“Was this newly discovered evidence?”
One of my most satisfying cases recently was when I had an opportunity to represent “Larry” in a very difficult case. He called me after he said the workers' compensation Judge ruled against him and his lawyer. I told him I would appeal his case but he had to fire his lawyer first. He did so.
This client's first lawyer did not listen to “Larry”. Admittedly the client was hard to deal with in some ways. But after the insurance company sent this client to an insurance doctor for a second opinion about back surgery, the client attempted to call his original lawyer to tell him: “I think this doctor will help me.” He could not reach his lawyer. The call went to voice mail. Later the client called again. The attendant told him he called the office far too much and hung up on him. Then the client got very frustrated and gave up.
On the morning of the court case, the insurance lawyer told the Judge they did not have the medical report from the insurance company doctor. My client's lawyer never attempted to postpone the hearing and the Judge ruled against my client based on the information presented that day.
When I took the time to talk to my client, once I started representing him, I heard what he said about this insurance company doctor making a positive comment about his medical condition. Listening was the key.
In our appeal, I was able to subpoena the missing doctor's report. It was extremely helpful to my client's case. We were able to turn the case around, winning the appeal. This meant that we could have another hearing with the new evidence presented to the Judge.
The Judge ordered back pay to “Larry”. He was awarded his new doctor so he could have his surgery and ultimately settled his case for $200,000. All because I listened to the client's story.
There might have been a bit of “good lawyering” in the mix. One of the keys to being a good lawyer is listening to your clients (and to all witnesses).
Tell me your story. I will listen. Always.
Practice area(s): Workers Compensation