly care about each other. My belief is that to help a person in a legal crisis, I must know you as a person – not just another case. That means you should know more about me than where I went to school.

 

I am a husband. My wife Kristi is a native New Mexican who grew up on a cattle ranch in Roy, New Mexico. Her family settled the ranch back in the early 1940s and have raised cattle and kids there ever since.

 

I am a father. I have three wonderfully full of life children.

 

I am also a Christian. My faith and my belief in redemption is what drives me to do this work. I don’t think that you have to be a trial attorney to make the world better and to live in the likeness of Jesus, but it is what makes sense to me. If I can help people in crisis and be a calm witness in the midst of the storm, then maybe God can use that to His Glory.

 

I am also an athlete. I love to get away from everything with a hard run in early morning hours or a solitary bike ride.

 

I have raced the Hawaii Ironman twice and ran 100 miles at the Leadville Trail 100. I think balance in life is difficult to find, but even harder to get back aligned when out of whack. Trust me when I say that I work as hard as anyone I know, but I will always find time for my family and for myself. In the end that time away makes me a better lawyer.

 

As a lawyer, I have always wanted to try difficult cases to juries. To be respected by the other side, they must know that we are willing to fight all the way to the end and get results in Court. Our track record at trial speaks to who we are and how far we are willing to go to make things right.

 

 

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1 

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Catherine “Katie” Bertram │Sheldon J. Hervey as Guardian and Conservator for Nancy Clifford Hervey v. Virginia Neurosurgeons, P.C. et al.│$35,620,902 Verdict

Catherine “Katie” Bertram │Sheldon J. Hervey as Guardian and Conservator for Nancy Clifford Hervey v. Virginia Neurosurgeons, P.C. et al.│$35,620,902 Verdict

May 26, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Catherine "Katie" Bertram of The Bertram Law Group (https://www.blg-dc.com/).

 

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Case Details:

Top 100 Washington D.C. Super Lawyer honoree Catherine "Katie" Bertram explains how she secured justice for Nancy Hervey, who suffered devastating, life-altering injuries due to a botched spinal surgery. Looking to find relief for her lower back pain, Nancy went to a surgeon at Virginia Neurosurgeons, P.C., who recommended surgery.  During surgery, the doctor punctured an artery at the base of her spine, causing Nancy to lose staggering amounts of blood and to suffer a lack of oxygen to the brain. Today, Nancy is paralyzed on her right side and has permanent brain damage. An Arlington County, Virginia jury awarded $35,620,902 in damages in this medical malpractice case.

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Guest Bio:

Catherine D. “Katie” Bertram

Catherine D. “Katie” Bertram started the Bertram Law Group, building on decades of experience as both a medical malpractice attorney and director of risk management at Georgetown University Hospital.

In those environments, she learned how doctors and hospitals work, as well as how their attorneys assess claims against them. She draws on this knowledge to advocate for patients and their families.

“People want someone who’s competent, caring, and careful. They’ve just gone through the worst thing in their lives and been betrayed by doctors or a hospital — people that we’re supposed to trust,” she said. “I can set forth what happened and why it was negligent.”

Bertram graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a bachelor of social work. While accompanying a social worker to court one day, she found her true passion—the law. “The minute I walked into court, I knew that’s what I should be doing,” she said.

She obtained her law degree from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1989, becoming the first lawyer in her family. The faculty nominated her as Woman Law Student of the Year.

Bertram focuses on personal injury and medical malpractice in part because her mother is a nurse. “It allows me to combine the law and medicine,” she said. “I enjoy talking to juries and teaching them about complicated medical cases in an easier way.”

