As our story opens, Bill, a partner with a small, but prominent practice is
speaking with Mary, a friend who owns a respected market research firm.
Bill: … So here’s a quick summary of the facts. A woman in a minivan stopped at
a STOP sign on a small cross street at a big intersection. Then she started
across several lanes of traffic to in order to make a left turn onto the main road-- only she never made it.
She went without looking. She hit
my client broadside on his motorcycle while he was on his way to work. My
client had the right of way. He was in a “through lane” on the main road --
there were no traffic
lights going in his direction. There was nothing blocking the woman’s view
up the main road as she was at the STOP sign. One witness said that my client may have been going slightly over
the speed limit, but my client wasn’t late for work and the evidence isn’t
going to be clear on that.
What do you think about the case? They had to medi-vac the guy – even gave him
his Last Rites. We’re suing for his medical bills, lost wages, pain and
suffering, and futures.
Mary: Sounds like the guy’s lucky to be alive. So, the woman said she never saw
him? Was your client wearing his helmet? Does he also have a car, or just the
Bill (looking oddly and shaking his head): What do those things have to do with
anything? Neither the helmet nor the bike was a proximate cause of the
accident. She never looked –- she just went.
Mary: I don’t know what “proximate cause” means, but I do know that, if he had
on his helmet, it means to me that this guy follows the law. If he owned a car
and only rode his motorcycle to work on clear, dry days, then he’s not a “biker
guy” –- he’s a more reasonable person. I’d give him more of the benefit of the
doubt on the speeding.
Bill (looking stunned): Is that really what you’d think about?
Will Bill overcome his disbelief? Will Mary be able to convince him that Jurors
don’t think like attorneys?
Yes! Because Mary started JuryMatters – a virtual jury service. A randomly-selected
panel of JuryMatters online jurors did a confidential evaluation of Bill’s client's case. They not only
determined liability and a monetary award, but pinpointed what was important to
them in reaching their verdict. They identified facts that were confusing and
highlighted what else they would have liked to have known about the case in reaching their verdicts. Twenty percent of
the jurors said that Bill’s client was negligent simply because he was on a
Armed with this valuable feedback, Bill was able to adjust his client’s
expectations and negotiate a sizeable settlement. Case closed!