Hear yea! Hear yea! First read the jury seat, opening arguments, and the witness stand. Now, please rise for the honorable conclusion to this unexpected series. You may now be seated.
Lawyers Laurel and Hardy had bumbled their way through the trial and seriously needed the judge to find both in contempt for wasting everyone’s time on such a trivial case that should have never come through the court system. When the end of this trial came, it left both clients with an important lesson: rational thinking with rational communication in seeking mutual compromises leads to having fatter wallets for yourselves. Irrational thinking with irrational litigation based solely on greed leads to the lawyers having the fatter wallets.
Closing arguments commenced.
Hardy (Cast Lady’s lawyer) reemphasized his client’s mental, emotional, and physical anguish. He said the jury needed to take in account all evidence and rule in her favor since it was as obvious as a baboon’s naked backside that enough of the debris trespassed on Garage Man’s property for him to be held accountable for Cast Lady’s injuries. Thank you.
Laurel (Garage Man’s lawyer) reemphasized Cast Lady’s questionable past and that this was just another way to fleece an inordinate amount of money from someone else’s bank account. He asked the jurors to consider the facts carefully and whether the other lawyer had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the piffling section of debris was on Garage Man’s property before Cast Lady’s accident or caused by her fall and those people who lifted the woman from the ground. Thank you.
By the time closing arguments ended, it was approaching lunchtime. On this rare occasion, they sequestered us in the deliberation room. So instead of partaking in a meal somewhere in the city (I had gone Chick-Fil-A and Chinese takeout crazy during this), the court clerks ordered simple box meals for us. It consisted of a regular sandwich of choice (ham or turkey), a bag of plain potato chips, a fruit cup, and a soda. All twelve people sat in the cramped room looking at the evidence. It took us less than ten minutes to decide.
But first, let me ask a serious question of my readers. What would YOU have decided?
You already know the facts. Yet perhaps I have given a biased opinion in my recounting. I will now give an unbiased account of all the hard evidence, extenuating circumstances, and city laws.
These were the facts:
A safety hazard was on a public sidewalk.
The house owner created the hazard.
The hazard was found on both his and an adjoining property.
A person became injured.
These were the laws involving this case:
City law allowed the injured to sue for medical and lost wages.
City law allowed the injured to sue whoever owned the property where the debris was found - who created the debris was not a consideration.
These were the extenuating circumstances:
The injured had waited more than four hours before seeking medical aid.
The injured had been fined and fired from a previous job for theft in the same amount as was being asked for in this case.
Based on the above information, form your own ruling. Do you have it in your minds? Okay, let me throw something else at you now.
Nobody knew if the debris was on the other property before the injured fell or shifted there afterward when the injured lifted off the debris.
This was the stickler. It was pure conjecture tossed out to send that itty-bitty worm of doubt into the jurors’ minds. The lawyer representing the garage owner had to say it although the other lawyer had protested his question and the argument was sustained by the judge. It was the only thing that could possibly save his client from losing the case.
Yet should it be considered part of the trial? A juror’s task is to decide based on the hard evidence, the laws, and any extenuating circumstances proven to be true. The lawyer’s task was to present their cases and lead our minds to rule in their favor.
Did the lawyers do their jobs right? Did they prove their sides with honesty?
Lawyer Hardy openly misrepresented parts of the testimony involving the photographs - something he even conceded to without any duress from the judge.
Lawyer Laurel deliberately threw out a conjecture question while having no evidence to support it.
So, take out your notes and go back through them. Then drop your answer in the comments.
I’ll give the jurors’ verdict on Monday.