The Great Trials Podcast
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.

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

 

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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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.

Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

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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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.

Brian Brown │Ashley Partlow v. Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc. │ $1.841 Million Verdict

Brian Brown │Ashley Partlow v. Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc. │ $1.841 Million Verdict

March 31, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Brian Brown of Brown and Barron, LLC (https://www.brownbarron.com/).

 

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Case Details:

 

Accomplished Baltimore trial lawyer Brian Brown explains how he secured justice for Ashley Partlow, who was subjected to the Kennedy Krieger Institute's negligent Lead-Based Paint Abatement and Repair and Maintenance Study. Designed to identify the least expensive solution to a nationwide lead paint and dust problem, the study monitored blood lead levels in children under 4 years of age who were living in homes with unhealthy levels of poisonous lead dust. Ashley was too old to be an official test subject but was still exposed to high levels of lead dust through the study. As a result of her exposure, Ashley suffers from permanent brain damage and struggles with learning disabilities and behavior issues. After a month-long trial, a Baltimore City, Maryland jury returned a verdict of $1,841,000 in damages in this landmark case.

Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

 Guest Bio:

 

Brian S. Brown

Brian S. Brown, one of the firm’s founding partners, as well as its Managing Member, has over thirty years of experience as a trial lawyer and focuses his practice on litigating medical malpractice and nursing home abuse cases.

Brian has tried well over 100 tort cases and has obtained multiple multi-million dollar verdicts. Over his career, he has recovered more than $175 million for his clients, through both trial and settlement. In addition to his trial experience, Brian has extensive appellate experience, having appeared before the Maryland Court of Appeals twelve times, and the Court of Special Appeals more than fifty times.

He is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Brian is currently a member of the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ) and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Brian has presented on legal topics in a variety of settings, including for the Inn of Court, and over ten times for HB Litigation Conferences. He has also presented to the entire bench of the Circuit Court of Baltimore City regarding the evolving law of expert testimony in Maryland.

Brian has been named as a Super Lawyer, and he has been selected as a member of both the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and of the prestigious Litigation Counsel of America.

Outside of his legal work, Brian has served as the President of the Board for the Maryland Disability Law Center (now known as Disability Rights Maryland) and has volunteered with other civic organizations, including with the Upton School Foundation and with Higher Achievement.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

T. Scott Jones │Collins v. Harold Limburg │ $525,000 Verdict

T. Scott Jones │Collins v. Harold Limburg │ $525,000 Verdict

March 24, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview T Scott Jones of Banks and Jones (https://www.banksjones.com/).

 

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Case Details:

 

Acclaimed Tennessee trial lawyer T. Scott Jones shares how he secured justice for his client, a 16-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by a prominent Greeneville, Tennessee businessman and funeral homeowner who avoided meaningful criminal charges through a pre-trial diversion program and two years of probation. In his late 50s at the time of the statutory rape, the businessman posed as an 18-year-old on a website and targeted minors. The plaintiff suffered severe physical injuries, requiring hospitalization and continued medical treatment. A Greene County, Tennessee jury held the defendant accountable when it returned a verdict of $525,000, including $300,000 in compensatory damages and $225,000 in punitive damages.

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

 

Guest Bios:

 

T. Scott Jones

 

Scott Jones is a fierce trial lawyer and a zealous advocate for his clients. Well-regarded in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, T. Scott has received numerous accolades and awards. Multiple times, his peers in the legal field have voted him one of Knoxville’s Top Attorneys in polls conducted by CityView magazine. He has the highest possible AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell and is regarded as one of the preeminent attorneys in the southeastern United States. T. Scott’s successful litigation for his clients has qualified him for the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He has been named as one of Tennessee’s 10 Best Attorneys by both the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys and the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, and the American Society of Legal Advocates named him one of Tennessee’s Top 100 Litigation Lawyers. He has also been nationally recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers. America’s Top 100 Attorneys has awarded him a Lifetime Achievement award and T. Scott is a Lifetime Charter Member of the Distinguished Justice Advocates. He has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in the state of Tennessee, and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel placed T. Scott into the Nation’s Top One Percent. He is currently serving as Vice President of the TN American Board of Trial Advocates (TN ABOTA) Chapter and regularly participates in trial practice relating teaching opportunities.

