The Great Trials Podcast
Derrick Alexander Pope │Hidden Legal Figures Podcast Collaboration │The City of Memphis v. Martin Luther King, Jr. et al.

Derrick Alexander Pope │Hidden Legal Figures Podcast Collaboration │The City of Memphis v. Martin Luther King, Jr. et al.

February 1, 2022

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Derrick Alexander Pope of Hidden Legal Figures (https://www.hiddenlegalfigures.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Hidden Legal Figures Podcast host Derrick Alexander Pope returns to discuss what proved to be Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last legal stand and how its historical significance continues to impact protests to this day. In February 1968, more than 1,000 African-American sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, went on strike after two black sanitation workers were killed on the job. A local pastor invited King to help the protestors nonviolently strike for job safety, better wages, benefits and union recognition. On March 28, 1968, King and other protestors peacefully marched through Memphis until violence broke out and looting took place, resulting in numerous injuries, arrests and the calling of the National Guard. Unhappy with the unwanted attention his presence and participation brought, the City of Memphis sued King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference associates, including Hosea Williams, James Bevel, James Orange, Ralph Abernathy and Bernard Lee. On April 3, 1968, U.S. District Court Judge Bailey Brown issued a temporary restraining order against King as part of the city's attempts to thwart the next planned march. On today's special collaborative episode with the Hidden Legal Figures Podcast, Derrick Alexander Pope shares how King's lawyers Mike Cody and Lucius Burch sought and secured a compromise with the City of Memphis, which resulted in lifting the restraining order and allowing the march to go on with safety restrictions in place. The night before the compromise was formalized, King was tragically assassinated. 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Derrick Alexander Pope:

Derrick Alexander Pope, who describes himself as a composer and conductor of ideas, is President and founding Director of The Arc of Justice Institute. In this role, he has responsibility for all aspects of its standing initiatives and programs and host of its podcast, Hidden Legal Figures.

Before The Arc, Mr. Pope enjoyed a distinguished career in the public, private, and academic sectors. He has provided counsel to the legislative and executive branches of government at the federal, state, and county level, having most recently served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. He is a former Assistant Legislative Counsel to the Georgia General Assembly and former Legislative and General Counsel to the Medical Association of Georgia. During the Obama administration, Mr. Pope was a member of the White House Data Driven Justice Initiative and the My Brother's Keeper Taskforce in 2015 and 2016. In private practice, he has helped protect the inheritance rights of more than 500 families throughout Georgia. Mr. Pope is a former adjunct professor of law at the Georgia State University College of Law where he taught Probate Practice and Procedure.

Mr. Pope has several published works to his credit. He is the author of By the Content of Our Character: A Declaration of  Independence for Colored Folks, Negroes, Black People, and African Americans and Thy Will Be Done: An African American Guide to Estate Planning and the Howard Law Journal article A Constitutional Window to Interpretive Reason: Or in Other Words...The Ninth Amendment. In 2012 teaming with this daughter he released a spoken word CD - The Race Track.

An Atlanta native, Mr. Pope is a graduate of Morris Brown College and the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, earning top honors in the Loyola Law Clinic. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia where serves on three standing committees (Vice-Chair, Communications/Cornerstones of Freedom Program; Advisory Committee on Legislation, and the Editorial Board of the Georgia Bar Journal, and Past Co-Chair of the Committee on Inclusion in the Profession), the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Patrick Arenz | Richard H. Tholen, M.D. v. Assist America, Inc. | $27.8 million verdict

Patrick Arenz | Richard H. Tholen, M.D. v. Assist America, Inc. | $27.8 million verdict

January 25, 2022

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Patrick Arenz of Robins Kaplan LLP (https://www.robinskaplan.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Patrick Arenz of Robins Kaplan LLP shares how he successfully represented Twin Cities, Minnesota plastic surgeon Richard H. Tholen after he was denied emergency medical evacuation by Assist America, Inc. for a severe knee injury, which resulted in an above-the-knee amputation. In April 2015, Richard "Dick" Tholen dislocated his knee on a zipline course in Mexico and attempted to use his American Medical Association membership privilege to initiate Assist America's emergency medical evacuation services, which are available to transport members when an international hospital is unable to meet the U.S. standard for medical care. It took more than 35 hours for a licensed doctor to evaluate Dick's injuries. After multiple conversations with Assist America's medical coordinators and the local hospital's improper use of a hard cast on Dick's soft tissue injury, he was denied transport. Taking matters into his own hands, Dick took a commercial flight back to his Minnesota home and was evaluated by doctors who determined that he had a significant blood clot behind his knee. On May 18, 2015 — approximately one month after he sustained the injury — Dick underwent an above-the-knee amputation. In spite of Assist America Inc.'s attempts to blame Dick for the loss of his leg and misrepresent the facts in a published case study, a U.S. District Court of Minnesota jury found Assist America, Inc. negligent and guilty of breach of contract. In November 2021, the jury assigned $10 million in punitive damages to Assist America, Inc. and awarded Dick a $27,882,915.49 verdict, which was the largest personal injury verdict in Minnesota history. 

