By Hon. (Ret.) Ken E. Adair
One Frivolous Lawsuit Is Too Many
Video Transcribed: Hello, my name is Ken Adair. I’m a people’s lawyer and I’m a retired judge, and I’m here to talk to you about civil voir dire. Today, I want to talk to you about frivolous lawsuits. Frivolous lawsuits are on everybody’s mind. I guarantee you there’s a huge chunk of people in your jury panel that is wondering, “Is this one of those frivolous lawsuits? Is this going to be one of those?” Guaranteed.
There are some that are going to have preconceived notions that almost every lawsuit is a frivolous lawsuit, and as I’ve discussed before, the fact that it’s come to a jury trial is because you’re a greedy plaintiff’s lawyer, and it’s a frivolous lawsuit, and the only reason that it’s here is that the other side is trying to be reasonable and you’re not being reasonable. So we need to talk about frivolous lawsuits.
How many of you believe that there are too many frivolous lawsuits? This might seem like a trick question or a throwaway question, but I do it to distance myself from the notion that I find frivolous lawsuits even remotely acceptable.
And, I raise my hand. I’ve got my hand up too. One frivolous lawsuit is too many. despite what we talked about in contingency fees, the fact that most lawyers wouldn’t take a case unless it was a real case worth the time and investment.
The fact is, that some lawyers do. And so, you want to make sure that you’re on their side, that you’re on the people’s side, and you’re with the society that says frivolous lawsuits are not a good thing. And one is too many, and certainly, there’s more than one out there. I highly recommend that you voir dire about frivolous lawsuits, what they think about them, what they think the cause of frivolous lawsuits is.
Again, another way to flesh out latent bias and identify those people that you might want to strike in a peremptory challenge. Again, be respectful of everybody’s opinion. Everybody’s opinion, even the ones you don’t like is like gold.
You respect them, you never argue with them, never look down at them, never talk down to them. And again, highly recommend your voir dire on this. It’s a short part of the voir dire, but it’s important in my opinion, and I highly recommend it.
I look forward to talking to you some more. I hope this has been helpful. This has been trial attorney Ken Adair. If you are looking for co-counsel services or an experienced jury consultant, visit trial.win.