 

Scott knows the importance of interacting with colleagues to stay abreast of developments and changes in the legal world. T. Scott frequently teaches CLE courses on trial strategy, teaching other lawyers his methods for success in the courtroom, and is certified as a Rule 31 Mediator in the Tennessee Supreme Court. He is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and both the Tennessee and American Associations for Justice. In addition, T. Scott is licensed to practice in all three United States District Courts for the state of Tennessee, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

 

Scott constantly gives back to his community by selectively handling numerous pro bono cases each year, and he works extensively with the Kerbela Shriners of Knoxville and Shriners Hospitals for Children. He is on the Advisory Board of the University of Tennessee College of Law Institute for Professional Leadership, has received the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from Lions Club International, and is also an active member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Order of Quetzalcoatl, Rotary Club of Downtown Knoxville, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks as well as having served as the Master of Cherokee Lodge #728 F&AM.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

John Duff & Alex Hilliard │Denise Marez, individually and on behalf of the estate of Juan Perez v. Isaac G. Rodriguez, Sr. d/b/a I & R Trucking and Rodriguez Trucking│$18 Million Verdict

John Duff & Alex Hilliard │Denise Marez, individually and on behalf of the estate of Juan Perez v. Isaac G. Rodriguez, Sr. d/b/a I & R Trucking and Rodriguez Trucking│$18 Million Verdict

March 17, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview John Duff and Alex Hilliard of Hilliard Martinez Gonzalez LLP (https://www.hmglawfirm.com/)

 

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Case Details:

 

Texas trial attorneys John Duff and Alex Hilliard of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP share how they secured justice for the family of 60-year-old truck driver Juan Perez, who died after falling through Rodriguez Trucking’s rotted roof onto a cement floor 12 feet below. Juan was a dedicated employee of Rodriguez Trucking for 17 years, contrary to the defense’s claims that he was not employed by the company at the time of the incident, and was asked to help repair the roof without a safety harness or training of any kind, both of which resulted in a serious Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violation. A San Patricio County, Texas jury found Rodriguez Trucking owner Isaac G. Rodriguez, Sr. negligent and returned a verdict of $18 million, including $10 million in punitive damages. 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

 

Guest Bios:

 

Alex Hilliard

Alex Hilliard is a dedicated advocate for those who have been injured or have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence. Alex is committed to championing his clients’ interests, understanding the challenges they face, and helping them secure compensation for their losses.

Alex’s top priority is achieving the most just case resolution for his clients, be it trial or settlement, which is seen in his tireless investigation and persistence. He has distinguished himself with the loyalty and support he shows to his clients in his determination to ensure that their voices are heard.

His kindhearted nature makes him perfect for his position in personal injury and wrongful death cases – he handles clients with the sensitivity that is required, yet is committed to researching and crafting a strategy that strengthens each case. He brings passion on behalf of those he serves and shares empathy with those victims of tragedy at all times.

Having clerked at HMG for three years while attending St. Mary’s Law School, Alex worked on many aspects of personal injury and wrongful death litigation, including the high-profile ignition-switch litigation against General Motors. HMG represented injury victims and families of those killed in accidents caused by GM’s defective ignition switch and their concealment of safety defects. This multi-district litigation is considered the single largest product liability litigation in US history, resulting in a $575 million settlement.

In September 2018, Alex was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Litigation Committee for the MSU/Nassar Class-Action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

Currently, Alex is part of a class action litigation team that represents diesel truck owners fighting against U.S. auto manufacturers — Ford, General Motors, FCA (Chrysler) — for allegedly selling millions of diesel trucks equipped with defective CP4 fuel injection pumps that disintegrate and destroy the truck’s engine, leaving consumers with repair bills that range from $8,000.00 to $20,000.00 per vehicle.