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Patrick Arenz:

In an era of litigators, Patrick Arenz is a trial lawyer. According to IAM, Patrick is an “excellent, thorough, and focused cross-examiner.” He handles high-stakes disputes for a diverse set of clients, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small inventor-led companies and individuals. His practice focuses on patent and copyright infringement matters, trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract disputes, and business and individual tort cases. He is equally adept at representing defendants, and has handled competitor-versus-competitor patent cases on both sides of the “v.” His cases have garnered media attention from outlets including The New York Times, Star Tribune, and even “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Based on his accomplishments, Patrick was selected for the Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list and the inaugural Bloomberg Law 40 Under 40 list, named a Minnesota Attorney of the Year in 2018, included on the IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals list, and named a Legal Media Group Americas Rising Star 2019 Winner for Best in Litigation: Trial Lawyer. 

Patrick has honed his trial skills in courtrooms across the country and spent his early career working alongside renowned trial lawyers, like Ronald J. Schutz. He has since tried a wide range of cases, including patent infringement, breach of contract, personal injury, and felony-criminal defense cases. In 2021, he served as lead trial counsel in a personal injury case wherein his team secured a $27.8 million jury verdict on behalf of Dr. Richard Tholen, a top Twin Cities plastic surgeon, who endured an amputated leg after Assist America refused to evacuate him for proper medical care. This verdict has been reported as the largest personal injury verdict in Minnesota history. In 2020, he secured a complete victory in an arbitration for celebrity chef, Chloe Coscarelli, and her business entity that restored her 50% ownership in the “by Chloe” restaurant company she founded and was previously valued in excess of $60 million; enjoined the company from selling retail products; and awarded Chloe a $2.2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. He also obtained a final judgment in excess of $2 million in favor of his client following a jury verdict against a former employee accused of misappropriating confidential information. In 2016, he tried a breach of license dispute over unpaid royalties, and obtained a $5.7 million verdict that settled on appeal for $13.5 million. Many of Patrick’s cases have resolved successfully before trial, driven by his preparation and readiness for trial. 

Patrick is also adept at handling high-stakes appeals. He has argued at the Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Federal Circuit, and Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. In 2020, for example, Patrick obtained a reversal and remand from the Eighth Circuit in Tholen v. Assist America, in which Patrick also serves as trial counsel for Dr. Tholen in his defamation claim. In 2021, Patrick achieved a reversal and remand from the Minnesota Court of Appeals in Smits v. Park Nicollet, finding a triable issue in a wrongful death action over Park Nicollet’s duty to provide reasonable medical care to its mental health patient and his family.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

GTP Classic | State of Alabama v. Martin Luther King, Jr. | Derrick Alexander Pope | Hidden Legal Figures

GTP Classic | State of Alabama v. Martin Luther King, Jr. | Derrick Alexander Pope | Hidden Legal Figures

January 18, 2022

This week, in celebration of Martin Luther King Day, we're replaying one of our favorite interviews with Derrick A. Pope of The Arc of Justice Institute (https://onthearc.net/).

 

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Episode Details:

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Hidden Legal Figures Podcast host Alexander Pope returns to discuss the landmark 1956 case against Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. for his role in the year-long Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott and violation of a 1921 anti-boycott law. An example of white Alabama officials' effort to use the courts to quash the Civil Rights Movement, the trial began with numerous attempts by prosecutors to identify King as the official leader of the boycott. King's legal team countered by trying to establish "just cause" or "legal excuse" for the boycott, with 31 witnesses sharing their first-hand experiences with abusive bus drivers and reasons for participating in the boycott. In spite of these moving statements, Judge Eugene W. Carter found King guilty of violating the anti-boycott law and fined him $500 plus an additional $500 in court costs. King's appeal was rejected, and he later paid the fine. 

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Derrick Alexander Pope:

Derrick Alexander Pope is President and Managing Director of The Arc of Justice Institute. In his role, he has responsibility for its standing initiatives and programs, including hosting its podcast, Hidden Legal Figures.