Bertram has achieved several distinctions throughout her career. She is one of 20 people serving on the D.C. Bar’s Board of Governors and also is a board member of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, which finds lawyers to meet the legal needs of D.C.’s low-income residents, nonprofits, and small businesses.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Kalpana Srinivasan and Max Tribble│Title Source, Inc. v. HouseCanary, Inc., f/k/a Canary Analytics, Inc.│$706.2 Million Verdict

Kalpana Srinivasan and Max Tribble│Title Source, Inc. v. HouseCanary, Inc., f/k/a Canary Analytics, Inc.│$706.2 Million Verdict

May 19, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Kalpana Srinivasan and Max Tribble of Kalpana Srinivasan and Max Tribble of Susman Godfrey LLP (https://www.susmangodfrey.com/)

 

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Case Details:

High-stakes trial lawyers Kalpana Srinivasan and Max Tribble of Susman Godfrey LLP explains how they secured the largest intellectual property verdict in the United States in 2018 in a countersuit against Title Source, Inc., a company providing valuation services to Quicken Loans. Originally, Title Source, Inc. sued Kalpana and Tribble's client HouseCanary, Inc. for breach of contract. HouseCanary filed crossclaims regarding Title Source's allegedly improper use of the data and discovered, via a PowerPoint presentation, that Title Source was violating the rules of its nondisclosure agreement and stealing HouseCanary’s trade secrets to reverse-engineer a competing automated valuation model. After seven weeks of trial, a Bexar County, Texas jury returned a verdict of $706.2 million, including $201.6 million for the value of the trade secrets, and cleared HouseCanary of any allegations of wrongdoing.

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

 

Kalpana Srinivasan

Ms. Srinivasan tries high-stakes cases for plaintiffs and defendants in courtrooms across the country.  A partner in the Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, she has secured significant victories for her clients in antitrust, patent, trade secret, copyright, class action, and other disputes.

 

Ms. Srinivasan won a $706.2 million jury verdict for client HouseCanary in a misappropriation of a trade secret, fraud, and breach of contract case. As co-lead counsel, Ms. Srinivasan played a crucial role in this landmark win. Read more on the win here or see the case featured in Lawdragon’s feature story, “Revenge of the Hatchlings: How Susman Godfrey Won Almost a Billion Dollars for HouseCanary” or in Law360‘s “How They Won It” series.

 

Ms. Srinivasan recently obtained court approval for a class action settlement valued at over $100 million with music streaming service, Spotify. The deal resolved claims of copyright infringement. She currently serves as Court-appointed co-lead counsel for a certified class of hundreds of millions of consumers impacted by Qualcomm’s anticompetitive conduct in the sale of chipsets used in mobile devices and its patent licensing practices.

 

Ms. Srinivasan’s practice includes pursuing and defending patent infringement actions, including cases involving standard-essential telecommunications patents; gaming and graphics patents; and cybersecurity software.

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Max Tribble

Max Tribble, serving as lead counsel, secured a jury verdict of $706.2 million for client, HouseCanary in a misappropriation of trade secret, and breach of contract case related to HouseCanary’s innovative technology for valuation, appraisal, and real estate analytics. At the conclusion of the seven-week trial, a 12-person jury found unanimously in favor of HouseCanary, awarding HouseCanary $706.2 million against Title Source, an affiliate of Quicken Loans, on counterclaims in this high-stakes legal battle.  

 

The award was finalized in October 2018 and in 2019, a judge confirmed the jury award in full and allowed a judgment of more than $740 million (including prejudgment interest and attorney fees) to stand.  This landmark win has been featured as a top story of the week by Texas Lawyer and covered by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Dallas News, and Law360. It was also featured on Law360’s “How They Won It” series and was highlighted in Susman Godfrey’s recent “Intellectual Property Practice Group of the Year” recognition by Law360.  

 

Lawdragon profiled the win in their feature story, “Revenge of the Hatchlings: How Susman Godfrey Won Almost a Billion Dollars for HouseCanary” and National Law Journal named Tribble a Winning Litigator (ALM) for this win. The verdict also appeared at number one on Texas Lawyer’s 2019 Intellectual Property Hall of Fame. Read more about the case here.