Alex is a sought-after speaker and he regularly presents on cutting-edge legal topics. This year, Alex will address audiences across the country about how law firms can improve results by conducting in-house mock trials. In the past year, Alex has lectured at the Advanced Personal Injury Law Conference in Dallas, on the latest tactics in the financial aspect of budgeting a personal injury lawsuit, and was a featured speaker at the Texas ALP 2018 Fall Education Conference. Alex regularly speaks at continuing education events for the Texas Bar College and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Trial, Civil Appellate, and Personal Injury Trial Law, and was honored to speak at the 2018 LitiQuest Litiquest 2018 conference at Google Headquarters in New York.

Alex often gives back to his community by working with local middle school, high school, and college mock trial teams. He enjoys working with the students and helping them expand their knowledge in mock trial techniques.

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John Duff

John C. Duff earned his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, after graduating Presidential Scholar from Texas A&M University-Commerce. While pursuing his Juris Doctorate Degree, John was involved in St. Mary’s School of Law’s External Mock Trial Advocacy Program. John received numerous awards for his trial advocacy skills including Best Defense Advocate at the Capital City Challenge in Washington D.C. 

John was also the leader of the team that brought St. Mary’s its first national championship from the William Daniel National Invitational Mock Trial Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. For his relentless dedication and performance on the St. Mary’s Mock Trial team, John was inducted into the Order of the Barristers National Honor Society in April of 2016.

While earning his Juris Doctorate degree and competing for the St. Mary’s Mock Trial team, John also gained extensive real-world practice experience clerking for three criminal defense attorneys in San Antonio specializing in federal criminal law and juvenile law.

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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

 

Mark Avera │Wiederhold v. Domino’s Pizza LLC│$9 Million Verdict

Mark Avera │Wiederhold v. Domino’s Pizza LLC│$9 Million Verdict

March 10, 2020

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Mark Avera of Avera and Smith (https://www.avera.com/).

 

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Case Details:

Gainesville, Florida trial lawyer Mark Avera of Avera & Smith explains how he secured justice for Yvonne Wiederhold, the wife of the late Rich Wiederhold, by connecting the actions of one negligent delivery driver in Orlando, Florida to the larger Domino’s Pizza corporation through established right-of-control practices. Rich, a retired Brevard County District Fire Chief, strategically swerved and ultimately rolled his truck to avoid crashing into a Domino’s delivery car that pulled out in front of him. Rich was rendered a quadriplegic and died 15 months later due to complications. An Orange County, Florida jury returned a verdict of $8,977,788.55 in damages against Domino's Pizza LLC.

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Guest Bios:

 

Mark Avera

Like his father before him, Mark Avera has a history of many years of service to the people of Florida. His knowledge and understanding of the legal needs of his clients come not only from the practice of law, but from his early career as sheriff’s deputy in Alachua County.

Before becoming a law partner at Avera & Smith in 1989 (then Avera & Avera), Mark served as a sheriff’s deputy for Alachua County. He became the department’s youngest deputy ever to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant. His primary assignments were uniform patrol division, SWAT, and the supervision of the department’s Street Crimes Unit.

Mark completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida while working midnight shifts for the Sheriff’s Department and went on to graduate from UF with a law degree. Today, Mark serves as Managing Partner for Avera & Smith and works alongside his brother, Lance Avera, who specializes in workers' compensation law, and partner Rod Smith, who specializes in personal injury law.

Mark is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law (B.C.S.) by the Florida Bar. He received his initial certification in 1998 and has remained qualified for board certification in civil trial law since that time. Board Certification is the Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation in competence and experience within a specific area of law and indicates superior professionalism and ethics in practice. Only slightly more than 1,000 of the more than 100,000 lawyers currently licensed in the State of Florida are actually Board Certified in Civil Trial Law.

During his career, Mark’s professionalism and dedication to his work as a trial advocate are reflected by his induction into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and in 2015 his induction into the International Society of Barrister’s. His accomplishments in the courtroom are recognized yearly in legal publications such as Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Florida’s Super Lawyers, and in 2007 he was recognized by Lawdragon as one of the top 500 Plaintiff’s lawyers in America.