Before The Arc, Mr. Pope enjoyed a distinguished career in the public, private, and academic sectors. He has provided counsel to the legislative and executive branches of government at the federal, state, and county level, having most recently served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. He is a former Assistant Legislative Counsel to the Georgia General Assembly and former Legislative and General Counsel to the Medical Association of Georgia. During the Obama administration, Mr. Pope was a member of the White House Data-Driven Justice Initiative and the My Brother's Keeper Taskforce in 2015 and 2016. In private practice, he has helped protect the inheritance rights of more than 500 families throughout Georgia. Mr. Pope is a former adjunct professor of law at the Georgia State University College of Law where he taught Probate Practice and Procedure.

Mr. Pope has several published works to his credit. He is the author of By the Content of Our Character: A Declaration of  Independence for Colored Folks, Negroes, Black People, and African Americans and Thy Will Be Done: An African American Guide to Estate Planning and the Howard Law Journal article A Constitutional Window to Interpretive Reason: Or in Other Words...The Ninth Amendment. In 2012 teaming with this daughter he released a spoken word CD - The Race Track.

An Atlanta native, Mr. Pope is a graduate of Morris Brown College and the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, earning top honors in the Loyola Law Clinic. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia where serves on three standing committees (Vice-Chair, Communications/Cornerstones of Freedom Program; Advisory Committee on Legislation, and the Editorial Board of the Georgia Bar Journal, and Past Co-Chair of the Committee on Inclusion in the Profession), the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Don Keenan | Bartholomew v. Zurbrugg, M.D. | $13.75 million verdict

Don Keenan | Bartholomew v. Zurbrugg, M.D. | $13.75 million verdict

January 11, 2022

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey continue their interview Don Keenan of The Keenan Law Firm (https://www.keenanlawfirm.com/). 

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Episode Details:

Known as a tireless advocate for children and a fierce trial lawyer, Don Keenan of The Keenan Law Firm discusses how he used an innovative causation strategy to successfully represent the family of an infant who sustained a permanent brain injury as a result of her pediatricians' negligence. Sally Bartholomew was born healthy, but three weeks later, she was diagnosed with bronchitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, and an upper respiratory infection. On January 16, 1995, Sally appeared to be turning gray and her Hilton Head Island, South Carolina pediatrician instructed Sally's mother, Carol, to drive the baby to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia. In route, Sally stopped breathing, and Carol administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until EMTs could arrive. Sally's brain was without oxygen for an extended period of time, and she suffered a traumatic brain injury that continues to limit her quality of life and capabilities to this day. Acclaimed trial lawyer Don Keenan explains how he immediately connected with the Beaufort County, South Carolina jury by beginning his opening statement with the story of Carol's traumatic drive to the hospital and simplified his presentation from a PowerPoint to pen-and-paper exhibits to better appeal to an older jury. This is the first recorded case where causation was the initial focus, meaning that Don demonstrated what caused Sally's brain injury before proving the doctor's liability in failing to prepare for the worst possible outcome. After a three-week trial, the Beaufort County, South Carolina jury returned a verdict of $13.75 million in favor of the plaintiff, resulting in the highest medical malpractice verdict in the state at the time. 

Click Here to Read/Download Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Don Keenan:

During his forty years specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, Mr. Keenan has secured over 381 verdicts and settlements over $1,000,000, including 15 over $10,000,000 and one over $100,000,000. Mr. Keenan has dedicated his practice to child injury and wrongful death cases arising from medical negligence, products liability, and premise liability, with the goal of making our society safer for children.  He has handled cases in 47 states and on three continents.

Mr. Keenan strongly believes that our duty does not end when we secure justice for the child and family. Equally important is learning from the prevention lessons of the case and formulating a public awareness campaign to help prevent future injuries and deaths and when necessary, push for legislation and regulations. He calls this unique approach to law the One-Third Solution: one-third litigating the case, one-third public awareness on the prevention and one-third pushing for regulations and legislation. Examples of his One-Third Solution are the Playground Safety Project being featured on the Today Show for the past three years, The Toy Safety Campaign profiled in USA Today and Good Morning America. The Imagine Magazine Summer 2005 issue featured Don Keenan and his One-ThirdSolution as did Mercedes Momentum Magazine in winter of 2004.

