Monday, August 16, 2010

Namby CLE: Litigation strategy

Hypothetical: You’ve just been informed that the opposing party has been arrested for multiple felonies and there are multiple eyewitnesses, photographs and videos of this individual’s misdeeds. Throughout the life of this lawsuit, your opposing counsel has had a burr up his ass about how your client is such a bad person. According to your opponent, your client will be viewed as the Devil’s Third Cousin Twice Removed (a.k.a. the bastard test-tube love child of Flava Flav, Snooki and Nancy Pelosi) by the jury members of this particular jurisdiction by the time he finishes his opening statement. Keep in mind that this particular lawyer took great joy in informing you at 5am on a Friday when your client was arrested for a series of misdemeanors.

How do you use this information to the best of your advantage?

A) Print out the front page newspaper article talking about your opposing party en mass. Have a courier deliver to counsel’s office a 500 sheet batch of these printouts. Every 15 minutes.

B) If you are a defendant, attach to a wordless e-mail two things: (1) scan of the article. and (2) a dismissal order. If you are a Plaintiff, attach to a wordless e-mail one thing: a signed settlement release with an extra zero in the settlement figure.

C) Nothing. It’s called plausible deniability. [Just make sure your law clerk doesn’t get caught breaking into opposing counsel’s office and replacing all of their framed art with framed poster-sized versions of the frontpage newspaper story while resetting all of the computer desktops in the firm to the picture of their client being lead out of a home in handcuffs]

D) “Mistakenly” insert it into every random court filing, correspondence and other material that will make it to opposing counsel. On every case that you have with him. For the rest of his professional life.