 

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Anna Green Cross, Brian D. “Buck” Rogers & Darren Summerville │Johnson v. Lee│$128.8 Million Verdict

Anna Green Cross, Brian D. “Buck” Rogers & Darren Summerville │Johnson v. Lee│$128.8 Million Verdict

May 12, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Anna Green Cross and Darren Summerville of The Summerville Firm, LLC (http://www.summervillefirm.com/) and Brian D. "Buck" Rogers of Rogers & Fite, LLC (https://www.rogersfite.com/)

 

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Case Details:

Anna Green Cross and Darren Summerville of The Summerville Firm, LLC, and Brian D. "Buck" Rogers of Rogers & Fite, LLC share how they secured justice for the Johnson family after an intoxicated 16-year-old driver recklessly slammed his Dodge Ram 1500 into the back of their minivan at 78 mph. Inside the minivan were David and Susannah Johnson and their four children -- Brooke, 10, Kathryn, 8, Hannah, 6 and Owen, 3 -- who were enjoying a family vacation in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Tragically, Hannah was pronounced dead at the scene, and Owen sustained massive injuries that caused him to be a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. Kathryn's pelvis was shattered on impact, causing her to have to learn to walk again. Brooke had several broken bones and her mother Susannah sustained multiple broken ribs. After two hours of deliberation, a Fannin County, Georgia jury returned a verdict of $128,813,522, including $40 million for Hannah's wrongful death, $30 million for Owen's intangible damages and another $40 million for his future medical expenses. This was the fifth-largest wrongful death jury verdict in the United States in 2018.

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Anna Cross

Anna has been on the winning side in complex litigation in the trial and appellate courts of Georgia for decades.  In her 20 years as a prosecutor in Metro Atlanta, Anna represented the State in high-profile homicide prosecutions such as State v. Hemy Neuman (2010 Dunwoody Daycare murder), State v. James Vincent Sullivan (1987 contract killing of Lita McClinton Sullivan), and State v. Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, Aka H. Rap Brown (2000 murder of Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy) as part of the trial team and as the lead appellate attorney.  

Since making the switch to civil law in 2018 and joining The Summerville Firm, Anna has used her skills to help secure a $128 million jury verdict in the wrongful death and personal injury case Johnson v. Lee (Fannin County, GA).  She has successfully briefed complex pretrial evidentiary issues, allowing her clients to secure several multi-million dollar settlements.  

Anna has tried over 80 cases to verdict, briefed hundreds of cases in the Georgia Appellate Courts, and argued in the Georgia Supreme Court more than 60 times.  

After completing her undergraduate degree in Philosophy with a minor in Japanese at the University of Notre Dame, Anna spent a year as a foster parent running a household for HIV positive infants and children in Houston, TX. She then graduated from Emory University School of Law and lives in Decatur with her husband and children.

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Darren Summerville

Darren Summerville isn’t afraid to go where there is no path. He excelled in debate in high school and college, and graduated at the top of his law school class while winning every major writing award available in law school. He started his career in a top-notch litigation boutique—cutting his teeth on cases of racketeering, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and punitive damages—in trial courts and on appeal.

Then he took a different path—to a plaintiffs’ trial firm, often working with other attorneys on their appeals and sophisticated tort cases, using his commercial litigation skills to expose fraud and other abuses. 

Now he has charted his own distinct way of practice. Darren litigates cases on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, in the appellate courts and at trial—anywhere there’s a dispute that needs a cutting-edge approach, with the high degree of professionalism and skill necessary to pull it off.

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Buck Rogers

A native of Atlanta, Buck earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia in 1990 and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1994. Buck is a P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer’s Safety Training) Certified Guest Lecturer, Commercial Motor Vehicle Collisions and Law and holds his own CDL License.

 

Buck is the 55th president of the State Bar of Georgia and has been on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Georgia since 2008. He works primarily as a civil attorney representing victims of catastrophic claims.