In 1992, he became the youngest National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates and during his tenure, led a delegation of lawyers to Czechoslovakia and later was invited to Russia to produce the first civil trial in the history of those two emerging democracies. In 1997, he became National President of the Inner Circle of Advocates, the most exclusive group of trial lawyers in the country. In 1999, he was given the prestigious Chief Justice Award for Civility and Professionalism, the highest award possible for a lawyer in Georgia. He now serves on the Advisory Committee for the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, which trains the majority of new judges in the United States. In 1990 and again in 1992, he was named Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Don successfully handled the 1980’s U.S. Supreme Court case of Kathy Jo Taylor which was the first case in United States history to establish due process rights for foster children. Again in late 1999, he handled the nationally publicized case of Terrell Peterson, an abused foster child, who was on the cover of Time Magazine (11/2000) and was the subject of the highest rated 60 Minute story of the year. Both cases resulted in significant changes in the rights of children in state custody. In 2006 he obtained the largest US jury verdict on behalf of an abused child.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Moshik Temkin (Part II) | Commonwealth v. Sacco and Vanzetti | The Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

Moshik Temkin (Part II) | Commonwealth v. Sacco and Vanzetti | The Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

January 4, 2022

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey continue their interview with Moshik Temkin, Harvard University Associate Professor of History and Public Policy and author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/people/moshik-temkin). 

 

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Episode Details:

Harvard University Associate Professor of History and Public Policy Moshik Temkin, author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial, discusses the larger implications of this 1920s Massachusetts murder trial and how its proceedings and subsequent international post-verdict protests revealed the U.S. justice system's implicit bias against immigrants. On April 15, 1920, an armed robbery was committed at the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts, resulting in the death of two guards and the theft of at least $15,000 in payroll funds. Italian immigrant anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused and charged with first-degree murder. The pair's anarchists beliefs, advocating for the violent overthrow of political and capitalist institutions, and evasion of the World War I draft took center stage at the trial, overshadowing missing and contradictory evidence in the case. Influenced by presiding Judge Webster Thayer's obvious bias, which included calling the defendants "anarchist bastards," as well as the jury foreperson's publicly expressed predetermined verdict, Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death. Worldwide, labor unions held protests and acclaimed writers and political influencers spoke out in support of Sacco and Vanzetti. The pair, who were widely seen as political prisoners, were executed in the electric chair on August 23, 1927. On today's new episode, author and historian Moshik Temkin will share what his extensive research has revealed about this infamous case and the resulting international protests. Learn how this legendary trial impacted global politics and resulted in lasting judicial reform. 

 

Click Here to Read/Download Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Moshik Temkin:

Moshik Temkin, Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, joined the Harvard Kennedy School faculty in 2009. A specialist in the history of the modern United States in global and comparative perspective, with a focus on the connections between history and public policy, he is particularly interested in the interaction between Americans and non-Americans–the effects that American politics have had on the wider world, the roles that international politics have played in American society and policymaking in the United States, and the dynamics created when American and international politics come into contact, or conflict.

 

He is the author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (Yale University Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the Cundill International Prize, as well as several articles and book chapters. His current research interests include the history of the death penalty in a comparative perspective, the impact of war on public policy intellectuals since World War I, Malcolm X's career and politics in a global context, the relationship between American civil rights and global human rights, and the contest between global political activism and travel control since the Cold War. He is currently at work on a book provisionally titled Undesirables: Travel Control and Surveillance in an Age of Global Politics, to be published by Harvard University Press. He is also the editor (with David Greenberg and Mason Williams) of Alan Brinkley: A Life in History (Columbia University Press, 2019).

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Moshik Temkin | Commonwealth v. Sacco and Vanzetti | The Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

Moshik Temkin | Commonwealth v. Sacco and Vanzetti | The Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

December 28, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Moshik Temkin, Harvard University Associate Professor of History and Public Policy and author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/people/moshik-temkin). 

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Episode Details:

Harvard University Associate Professor of History and Public Policy Moshik Temkin, author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial, discusses the larger implications of this 1920s Massachusetts murder trial and how its proceedings and subsequent international post-verdict protests revealed the U.S. justice system's implicit bias against immigrants. On April 15, 1920, an armed robbery was committed at the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts, resulting in the death of two guards and the theft of at least $15,000 in payroll funds. Italian immigrant anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused and charged with first-degree murder. The pair's anarchists beliefs, advocating for the violent overthrow of political and capitalist institutions, and evasion of the World War I draft took center stage at the trial, overshadowing missing and contradictory evidence in the case. Influenced by presiding Judge Webster Thayer's obvious bias, which included calling the defendants "anarchist bastards," as well as the jury foreperson's publicly expressed predetermined verdict, Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death. Worldwide, labor unions held protests and acclaimed writers and political influencers spoke out in support of Sacco and Vanzetti. The pair, who were widely seen as political prisoners, were executed in the electric chair on August 23, 1927. On today's new episode, author and historian Moshik Temkin will share what his extensive research has revealed about this infamous case and the resulting international protests. Learn how this legendary trial impacted global politics and resulted in lasting judicial reform. 

