When I first started practicing law, an old defense attorney grinned at me and said, “When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither the law nor the facts are on your side, then you just pound the table”.
The longer I practice, the more that I see defense lawyers and insurance companies attacking my client. I just heard an adjuster attack a client on a dog bite case.
A neighbor’s Rottweiler mix dog snarled and barked whenever someone was near the yard. Witnesses will say that they were scared to go near the yard and would walk far around it. The facts of the case started with the client taking her little dog out to her own backyard and putting it on a leash while she was hanging up clothes. The neighbor dog broke through the fence that separated their two yards.
The neighbor dog went right for the client’s little dog and began attacking it. The client reactively ran to protect her dog and pull it out of the grasp and jaws of the Rottweiler mix. While doing that, the neighbor dog bit her in the face and caused significant tearing and ultimate facial scarring that cannot be repaired.
The insurance adjuster blamed the client for breaking up the dog attack. The adjuster felt that the client contributed to her own injuries. Thankfully, her dog was saved after some veterinary treatment.
Secondly, the adjuster argued in settlement discussions that the client would not present well because she had some facial hair and was overweight. ”She already didn’t take care of herself and the jury won’t like it”.
The client doesn’t have any anger toward her neighbor, despite expressing concerns about the dog growling across the fence, before this attack. She is mainly worried about how she will get her medical bills paid.
Another client called today to check on the status of his case. During the conversation, he told about just coming back after a week in Kentucky. He had gone down there with his church to help in a project of gift giving for kids that would otherwise receive nothing at Christmas. His thoughts were more on them than his own issues from his crash.
In both cases, I still hold out hope that the cases will settle without the necessity of trial. I also know that both clients would present well to a jury, just because they both have a good heart . They make me proud to represent them. In both cases, all the other side can do is “pound on the table”.
With a bad dog story, I thought that pic o’ day should be of some fun Holiday Dogs!
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