 

Buck was selected as one of the “14 Under 40” in the Fulton County Daily Report in 2006 and as one of the “Top 100 lawyers” in Georgia by Atlanta Magazine.  He was president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association from 2013 to 2014 and served on the Atlanta Bar Association’s Continuing Education Committee.

 

Buck is a graduate of the National College of Advocacy, the Ultimate Trial College in Washington, D.C., and the Trial Lawyers College. He is a Master in the Lamar Inn of Court.

 

Buck has devoted himself to community service. His philanthropic work includes serving on the Board of Directors for Roadsafe America (trucking safety advocacy group), Chair of the Board of Directors of the Civil Justice PAC Inc., State Council of Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) for which he is the Chair of Leadership, and the Shepherd Spinal and Brain Injury Center, where he is a Trustee and serves on the Auxiliary Board and the Advisory Board.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

William Ricigliano│Jason Kowalsky v. County of Suffolk, Rancourt et al.│$5.088 Million Verdict

William Ricigliano│Jason Kowalsky v. County of Suffolk, Rancourt et al.│$5.088 Million Verdict

May 5, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview William Ricigliano of Ricigliano and Filopei, P.C. (www.hlmlawfirm.com).

 

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Case Details:

One of America’s Top 100 Attorneys, William Ricigliano shares how he secured justice for Jason Kowalsky, a Verizon technician in New York who was hit by a negligent driver in a Suffolk County Parks, Recreation & Conservation pickup truck. Jason was collecting safety cones and putting away his equipment when the driver struck him from behind with enough force to thrust him into the roadway and to push his parked vehicle forward. Jason sustained damage to his knee and back, requiring surgery and a costly chronic pain management regimen. Despite the defense’s attempts to pin Jason’s back injury on pre-existing conditions, a Suffolk County, New York jury returned a $5,088,000 verdict.

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

 

William Ricigliano

 

William Ricigliano, is the founding partner of Ricigliano & Filopei, P.C. with offices in Manhattan, the Bronx, and soon, West New York, New Jersey.  Mr. Ricigliano founded the firm with the single goal of helping victims of catastrophic personal injury on both sides of the Hudson River.  He has obtained significant verdicts in every borough of New York City as well as Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties and various counties in New Jersey.  He has been named a Metro Area Super Lawyer every year since 2013 and has been named as one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys.  

 

Mr. Ricigliano’s victories in the courtroom have provided the opportunity to focus his attention in various areas of specialty.  A $3.775 million verdict in Suffolk County for an 8-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury and required a lifetime of medical care sparked Mr. Ricigliano’s devotion to victims of traumatic brain injury.  Similarly, a $2.6 million settlement after three weeks of trial in Brooklyn influenced his work with clients suffering from complex regional pain disorder, a chronic pain condition caused by trauma.  

 

Mr. Ricigliano has also dedicated his practice to the representation of construction workers who sustain life-altering injuries on the job.  These hard-working men and women include carpenters, ironworkers, roofers, and industrial bridge painters, who typically are unable to return to their former occupations.   

 

A significant portion of his practice is also related to handling spinal injuries, including a 5 million verdict in Suffolk County in 2015 for a Verizon Technician who was struck by a Suffolk County Parks vehicle, was forced to undergo spinal surgery and never returned to work.  Mr. Ricigliano’s trial results have been included as verdict of the year on multiple occasions.  

 

Mr. Ricigliano graduated from Touro Law School in Huntington, New York in 1994 in the top 20% of his class and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Cum Laude, in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1989.  He is a proud member of the North American Brain Injury Society, American Association for Justice, and is on the Board of Directors for Pink Concussions.  Mr. Ricigliano has authored more than thirty legal articles and a legal book, Premises Liability Claims:  A Guide to Defending Owners.  

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Jeff Harris and Jed Manton │Mundy v. Ford Motor Company│$40 Million Verdict

Jeff Harris and Jed Manton │Mundy v. Ford Motor Company│$40 Million Verdict

April 28, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Jeff Harris and Jed Manton of Harris, Lowry, and Manton LLP (www.hlmlawfirm.com).