Click Here to Read/Download Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Moshik Temkin:

Moshik Temkin, Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, joined the Harvard Kennedy School faculty in 2009. A specialist in the history of the modern United States in global and comparative perspective, with a focus on the connections between history and public policy, he is particularly interested in the interaction between Americans and non-Americans–the effects that American politics have had on the wider world, the roles that international politics have played in American society and policymaking in the United States, and the dynamics created when American and international politics come into contact, or conflict.

He is the author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (Yale University Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the Cundill International Prize, as well as several articles and book chapters. His current research interests include the history of the death penalty in comparative perspective, the impact of war on public policy intellectuals since World War I, Malcolm X's career and politics in a global context, the relationship between American civil rights and global human rights, and the contest between global political activism and travel control since the Cold War. He is currently at work on a book provisionally titled Undesirables: Travel Control and Surveillance in an Age of Global Politics, to be published by Harvard University Press. He is also the editor (with David Greenberg and Mason Williams) of Alan Brinkley: A Life in History (Columbia University Press, 2019).

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. & Jim M. Perdue, Jr. | Alexander v. Battaglia et. al. | $3.6 million verdict

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. & Jim M. Perdue, Jr. | Alexander v. Battaglia et. al. | $3.6 million verdict

December 21, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Jim M. Perdue, Sr. and Jim M. Perdue, Jr of Perdue and Kidd (https://www.perdueandkidd.com/). 

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Episode Details:

Texas trial lawyers Jim M. Perdue, Sr. and Jim M. Perdue, Jr. -- Perdue & Kidd's father-and-son trial team -- take a look back at the first case they ever tried together. Listen as this accomplished trial team explains how they secured justice for the wrongful death of a patient who died as a result of the negligence of a nurse anesthetist during routine orthopedic surgery. In September 1997, 40-year-old Mark Alexander was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, but the anesthesiologist left him in the hands of an inexperienced nurse anesthetist, who failed to provide Mark with adequate ventilation during the surgery and neglected to record Mark's heart rate for 17 minutes. As a result, Mark was deprived of adequate blood flow to the brain for 10 to 14 minutes and remained in a coma for two weeks before passing away on October 3, 1997. Involved in the case while Mark was still in a coma, Jim M. Perdue, Sr. was able to collect powerful pieces of evidence he presented at trial: phone recordings and messages from Mark's family. In spite of the defense's attempts to cast blame on the other anesthesiologists and professional associations named in the lawsuit or to distance themselves from having any role in Mark's medical care, the father-and-son legal team was able to hold the doctors accountable for their contribution to Mark's substandard care and proximate cause of death. Jim M. Perdue, Sr. and Jim M. Perdue, Jr. strategically engaged the jury's senses with impressive storytelling and by sharing a visual timeline of the tragic events, a video of Mark languishing in a coma and the hard data comparison of the anesthetist's records versus the medical equipment records. In October 1999, a Harris County, Texas jury unanimously found the four defendants negligent and awarded $3.6 million in damages to Mark's wife and surviving parents. 

Click Here to Read/Download Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Jim M. Perdue, Sr:

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. is Of Counsel to Perdue & Kidd. Mr. Perdue received both his Bachelor of Science cum laude and his Juris Doctorate cum laude from the University of Houston.

Mr. Perdue has had over five decades of success in securing substantial and in some cases unprecedented multi-million dollar verdicts and recoveries for his clients. He has lectured across the country, speaking before law schools, scientific associations, medical groups, bar associations, trial lawyer organizations, and colleges of advocacy, delivering over 400 presentations on topics including the substantive law of malpractice and product liability, professional responsibility, rules of evidence, the psychology of jury persuasion, special issue submission, and trial strategy and technique.

He has authored texts and treatises on the substantive law of medical malpractice and product liability. The appellate courts of Texas have often cited his books, law review, and law journal articles. Moreover, numerous appellate opinions in cases he has prosecuted have pioneered the way for today’s victims of negligence, defective products and corporate indifference.

In 1989, Forbes magazine dubbed Mr. Perdue “King of the Malpractice Lawyers.” He has been a trailblazer in plaintiffs’ litigation for the past fifty plus years. He is one of the most well-known medical malpractice and product liability trial lawyers in Texas.

