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September 2006

Losing at Trial

Thank you for all your insights concerning my recent termite trial. I have been Rock’n and Roll’n since those last posts. Unfortunately, we lost at trial.

Losing at trial is definitely one of the harshest things for both the client and the attorney. We thought we put in a great case. We were confident as the jury deliberated. But that instantaneous beauty when the verdict is read is that you have no idea which way it is going to go. I’ll be talking to the jurors over the next week or two to see what their thoughts were.

On the administrative side, we did put a "max budget" on the trial portion of the case for the client to create some level of certainty. Because of the result was not what we had hoped for, we will be discounting the bill accordingly. The lesson here isn’t that losing sucks. It does. There is no doubt. But the client was extremely satisfied despite the result. Every lawyer should take a hit on their bill if they don’t win the case. Contingency lawyers know this to be true. While judges and juries are extremely unpredictable, good lawyers need to stand behind their results.