Damages by David Ball, Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote that we would buy David Ball’s 3rd edition of “Damages.” Little did I know we had already ordered the book. I will write about things in this book that grab me, in no particular order at this point.

Ball writes: “Among the hollowest of advocacy moments can be when counsel says, in the opening, that his client has lost one of her great pleasures – say, gardening.scales

This got my attention quick. I don’t think I have done this. I know I have. Right down to the example: gardening.

Ball’s point is that just throwing out boilerplate suffering like loss of “gardening” without human context, can appear hypocritical and will “turn even the friendliest of jurors into enemies.” Find out exactly what they are talking about when they say they “miss gardening” and you have to make sure you understand – really understand – what the client was doing and why losing it is a real absence in their lives.

This strikes a chord with me for another reason, too. I don’t think you should try a case that you don’t believe in with all of your heart. I didn’t always feel that way. But you throw out trite losses like “gardening” that lack any coloration, it is, to use the poker parlance, a tell to the jury you are not all the way in the case. You can fix that one by following David Ball’s advice here, but there will be other “tells” along how you really don’t believe in your case. To be the best personal injury lawyer (talk about trite, sorry) you can be, you have to truly believe in the client and the depth of the client’s loss because of their injuries from the defendant’s negligence.

If you are reading along at home, this is on page 186, Section 6-10 of Ball’s book.

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