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Jim M. Perdue, Jr:

Jim M. Perdue, Jr. is a named partner at Perdue & Kidd, with a national practice focusing on trying lawsuits, from cases involving defective medical products and pharmaceutical liability claims to catastrophic injuries of all types. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Medical Professional Liability by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. He currently serves on the Rules Advisory Committee of the Texas Supreme Court.  Jim Perdue Jr. is both an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates and Fellow in the International Society of Barristers. Mr. Perdue is listed among the “Top 100 Attorneys in Texas” in Texas Monthly by Thomson Reuters, where he has been named a “Texas Super Lawyer” since the award was created 11 years ago. He is also named in “The Best Lawyers in America” (Woodward/White 2006-15) for Plaintiff’s Personal Injury practice.

Jim Perdue Jr. has tried over 30 personal injury cases to jury verdict, including multi-million dollar verdicts for cases involving pharmaceutical liability, workplace injury, and medical malpractice. This includes his $27.6 million dollar verdict against Boston Scientific, listed as one of the largest product liability verdicts of 2014 by the National Law Journal. Jim Perdue Jr. has spoken at over 100 legal seminars and published on a wide range of topics, from trial techniques to tort law. He has made appearances on Good Morning America, Court TV, and local television as a legal commentator on civil justice legislation, automotive safety, and product liability law.

Jim Perdue Jr. r attended the University of Texas and graduated summa cum laude. He then received his J.D. cum laude at the University of Houston Law Center and was named their Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2006. He is Past-President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Past-Chair of the Professional Negligence Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, a member of Leader’s Forum of American Association for Justice, a fellow of the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations, and a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. The Houston Young Lawyers Association honored Jim Perdue Jr. with the Woodrow B. Seals Outstanding Young Attorney Award in 2002.

Mr. Perdue serves on the Boards of TIRR Foundation, which is the charitable research arm of TIRR Hospital in Houston, Texas, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Foundation (Houston); and the Silver Spurs Alumni Association. Jim Perdue Jr. is a past director of the Texas Lyceum and Past President of the University of Houston Law Center Alumni Organization. He and his wife Nicole have three sons.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Bill, James & Ryals Stone | Thornal v. Clausen | $26.1 million verdict

Bill, James & Ryals Stone | Thornal v. Clausen | $26.1 million verdict

December 14, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Bill Stone, James Stone and Ryals Stone of The Stone Law Group (https://www.stonelaw.net/). 

 

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Episode Details:

The Stone Law Group's trial team -- comprised of father Bill Stone and sons James Stone and Ryals Stone -- explain how they thoroughly investigated a fatal car accident and proved that their client, a promising 19-year-old University of Mississippi student, was not the proximate cause of his own tragic death, as law enforcement investigators initially concluded. In the early morning hours of March 29, 2013, University of Mississippi freshman Price Thornal was attempting to travel from Oxford, Mississippi to his hometown in Tallahassee, Florida to celebrate his father's birthday. Price's Honda Civic was hit head-on by the defendant, who was driving a Dodge Durango on the wrong side of the divided US Hwy 84. Trial lawyers Bill, James and Ryals Stone used the GPS system in Price's car to plot his trajectory and utilized the defendant's cell phone records as evidence of her negligence and opposing trajectory. In spite of the defendant's attempts to cast blame on Price, the Stone Law Group used basic physics as well as expert accident reconstruction to show the jury which car was traveling in the appropriate direction. In November 2021, after just 20 minutes of deliberation, an Early County, Georgia jury found the defendant's negligence to be the proximate cause of Price's death and awarded $26,141,628 in damages. 

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Guest Bios:

William Stone:

Bill is a trial lawyer from Blakely, Georgia, who specializes in personal injury, wrongful death, professional malpractice, product liability, commercial and consumer fraud cases. The firm’s predecessor was founded in 1915 by Bill’s grandfather, the late Wm. Lowrey Stone. Past members of the firm include Bill’s father, Lowrey S. Stone, who formerly served as Chief Judge of Superior Courts, Pataula Judicial Circuit.

Bill was born in Dothan, Alabama, on August 19, 1953. He attended the public schools in Early County, Georgia and graduated from Early County High School in 1971. He attended the University of Georgia College of Business Administration and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting on graduation in 1975. Bill also attended the Netherlands Institute of Industrial Economics near Amsterdam in The Netherlands in 1973.

Bill received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1977. He was admitted to practice law in the state of Georgia in 1977 and in the state of Alabama in 1985. He is also member of the bars of the United States District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia, the Middle District of Alabama, and the Central District of Illinois, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.

The publishers of the Martindale Hubble Law Directory have awarded Bill its highest rating (AV) for legal ability and integrity.

