YOU FINALLY WON THE BIG TRIAL – FRAMING FOR COLLECTION
Turning big into bigger - For those lucky enough to experience the euphoria of a life changing high 8 figure or even 9 figure outcome… reality soon sets in. The Defendant files every motion available, and recovery if any, will be cents on the dollar, and likely months if not years away.
THIS WILL BE A TEMPLATE RICH/TEMPLATE ANALYSIS PROGRAM
Background - In record setting time, Ognian Gavrilov of Gavrilov Brooks has, along with his partner Ed Brooks, achieved unprecedented success up and down California. Gavrilov now helms Sacramento’s most quickly growing and practice area diverse law firm, Gavrilov Brooks. His trial skills recently earned Gavrilov “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” from his local CCTLA, as well as numerous other accolades. We will discuss how “taking cases to trial” certainly convinces insurance companies you do not fold at the courthouse steps, but the Gavrilov Method equally deploys new concepts regarding “law and motion” and “motions in limine.”
Not afraid to devote firm resources to correcting injustices Just this past summer, Gavrilov sought Writ review ( a long shot in California) of a well-funded Defendant’s demand for medical records in a garden variety emotional distress case, and prevailed. This outcome alone caused a significant increase in case value and vale as analyzed by the opposing attorney. The trial Court granted production (as so many would), and Gavrilov successfully appealed the Judge on the eve of trial. Always team minded, when speaking to a local area group of attorneys Gavrilov stated, “I feel blessed to have at my disposable resources capable of an appellate victory of this kinds…” With a background in appeals Og understood, “Experience helped me identify, resource allowed me to execute.”
Few plaintiff attorneys would devote that level of resource to obtain a pre-trial outcome. This program will analyze the steps attorneys should take to ensure “opening the policy,” the key point at which to apply appellate level funding resource, the benefits of team building, and the critical distinctions in pre-trial negotiation, case framing, presentation, and post-trial negotiation. Just like a client might benefit from an established long-term attorney client relationship, so to do attorneys. Gavrilov and his team devote countless hours counseling and mentoring fellow attorneys, new and experienced alike, on analyzing case value, settlement strategies, case framing, as well as innovative and unique case-specific approaches properly vetted through our focus grouping methods, post-trial appeals, applicable analysis of appeals, and collections.
I. Maintaining an informed and up to date client in high profile/high dollar cases. These are not soft tissue cases, or catastrophic injuries with near $50 million life care plans. We specialize in cases often involving considerations ranging from news coverage to industry-wide repercussions. We have done everything from traveling to and explaining cases in Washington D.C. to working with local law makers. But no matter the innovative approach in high dollar cases, ethics must always come first - and frankly - its best business practice. We have all demonstrated case presentation to clients on the eve of a jury trial, only to have clients say, “how can we lose?” The Gavrilov Method involves a high level of respect for (1) the case itself both (2) the client and trust between attorney and client – the client trusting we keep them grounded – and us trusting the client to report uncertainty, hesitation or overall concern.
Whether its Day 1 or the night before trial, we must always ask, “What does the client want?”
- Knowing when to swing for the fence – not all cases are created equal in this regard. You need the perfect blend of risk tolerance and investment;”
- “Brutal Honesty” with our clients. “You don’t deserve to win;”
- If a great chef is defined by his ability to turn insufficient ingredients into gourmet, attorneys must turn weak cases into winners:
- The nexus (surprising or maybe not surprising) between “long shot” cases and risk tolerant and/or risk neutral clients.
- Documentation in these cases is crucial. Courtroom can be casinos.
- Documents and understand client needs are only through continuous, frequent and inviting dialogue.
- Runaway client expectations of the non-injured client versus the severely injured but hard to prove.
- Settlements do not serve justice necessarily, but they serve a purpose.
- Obtain written informed consent, possibly analyzed by a third party, but remain client focused at all times.
- Non-personal injury cases often arise in familiar places;
- Referral sources: local PI (networking events) industries (trade groups) and small to large businesses (8a meetings and local commerce events);
II. Trial of high dollar cases. Just like the great chefs in Las Vegas turn average ingredients – ingredients we can all find – into artwork … their own masterpiece so to speak…. The best victories are those when several attorneys took a pass. Sometimes you say, “these are bad referrals, these are the cases I work on myself.”
- Once you have carried a significant case to the brink of trial (whether socially, financially, legally, or otherwise) self-reflect and self-analyze;
- Building a team and maximizing outcome should always trump greed and selfishness;
- Develop a positive, loving and supportive environment for those around you;
- Take care of the weak;
- Keep your eye on those who consider themselves strong (they often need the most support);
- Pre-trial v. post-win – bird in the hand v. bird in the bush – look at the four Defendants brokering unlawful forms of settlement, and document the who where and when.
