Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Itemize Your Trial Liens!

I can't remember what sparked this thought but I was pondering the presentation of lien amounts (Welfare/Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) during trial.  Looking back I recognize now that I made a mistake in a couple of trials.  I had some unpaid medical bills my client was claiming in damages as well as a lien total.  These liens consist of numerous bills.  I got the defense attorney in each case to stipulate to the bills authenticity for purposes of "putting them on the board."  I elicited the testimony necessary to have the bills related to my client's injuries.  But I screwed up by submitting the liens in lump-sum form.  Instead of itemizing each payment and treatment that made up the lien, I just threw a number blog up on the board titled "medical lien".

Why was this dumb?  Because in both instances I did this, the jury, though finding in my client's favor, did not include the lien as part of the damages.  When I spoke with jurors after the trials I asked them what had happened.  In both instances I was told "we didn't know what that was so it didn't feel right making the defendant pay for it."  Doh!

I have learned from this error to fight, pre-trial, to have the liens specifically itemized.  That way the jury can see what treatment was rendered, that it was related to the injury and how much it cost.  Jurors...people, in their hearts are, for the most part fair, they want to do the right thing.  Help them render a just verdict by itemizing your case liens.

-- Share this post :
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on StumbleUpon
Share on Delicious
Share on Reddit
Share on Digg
Share on simpy
Share on Technorati
furl Share on furl
Feeds RSS Subscribe to Feeds RSS

No comments:

Post a Comment