Bill is a Life Member and past president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and is also a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the Alabama State Bar, the American Association for Justice, and the Southwest Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

Bill has served on the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission that recommends candidates to the Governor for appointment to vacant judgeships in Georgia. He has authored a number of published articles and is a frequent lecturer at legal seminars on the subject of trial practice and tort law.

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James Stone:

James grew up in Blakely, Georgia and currently lives with his wife, Rachel, in Roswell, Georgia. James practices in our Atlanta office, primarily focusing on cases involving catastrophic personal injury and death from medical negligence, trucking accidents, and motor vehicle accidents.

James, a fifth-generation attorney in his family, grew up with an eye always towards practicing law. Watching his father represent clients who lacked the ability to obtain justice for themselves, James always appreciated the work and time invested in pursuing high-stakes litigation and catastrophic injury cases. Now, James works alongside his father and brother, furthering that pursuit of justice and relentlessly fighting for clients and families injured in accidents are wronged by corporations.

James is a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia where he received his BBA in Management Information Systems. Afterward, James attended Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and graduated in 2013.

James was admitted to practice law in Georgia in 2013 and Alabama in 2015.

James is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Alabama State Bar, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association of Justice, the American Bar Association, and the Sandy Springs Bar Association.

James has been involved in numerous complex lawsuits resulting in verdicts or settlements higher than seven figures.

In his spare time, James enjoys recreational activities such as mountain biking, running, softball and coaching little league baseball.

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Ryals Stone:

Ryals D. Stone is a Partner in the Rome office of Stone Law Group. He represents individual and small business plaintiffs in cases involving catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death, specifically those caused by motor vehicle accidents or trucking collisions, unsafe premises, industrial boiler explosions, defective products, medical negligence by a medical provider, insurance bad faith or financial fraud, and other civil RICO racketeering conspiracies.

During his career as a trial attorney Ryals has handled many complex civil cases and has been an active and integral member of the firm’s trial team during numerous multi-week jury trials, which have resulted in verdicts and settlements of over $150 million combined.

Ryals is the oldest son of Stone Law Group senior partner William S. Stone. The firm’s predecessor was founded in 1915 by Ryals’ great-grandfather, the late William Lowrey Stone. Past members of the firm include Ryals’ grandfather, Lowrey S. Stone, who later served for 15 years as Chief Judge of Superior Courts, Pataula Judicial Circuit. Upon being admitted to the Georgia Bar in 2010, Ryals proudly became the 5th straight generation of Georgia attorneys in the Stone family.

Raised in his hometown of Blakely in rural Southwest Georgia, Ryals went on to earn his undergraduate degree in History from University of Georgia in 2005 and his law degree in 2009 from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

During law school, Ryals also studied International Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Cambridge in England. He earned the highest marks in several of his law school classes, including Trial Advocacy Basic Skills and Professional Responsibility. As a 3rd Year law student he was selected as a distinguished Abraham J. Caruthers Fellow, chosen to mentor Cumberland’s renowned first-year legal research and writing program. Throughout his final year of law school, Ryals gained valuable practice experience as a law clerk in the Bessemer, Alabama District Attorney’s Office and for the In-House Counsel at Southern Progress Corporation.

Ryals is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts of the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Georgia. He is a Champion member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA), American Association of Justice (AAJ), Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG), the Rome Bar Association, and he currently serves as President of the Pataula Circuit Bar Association. He has continuously served as a voting member of GTLA’s Executive Committee since 2013 and currently serves as an elected officer of the Civil Justice PAC’s Board of Directors. He has served GTLA’s Verdict Editorial Board as a Board member and frequent contributing author since 2015. Ryals currently serves on the Board of Governors of AAJ as one of only 5 Governors from Georgia. Ryals has also served multiple terms on the Board of Directors for the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division.

However, above any of his career achievements Ryals is most proud of his role as the founding member and inaugural Co-Chair of GTLA’s “LEAD” Program (“Leadership Education and Advanced Direction”), a leadership academy he co-created specifically for talented young Georgia trial lawyers. Today, the program boasts nearly 100 LEAD alumni over its first five years, many of whom are now counted as among GTLA’s highest-ranking officers and Board members.

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Don Fountain & Drew Ashby | Batchelder et al v. Malibu Boats, LLC, f/k/a Malibu Boats, Inc.; Malibu Boats West, Inc. et al. | $200 million verdict

Don Fountain & Drew Ashby | Batchelder et al v. Malibu Boats, LLC, f/k/a Malibu Boats, Inc.; Malibu Boats West, Inc. et al. | $200 million verdict

December 7, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Don Fountain of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin (https://www.clarkfountain.com/) and Drew Ashby of Ashby Thelen & Lowry (https://www.atllaw.com/). 

