By Hon. (Ret.) Ken E. Adair
It Takes Guts to Stand up for the Truth
Video Transcribed: Hello. I want to talk, again, about embracing the fictions of no insurance in a jury trial, in a civil jury trial. We all know that we have to embrace the fiction. And I’ll say it again, I may say it a bunch of times throughout these videos, there’s no piling on. We embrace the fiction, no piling on. One of the things that you will encounter at times in voir dire, and I barely caught it, I barely saw it, and even the physical positioning of the lawyer was such that she tried to hide it from me while she was doing voir dire.
And what she did is she looked at the jury and she walked up and talked about how judgments ought to be fair, they shouldn’t be huge amounts of money because of sympathy. And she was going on and on about the fairness of money judgments. And with her back to me, she held her hand up and she held it up like this, and she got her pin out.
She said, “Now, if you had to whip out a checkbook and you had to write a check for the amount of damages that you had to pay to somebody that you injured, you’d want it to be a fair amount.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is piling on because nobody whips out their own checkbook when they’ve got an injury defense lawyer from the injury defense bar, standing there in front of a jury, representing somebody that they barely know, that they will pretend that they know well.
Nobody’s going to have to get a checkbook out of their own pocket and write a check. And I objected and said, “Your Honor, she’s intimating to the jury that the defendant is going to have to write a check out of his own pocket, and that’s a lie and she knows it.” I got my butt chewed. Okay? You’re going to get your butt chewed. But there’s no piling on.
You got to have the guts to stand up for the truth. You got to stand up for the justice, and don’t allow piling on by the injury defense bar. Put that in your motion in limine. There’s no suggestion in any way that a defendant in a car wreck case or any other injury case is going to have to write a check out of their own pocket. That’s dirty pool, it’s unethical. Injury defense bar lawyers, injury defense lawyers get by with it all the time.
Don’t let it happen on your watch. I’ve enjoyed sharing that story with you because A, it’s true, B, it’s important. And I hope you never have to encounter it. But if you do, be ready, be prepared for that, have it in your emotion in limine and be prepared to stand up and tell the judge that this person is being deceptive to your jury. Judges like to protect jurors. They really do. I’ve enjoyed this. Thank you very much for watching and listening. I look forward to seeing you again. Thank you.