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I would say that as a professional, not just a lawyer but as a professional, I found a professional relationship to be very helpful and very educational to me. I’m not a trial lawyer by practice, although I’d love to be one. The reality is I’m not and so they (Chris and Bruce) provided me with guidance as to what we would do in terms of the trial. I pretty much handed off all matters related to the trial to Wilson Kehoe Winingham and they as a group involved me in every aspect of the trial preparation. I was at the table during discussions with my client always, I was at the table whenever we did mediation, and I was at the table during the development of the video related to the case. I was just impressed with the numbers of experts and the tight organized approach to their litigation practice. While I’m confident in what I do, I also know that I needed to have the advice, counsel, and assistance of someone who handled personal injury or wrongful death cases.
The challenge which Gaylon confronted us with was absolutely one of the most fascinating cases and challenges that we’ve had at the office and everyone here really enjoyed the task. You know it started not just with a family devastated by the loss of of dad and husband, a Breadwinner, but a mystery as to what in the world happened. It had all the earmarks of a distracted driver being the responsible party, but yet nobody even could identify where this young man was going from and to, other than you know the tragedy happened right out in front of their home. The liability side of the case really turned with bringing the technology to the forefront to gather all of the incredible information which we were able to download from an iPhone – it was GPS data, it was text, it was email, we could get to things that had been erased – some accidentally, some perhaps intentionally and it really turned the the entire tide of the case.
This was an organized effort – it was scientifically based, that it was not emotionally based. Sure there’s emotions in it, I mean that goes without saying, but that wasn’t the argument. It was very deliberate and professional approach to laying a case out and I think that helped dramatically the other side come to some conclusions. Yes there was a lot of negotiation between the parties – Bruce of course handled all of that, but he did it in such a way that you can tell he knew exactly what he was doing, and when problems arose they were not problems that arose that he had not seen before.
I know what I don’t know so I have gained a lot of education by watching Bruce and Chris work. I’ve gained a lot of respect for what trial lawyers do. I always thought it was an exciting Arena to work in, but for my client, not for me, but for my client it was so important to have excellent representation. But I found that working in group processes and things like that for me, it was just like being a fish in water, so it was interesting and exciting to see an aspect of the law – being jury focus group work – that I had not had a chance to work in as a private lawyer and that was really an interesting, exciting thing to do.
There’s no question in my mind that entire package – the competency of Wilson Kehoe Winingham manifested by the array of experts, and then the video that could be played, and was played, for the other side. That entire package was powerful, extremely powerful in this presentation, and it was evident from the beginning that was the way it’s going to be and then we got to sit in and watch the other side and look in their eyes and they were aggressive, they were good, but they settled and my client was taken care of in this process.
In addition to working up the damage part of the case, what was rewarding for us is that we were really able to get a mom, a family, plugged in to a grief counselor, to a family therapist who’s had a terrific impact on their lives and at the same time we were able to bring financial people in to help secure the future of a family of two young children with lives that have enormous potential ahead of them and it really had just a feeling of great depth and pride to see the transformation that was made in a family and in lives and Gaylon and I both enjoyed the process and the little contribution that we were able to make over and above providing legal representation.
This case really highlighted both the fun and effectiveness that can be brought to bear on a case when a referring attorney and our firm can work hand-in-glove together. We were the litigation captain of the ship but the higher captain and the real Admiral was Gaylon. He just had the responsibility to bring us in, he had the responsibility to bring some financial people to bear, to get a widow plugged into a private banker to help manage her life going forward and it really worked terrifically, and it was a very client friendly recovery and a process of recovery not just economically but in terms of a family healing and finding a way to go forward.
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