 

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Case Details:

Harris Lowry Manton LLP partners Jeff Harris and Jed Manton share how they joined forces with Great Trials Podcast host Steve Lowry to secure justice in a landmark auto product liability case, which initiated a federal investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On November 1, 2005, Jessica Mundy's Ford Explorer suddenly shifted from park to reverse and started rolling backward. Jessica was struck by the driver's side door and was run over by the vehicle, rendering her a paraplegic. Jeff, Steve and Jed were able to demonstrate that Ford Motor Company transmissions suffered from a defect known as false park and that the company had known about it for decades. A DeKalb County, Georgia jury returned a verdict of $40 million for Jessica and her husband, Ken. 

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Jeff Harris

One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.

Over the course of his career, Jeff has secured hundreds of millions in jury verdicts and settlements for his clients and has helped make a variety of products, vehicles and industries safer for everyone. His cases have been featured in The New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, 20/20, CBS Evening News and many other national media outlets.

Jeff has obtained numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients and has been repeatedly included on the annual survey of top jury verdicts in the United States, compiled by the National Law Journal. He has been inducted to the Georgia Verdicts Hall of Fame and honored on the Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100 list, the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 list and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel’s Top One Percent list.

Jeff has earned a reputation as a strategic, aggressive litigator who takes on major corporations and wins cases on behalf of his clients. Jeff has successfully litigated cases involving product defects, business disputes, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, bad faith, aviation accidents, medical negligence and industrial accidents. His specialty is trying cases to a jury. He is routinely brought into complex cases at the request of other attorneys to handle the trial of those disputes.

Jeff excels at product liability cases and has successfully sued virtually all of the major automakers for manufacturing defective vehicles. He represented a client who was paralyzed due to an injury caused by her Ford Explorer, securing a $40 million jury verdict while demonstrating that the company knew for decades that its transmission suffered from a “false park” defect. He also secured a $47.7 million jury verdict in a case involving a 6-year-old girl who was paralyzed due to a defect in the design of the Lincoln LS sedan and obtained $16.52 million in damages against Michelin in a high-profile product liability and wrongful death case, demonstrating that tread separation on a defective tire caused his client’s death.

In addition, this talented litigator has had major wins in business tort cases. He took on the City of Atlanta and Clear Channel, winning a $17.5 million federal judgment arising from illegal bid awarding practices related to advertising contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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JED D. MANTON

Jed Manton is committed to representing individuals and businesses that have been harmed by the actions of others. With a solid track record, Jed has helped numerous clients who have been seriously injured or who have lost a loved one obtain justice, while holding the wrongdoer accountable.

 

Many injuries occur because of a single individual’s carelessness. However, Jed also recognizes that oftentimes tragedy strikes as a result of a series of missteps by multiple people. For example, the poor design of a road or the defective design of a particular automobile often plays a significant role in an automobile wreck. In three recent cases, Jed helped secure over $8 million for families where the police initially determined that HLM’s client was at fault for the collision. After the firm’s thorough investigation, the true cause for each wreck was determined to be a poorly designed road.

 

Jed has also helped families secure millions of dollars of compensation related to defective automobiles. Whether it is a defective tire, a poor braking system, an overworked truck driver or the improper location of a guardrail, Jed always digs deep into the underlying facts of each case to ensure that all responsible parties are identified and held accountable for their actions.

 

While the cornerstone of the justice system is making sure an injured client is fairly compensated for his or her past and future injuries, Jed takes particular satisfaction in knowing that HLM’s work has resulted in roads being made safer, cars being designed differently and facilities being investigated by law enforcement to prevent needless injuries to others.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Dan Blouin and Jim Kramer │Clagett as Temporary Administrator for the Estate of Pietro Macaluso v. A. O. Smith Corporation, et. al.│$60 Million Verdict

Dan Blouin and Jim Kramer │Clagett as Temporary Administrator for the Estate of Pietro Macaluso v. A. O. Smith Corporation, et. al.│$60 Million Verdict

April 21, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Dan Blouin and Jim Kramer of Simmons, Hanly, Conroy (https://www.simmonsfirm.com/).