 

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Episode Details:

Don Fountain of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin and Drew Ashby of Ashby Thelen & Lowry discuss how they successfully represented the grieving parents of a 7-year-old boy who tragically died in an accident involving a defective boat design on Lake Burton in Georgia. On July 17, 2014, Ryan Batchelder was wearing a life jacket and sitting in the bow seating compartment in the front nose of a rented 2000 Malibu Response LC open bow ski boat when he was washed overboard as the boat circled, crossing its own wake and taking on water in a phenomenon known as "bow swamping." As the front of the boat filled with water, the driver put the boat in reverse to raise it to surface level, but the unguarded propeller sucked Ryan in, resulting in severe blood loss and fatal drowning. Don Fountain and Drew Ashby, along with their colleagues, took the case to trial for the Batchelder family to hold accountable the three entities involved in making boats under the name "Malibu Boats," which is the largest ski boat manufacturer in the world. Together, Don and Drew demonstrated that Malibu Boats West, Inc. and Malibu Boats LLC were negligent for failing to provide warnings concerning the bow swamping hazard associated with the open bow boat. In August 2021, a Rabun County, Georgia jury apportioned fault to Malibu Boats West, Inc., Malibu Boats, LLC and the boat driver for Ryan's wrongful death, awarding $80 million in compensatory damages and $120 million in punitive damages. The jury determined that because the Malibu defendants knew about the bow swamping hazard and made the conscious decision not to warn boat owners and users, punitive damages were also warranted, making this the largest pain and suffering wrongful death verdict in Georgia history.

 

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Guest Bios:

Donald Fountain:

Donald R. Fountain, Jr. is nationally recognized as a top trial attorney and is known for his work around the country for successfully representing catastrophically injured clients during some of the most traumatic and transformational times in their lives. For twenty-five years, Don has been a double board-certified civil trial lawyer by both the state and national boards and has twice been named “Lawyer of the Year” in plaintiff product liability litigation by Best Lawyers in America®, a prestigious award that was published in the Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal.

During his more than 30 years as a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Don has handled cases in more than 25 states and has tried virtually every kind of case – typical and atypical – from a cruise ship hitting an iceberg in Alaska to the mishandling of human remains by a regional funeral home chain. He frequently works on cases across the country related to automotive products liability, tire defects, consumer product defects, road design defects, construction defects, boating and locomotive accidents, aviation liability, legal malpractice, fires and vehicle/truck accidents. Don has earned hundreds of seven and eight figure verdicts and settlements totaling more than $800 million for his clients throughout Florida and the United States.

In 2021, Don and his trial team successfully secured a $200 million verdict in rural Georgia for their clients, Stephan Batchelder and Margaret Batchelder, who tragically lost their 7-year-old son, Ryan Paul Batchelder, in a 2014 boat swamping defect incident. It was the largest verdict in Rabun County Georgia history, and the largest single verdict for pain and suffering associated with wrongful death in the history of the State of Georgia.

Earning titles that include “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America,” “Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America,” and “Florida’s Top 10 Attorneys,” Don is frequently called upon by other lawyers to handle major litigation matters that require unique technical expertise and financial resources. 

Don is continuously recognized as a “Top Lawyer” in South Florida Legal Guide and as one of the “Legal Elite” in Florida Trend magazine – a recognition he shares with only 2% of lawyers in the state. Don is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, which denotes the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards in the legal industry. He has been named a Super Lawyer® by his peers for 15 consecutive years.

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Drew Ashby

Drew is an experienced trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic personal injury, defective products, and chemical exposures. Drew has litigated these issues in 15 states. 

Drew is one of the only trial lawyers in the country to have secured a seven-figure verdict, an eight-figure verdict, and a nine-figure verdict, all before the age of 40. He holds the record verdict in Rabun County (GA), the record verdict in Lowndes County (GA), and the largest pain and suffering verdict in Georgia history. He holds the 7th largest premises liability verdict in the Southeast in 2019, the 8th largest vehicle crash verdict in the Southeast in 2020, and the largest verdict in any product liability or wrongful death case in Georgia in 2021. 

Drew has a special expertise in cases involving defective products of all kinds, including automobiles, aerial lifts and cranes, ATVs, boats, industrial equipment, and a variety of consumer and household products. To date, manufacturers have issued four separate nationwide recalls as a result of his work in cases; most of which were issued in almost unprecedented fashion – in the middle of litigation.

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

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

November 30, 2021

This week we’re replaying a classic GTP episode where 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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