I’ve spent the last 30 years weighed down by the rules of evidence. They’ve stifled the way I think about presenting our client’s cases.
But over the last few weeks I’ve started to realize that the rules are for the courtroom. They don’t have to constrict or constrain what we do before suit is filed.
This realization has really changed the way I’m using images. We have a client (actually, quite a few clients) who have been hit by stoned drivers. Courts are reluctant to let in anything that’s inflammatory. In some cases judges won’t even let the attorneys tell jurors that the defendant was drunk or high.
But when we’re sending a demand or mediation letter the gloves are off. Here’s a letter I used in a recent demand letter.
Would the judge allow me to show a jury a photo of the defendant with a bong superimposed? No way.
But before the suit is filed I have a chance to send an unfiltered message to the insurance adjuster: her insured was stoned and changed my client’s life.
And in a recent sexual abuse case I decided to compare the defendant to the pedophile Ronnie in Little Children.
These are the kind of messages that get through and ensure that injured people get the money they deserve.