 

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Case Details:

Accomplished mesothelioma and asbestos attorneys Dan Blouin and Jim Kramer explain how they secured justice for the family of laborer Pietro Macaluso, who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos dust while servicing and removing boilers. Despite the fact they knew it was hazardous, three boiler manufacturers used asbestos-filled insulation, cement, gaskets, tape and wire in their equipment and failed to warn workers like Pietro of potential health hazards or to offer safe handling methods. A New York City jury found the three manufacturers negligent and assigned 25 percent of the blame for Pietro's wrongful death to each company, along with smaller percentages to seven other manufacturers. The jury awarded a $60 million verdict, including 21 years of compensation to Pietro's son and daughter. 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Dan Blouin

Attorney Daniel Patrick Blouin is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy in the asbestos litigation department. Based in the firm’s New York office, Daniel has secured hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of clients diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. In his frequent role as lead trial-attorney and co-counsel, he has litigated against numerous national corporations involved in the manufacture and sale of dangerous products and equipment. He involves himself with every aspect of the litigation process, from client intake to discovery, to motion practice through trial verdict, keeping his clients’ needs and rights foremost in his priorities.

In 2013, Daniel obtained a $190 million verdict on behalf of two tradesmen who developed mesothelioma decades after their occupational exposure to asbestos. The verdict was the largest consolidated asbestos verdict in New York history. In addition, the $60 million the two cancer patients received ranked among the largest individual damages awarded in a New York asbestos case. In 2014 and 2015, Daniel had unprecedented successes at trial in Delaware, New York City and Upstate New York. He obtained excellent settlements for clients before and during trial and won a jury verdict in a very contentious case in Syracuse, New York. In 2018, Daniel and fellow shareholder Jim Kramer secured a $60 million verdict in New York City against boiler manufacturers A.O Smith, Burnham, LLC, and Peerless Industries, Inc. This historic verdict, secured on behalf of a former laborer, marks one of the highest verdicts for an individual with mesothelioma ever received in New York. Later that year, Daniel and Jim secured a $40.1 million verdict against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on behalf of a United States war veteran and former naval boiler tender suffering from pleural mesothelioma. This verdict is considered one of the largest compensatory verdicts in New York State.

Daniel is a recognized member of the renowned National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 under 40” for 2014 and 2015. Also in 2014 and 2015, the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys named him a winner of its “Top Ten Under 40” award and is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York Bar Association.

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Jim Kramer

Attorney Jim Kramer is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy. He joined the firm in 2017 an accomplished trial attorney, having secured more than $35 million in verdicts for his clients. Jim focuses his practice on complex toxic tort litigation with a specialization in mesothelioma- and asbestos-related cases. His responsibilities include managing cases from inception through trial.

Jim knew from a young age that he wanted to be an attorney and devote his life to fighting on behalf of those who had been wronged by others.

“I have always been attracted to professions that allow people to help others in need,” he said. “Being a trial attorney allows me to do that. I truly consider myself a zealous advocate, one who genuinely enjoys fighting for those need a voice in their most difficult times.”

Jim brings this passion to every case he tries. One of the most important things to him in an attorney-client relationship is the personal connection forged between the two.

“I pride myself on my ability to form strong connections with my clients,” he said. “I understand that being involved in a legal case is not ideal, especially at such a rough time in their lives. It’s important to me that clients know that I am there for them at any time on any day. In my opinion, being an effective advocate doesn’t end with merely hearing about the facts of a client’s case. Being able to relate and connect with human beings who need their stories to be told is the most fundamental part of our profession. Even when my representation ends, I find that the bond I form with clients continues.”