After the landmark Supreme Court decision in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., Mark has been involved representing Engle plaintiffs against various tobacco companies responsible for the deaths of smokers who began smoking as children in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Beyond his professional achievements, he believes in community service to give back to the community that has been an integral part of his life.

Mark serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Fe College Foundation and in the past served on the Boards of Directors for the Children’s Home Society, North Central Florida Community Foundation, and the Executive Committee of the North Florida Heart Ball, American Heart Association.

Mark is married to the former Stacy Marie Upchurch and their blended family consists of four children; Alexandria, Danielle, Myles, and Weston. They all enjoy the outdoors and travel.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Benedict Morelli│Mark Perez v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc.│$101 Million Verdict

Benedict Morelli│Mark Perez v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc.│$101 Million Verdict

March 3, 2020

Benedict Morelli│Mark Perez v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc.│$101 Million Verdict

 

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Benedict Morelli of ( https://www.morellilaw.com/ )

 

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Case Details:

Morelli Law Firm founder Benedict Morelli shares how he secured justice for 30-year-old Mark Perez, a talented graphic designer and DJ who sustained a traumatic brain injury when a forklift operated by a Live Nation employee crashed into his booth at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York. Despite the defense’s attempts to undermine the validity and severity of Mark’s physical limitations and continuing, pain and suffering, a New York County jury returned a verdict of $101,798,968 in damages after four weeks of trial.  

 

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Guest Bio:

 

Benedict Morelli

Benedict Morelli began his career in 1973 as a law clerk in a personal injury law firm, becoming eligible for the bar exam in 1977. After being admitted to the New York State Bar he became a partner and then senior partner of that firm. Mr. Morelli has a degree from City College, NY 1971 and studied law at New York Law School. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts, Southern, Eastern, Western, and Northern districts of New York.

 

Mr. Morelli has been a partner at his law firm since 1981 and a senior partner since 1990. In June 1998, Mr. Morelli dissolved his firm and started Benedict P. Morelli & Associates, which later became Morelli Law Firm.

 

Mr. Morelli represents clients in Employment Discrimination cases (including racial discrimination, age discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and gender bias), false arrests, civil rights, complex product liability (including drug product liability – DES, Vioxx, Bextra, Ortho-Evra, and Avandia), auto accidents, premises, labor law, and many other types of cases. In each of these areas, Mr. Morelli has gotten multi-million dollar verdicts. He represents individual plaintiffs against many major corporations including many large investment banks.

 

For over thirty-five years of trying cases, Mr. Morelli has received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts. In 1995, his $40 million dollar verdict was featured in the National Law Journal as one of the "Top Ten Verdicts" in the United States.

 

He has tried every kind of civil case – from a person who tripped and fell over a raised door saddle and broke his hip ($2.6 million – the largest verdict in the country for that injury) to complex medical malpractice cases (the largest verdict in the country for blindness in one eye). He has attained the largest verdict for a loss of three fingers (medical malpractice) and the largest verdict for a crush injury to the arm.

 

In 2010, Mr. Morelli was lead counsel in a polio vaccine case that had been filed thirty years earlier and received a $22.5 million verdict (the largest verdict in Supreme Court in Staten Island, NY history.) It was also the largest vaccine verdict in U.S. history.

 

In 2011, Mr. Morelli was lead counsel in a sexual harassment trial in Federal Court in the Southern District of Illinois and received a $95 million verdict (the largest single-plaintiff sexual harassment verdict in history.)

 

Approximately half of the cases the firm handles are for other lawyers or law firms who choose Mr. Morelli and his staff as their trial counsel because of their track record for delivering multi-million dollar verdicts. Over the years Mr. Morelli has always been considered a lawyer's lawyer. He not only has numerous law firms referring clients to him but also has judges recommending clients to him. From the time he was admitted to the Bar through the present, Mr. Morelli has been first and foremost a trial lawyer.

 

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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2