- 20% of something beats 100% of nothing, for two reasons – the client wins, and you net positive cash outcome.
- Once the case becomes your “baby,” - you have to duty to ask, “Would the President negotiate with terrorists… when his own children are in harms way?”
- It is important to understand the benefits of diversifying risk assessment analysis on the eve of big cases.
III. Turning enemies into clients – how to go from suing an individual to representing them against their own insurance company.
- The shock of realizing the insurance company or Fortune 100 company you just trounced at trial is more than happy to litigate their “reservation of rights” or “novel defense” for the next ten years – because they can.
- Crafting the new representation agreement – we will review a redacted version used in an actual case and samples will be provided.
- Being honest with your own client and ensuring the understand your evolving role so they can disclaim conflict, if any, in an informed manner.
- Helping clients understand the cost burden on appeal? Who pays for the appeal? Who is truly the bad guy – the insurance company or the Defendant?
- Common pitfalls of these types of arrangements analyzed under current law.
- Current relationship in B v. SC case;
- Gavrilov Method – Be The Attorney You Would Want To Hire. Focus groups quickly identify whether you’re drinking your own kool-aid.
- Don’t be afraid to spread the success.
- Don’t get mired in final discovery disputes when the attorney down the hall can be prepping;
- Seeking support is always ideal.
- Victories are not about money; but multiple victories in a row lead to positive pecuniary outcomes.
IV. Serving the Greater Good - Redefining the Defense Bar perception of “Collegiality.” Just like insurance companies have “brain washed” many with regard to accident forgiveness, insurance companies seem to maintain a grip on kind plaintiff’s attorneys willing to sacrifice limited resource under the banner of “colegiatlity.”
- We are not their friend;
- We must represent our client first;
- We represent the “little guy;”
- We are serving the greater societal good;
- We homesteads for justice;
- We incur greater cost when trial is continued;
- We endure personal financial losses;
- We can convince the defense attorney;
- We must believe in high dollar cases;
- Continuance is a bad word
- Gavrilov Method – Escalation Not Accomodation.
“Never continue, never continue… never stipulate; never, never, never… never in nothing… great or small… large or petty… never continue except to convictions of honor and great sense…Never yield to the defense, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the defense.” Anonymous…
Trial Strategy Consistent With Pre-Trial Posture.
- Pre-trial letters must clearly delineate all possible bad outcomes relevant to popping the policy. Gavrilov Method – Do Not Gild The Lilly. Bloviating is not convincing, but it also distracts judges in subsequent actions discussed here, and the jury may not like you.
- You are the nice well intending professional seeking in pursuit of sound justice.
- Gavrilov Method - DO NOT BLOVIATE! Bloviating comes when the attorney makes it personal. Making yourself the victim or bad guy distracts the jury from the real players in subsequent actions, which also reduces the likelihood of subsequent council getting behind this approach.
- There is no need to provide an overly detailed analysis in your demand – but your must (1) convey reasonable/sound case analysis (2) invoke considerations regarding insurance acquisition (see next bullet) (3) make the obscene outcome seem more reasonable and less obscene.
- Gavrilov Method - Highlighting relatable insurance minded concepts – social responsibility, peace of mind, certainty, societal good, concern for others …. stay away from self-victimizing and/or inconsiderate words… hassle, inconvenience, burden… and focus group the middle… embarrassment, career setback, professional consequences…”
- Pre-trial settlement demands in cases exceeding policy limits are about appealing to the insureds concerns for the defendant, not your client.
- Gavrilov Method – Do not mention your client in pre-trial demands.
- The persons analyzing settlement know the facts or don’t care.
- When the defense goes to trial in potentially high dollar cases, they are exploiting timeless defense strategies.
- Our job: (1) informed client and written consent, (2) a well framed case maintaining the integrity by which you chose trial in the first place, and (3) a post-trial minded papered file.
- Multi-case focus grouping – Cost is a factor, but we’ve found analysis several cases at once is rarely an issue.
- Cse specific versus case neutral concerns – plaintiff pecific concerns and experts v. politics, current events, geography, county specific jury selection and monetary demand.
- Defense bar colleagues.
- Sample Conflict Letter;
- Sample Complaint;
- Redacted conflict waiver;
- Jury Questionnaire for Multi-Case Focus Grouping;
- Case Specific Scenarios.
Questions & Answer