Jim’s devotion to his clients is mirrored by the attention he gives to the details of each case.

“I always view every case from the perspective of a possible trial – what facts need to be brought out, where exposures might have occurred, and what legal outcomes we can anticipate and prepare for right from the start,” he said. “I genuinely enjoy the research and preparation that goes into making sure that a legal argument or trial will go as well as it can.”

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo & Danay Gonzalez│Bowe Cleveland v. Taft Union High School District, et al.│$3.8 Million Verdict

Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo & Danay Gonzalez│Bowe Cleveland v. Taft Union High School District, et al.│$3.8 Million Verdict

April 14, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo & Danay Gonzalez of Rodriguez & Associates Trial Lawyers (https://www.rodriguezlaw.net/).

 

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Case Details:

 

Rodriguez & Associates trial lawyers Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo, and Danay Gonzalez explain how they became the first trial team to present a school shooting-related civil claim to a jury. On January 10, 2013, Bowe Cleveland was shot by a fellow student, who was repeatedly reported to Taft Union High School administrators for making violent threats, having a "hit list" and drawing scenes of killings. Administrators failed to update their threat assessment plan and implement intervention tactics. As a result, Bowe was shot in his science classroom and suffered multiple punctures in his right lung, massive blood loss, and fractured ribs, requiring over 30 surgical procedures. To this day, Bowe's chest is full of shotgun pellets, and he struggles with PTSD. A Bakersfield, California jury found eight individuals, including the school's assistant principal, negligent and partially responsible for Bowe's injuries, returning a verdict of $3.8 million.

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Guest Bios:

 

Daniel Rodriguez

 

Daniel Rodriguez has a background that is a little bit different than the typical lawyer.  Daniel grew up in a migrant farm-worker family. He and his family were constantly on the move.  He lived and worked in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and California. Daniel and his five siblings attended between three and five different schools each year up until college.

 

In addition to working in the fields, Daniel later held a variety of jobs going through college and law school.  To name a few, Daniel worked as a dishwasher, worked for PG&E in their mapping department, worked as a salesperson for Sears, Roebuck & Co., sold encyclopedias door to door, and pumped gas at a full-service gas station.  Another job that Daniel held was working as a roustabout and mechanic in the oilfields for Atlantic Richfield Co. in Kern County. All of these jobs helped mold Daniel’s perspective on life. Namely, that there’s no substitute for putting in the hard work.

 

Daniel’s career as a lawyer is also a little bit different than the typical plaintiff’s lawyer.  The vast majority of plaintiff’s lawyers hardly ever go to trial. Most of them may take a case to trial once every five years or so.  Daniel tried his first jury trial within one month of getting his license to practice law. Daniel’s skill as a personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield has not gone unnoticed.  Daniel is proud of the fact that he was selected to teach at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. This trial advocacy school is widely considered to be the best in the country.  What does jury trial experience and trial skills mean to the client? That Daniel will obtain top and full value for the client’s case because insurance companies respect and fear a skilled and experienced trial lawyer.

 

Daniel’s professional dedication to the Kern County community has earned him nationwide recognition. He’s been selected to the California Super Lawyers list (by Super Lawyers®) every year since 2009. In 2015, he was named Best Lawyer in Bakersfield by the Best of Bakersfield Reader’s Choice Awards. He is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only group composed of the premier trial lawyers from across the United States. He’s been a guest on Hot 94.1’s “The Romeo Show”, Univision, and interviewed in major news outlets.

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Danay Gonzalez

 

Danay was born in Bakersfield and raised in Lamont, California. In this small town, her family owned a jewelry store where Danay grew up learning the value of community. There, she learned how to work hard and interact with customers. While they loved their home in Lamont, Danay’s family moved to Bakersfield to pursue new opportunities when she was in the eighth grade. She went on to graduate from Ridgeview High School, where she enjoyed being in choir and theatre, reading and writing in her English classes, and debating politics with her fellow students in AP courses.

 

After high school, Danay attended UCLA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2013 (Once a Bruin, always a Bruin!). While she loved living in Los Angeles and experiencing a different life with new horizons in the city, she always knew that she wanted to come home and be a positive influence in her community.

 

Growing up in Lamont, she saw that many of her classmates were afraid to speak up for themselves at the risk of being deported or getting their families in trouble. She saw them living in fear, and she knew that it wasn’t right. She saw the way that the people of her community looked up to Daniel Rodriguez, not only for being a successful member of the Hispanic community but also for the way that he fought for the rights of her friends and neighbors. Because of his influence, she knew she wanted to become a lawyer and stand up for people’s rights like he does. Coming from a family where her grandparents couldn’t read, write, or speak English, Danay is passionate about giving a voice to the people who need it most.

 

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Chantal A. Trujillo

 

As a Bakersfield native, Chantal graduated from Centennial High School in 2004 (Go Golden Hawks!). Chantal then attended CSU Bakersfield for 2 years until transferring to the University of Texas where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She further pursued her education at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, TX, earning her Juris Doctor in 2011.

 

After venturing to the Lone Star state, Chantal found herself back in Bakersfield, where she was born and raised. In late 2011, she joined the team at Rodriguez & Associates, where she has gained a home away from home. She is well-known for late nights at the office, consistently putting in the extra hours to achieve positive results in all of her cases. During Chantal’s time at the firm, she has handled numerous personal injury and wrongful death cases, some of which have gone to jury trial and produced great verdicts.

 

Working in this field has shaped Chantal tremendously into the kind of lawyer you forget is a lawyer because of how much of herself she pours into her cases. She truly breaks the mold by taking the time to understand and meet her clients’ requests and concerns throughout the civil litigation process.

 

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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

GTP CLASSIC | John Romano | Adams v. Imported Car Store, Inc | $28.5 Million

GTP CLASSIC | John Romano | Adams v. Imported Car Store, Inc | $28.5 Million

April 7, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview John Romano of The Romano Law Group - www.romanolawgroup.com

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Case Details:

In this personal injury proceeding, plaintiff Shawn J. Adams and other joining plaintiffs claimed The Imported Car Store Inc. employee Jason Neal violently beating the plaintiff, which permanently damaged the plaintiff's brain. The incident happened on October 17, 2005, when the plaintiff witnessed a vehicular collision involving defendant Neal.

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Guest Bio:

John F. Romano of Romano Law Group in West Palm Beach, Florida, is Board Certified by The Florida Bar and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Advocate, and he is Board Certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys in Medical Malpractice.

Mr. Romano had held the following positions: President of The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, The Southern Trial Lawyers Association, and The National Trial Lawyers; Chairman of the ATLA National College of Advocacy; Chairman, ATLA Criminal Law Section.

He has authored three books: Strategic Use of Circumstantial Evidence, The Deposition Field Manual, and Opening Statements. He is editor and chapter author of Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit, 4th Edition. John Romano has gone to verdict in virtually every type of Civil Tort and Criminal case including Product Liability, Medical Malpractice, Defamation, Negligent Security, Traumatic Brain Injury, Wrongful Death, Trucking, Paralysis, First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Murder for Hire, and more.

He is a former Captain in the United States Marine Corps. John and his wife Nancy (of 47 years) have four sons and 11 grandchildren.

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Show Sponsors

Legal Technology Services - LTSatlanta.com

Digital Law Marketing - DigitalLawMarketing.com

Case Pacer - CasePacer.com

Harris, Lowry, and Manton - hlmlawfirm.com

 

Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Bonus Episode: Brian Brown | Sheltering (and Working) in Place

Bonus Episode: Brian Brown | Sheltering (and Working) in Place

March 31, 2020

Brian Brown, of Brown & Barron, LLC, joins Steve and Yvonne to talk about the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.  The three discuss tips on how to practice law and advocate for clients while “sheltering in place” and practicing social distancing.