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Attorney At Your Service January 28, 2010

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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I’ve been absent these past few months and I apologize. I just finished a jury trial in Milwaukee County. During the trial preparation my client and I were talking about how long we’ve known each other. I was the attorney that answered the phone when he called in the very first time soon after the collision. He didn’t talk with a paralegal, “intake specialist” or secretary. I worked with him since, literally, day one.

This kind of service is important to think about when you search/interview for your attorney. Hiring an attorney is a very personal matter. Availability (email, cell phone etc) and personality are extremely important to make sure your attorney will be with you for the long haul. By this I mean potentially to trial. Even though the vast majority of my clients’ cases settle before filing a lawsuit and before trial I think it helps them to know that their attorney will be willing and has the experience to fight at trial.

Again, sorry for the long delay in posting. I’ll be writing more in 2010.

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Jury Trials – The Importance of Facts September 29, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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If you don’t read Anne Reed’s blog then you’ve been missing out on a ton of great tips and news related to jury trials.  It’s on my IGoogle page and I anxiously await every post.

Anne’s latest post is about a personal injury trial from California.   In short, you can argue with emotion, logic or both but many times the facts themselves are the most powerful.

Anne will be speaking at this year’s Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference.   Don’t forget to register asap.

Wisconsin Jurors September 13, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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September is Juror Appreciation month.  Now you know!

Thanks jurors!

More Attorneys in Wisconsin? April 27, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I’m following up on my post from last week.   Other bloggers have also commented on the Civil Justice in Wisconsin, A Fact Book publication from UW Law School.

I wanted to direct everyone to a few interesting things in this Fact Book.   Page 31 asks “Is Wisconsin ‘Overlawyered’?”.  The Civil Justice Fact Book states, “Wisconsin, with about 2 percent of the U.S. Population, has about 1.3 percent of the country’s lawyers.”  It goes on to say that Wisconsin’s attorneys are “slightly older” than the national average with “a median of fifty years of ages versus a national median of forty-seven.”

The conclusion is that “Wisconsin seems to have about one-third fewer lawyers per capita than the rest of the country and it is not catching up.”

Interesting stuff.  I though Wisconsin would have more attorneys based upon our diploma privilege.  But, I’m wrong.

Keep an eye out for more comments on the Civil Justice in Wisconsin, A Fact Book.

Civil Justice In Wisconsin April 21, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Drunk Driving, FAQ Personal Injury, Motorcycle Collisions, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I’ll write more about this in coming days but I wanted to link to this “Fact Book” published by The University of Wisconsin Law School.  

Below is the “Foreword” from the Fact Book:

Our civil justice system has always been a matter of intense public interest, from television drama to newspaper editorial pages. To some, trial lawyers are the champions of the underprivileged and downtrodden; to others, they are a threat to the state’s business climate. All too often, these impressions are shaped by the attention paid to a single sensational case, severed from the context of the hundreds or thousands of other disputes that people regularly look to our court system to resolve. In the interest of shifting the focus to that broader context, two of our faculty members volunteered to gather the data and provide the commentary that forms this booklet. Their goal was to provide an objective picture of the civil justice system in Wisconsin, focusing on the basic facts about the state’s civil courts and the litigation in them and comparing it with the situation in neighboring states. The authors need little introduction to those familiar with civil litigation and the court system. Marc Galanter is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law Emeritus, and an internationally recognized expert on trends in civil litigation. Susan Steingass recently retired from her position as the Director of the Law School’s Communication and Advocacy Program. She brings to the project her substantial experience as a former trial judge, state bar president, and litigator with a long career of representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation. Some readers may well be surprised by some of the statistics that follow. Other readers with a particular stake in the civil justice debate may wonder if this project is an effort to advocate for one position over another.  I can assure you that this is neither the project’s intent nor, in my opinion, its effect. Open debate on issues of consequence to our state and nation is one of the hallmarks of our Law School’s educational tradition. This booklet reminds us that collecting the best available information provides a platform for such a debate and leads to the process of finding the best possible solutions to the issues. On behalf of the Law School, I wish to acknowledge and thank the authors and the law students who worked with them for their important contribution to the ongoing discussion of the civil justice system.

Kenneth B. Davis, Jr.

Fred W. & Vi Miller Deanship

University of Wisconsin Law School

You can order the Civil Justice in Wisconsin book at the UW Law School’s website.  It is a good read and I’ll have comments in the coming days.

What’s This Talk About a Jury Trial? March 2, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I think I need to write about a few things that I commonly hear from clients and a few things that I commonly say to clients.

First, about something I say.  Whenever someone asks about the value of a claim or what we will “go after” for compensation I always say something like “the law allows us” or a “jury would be allowed to consider” or “we could ask a jury.”

I don’t use these phrases to scare clients and make them think we are going all the way to a trial.  In fact, the vast majority of my clients never see a courtroom.  I say these things because ultimately, the only way to force an insurance company to compensate an injured victim is by taking the case to a jury.  Once the jury decides and decides on a verdict that is what the insurance company has to pay.  (Obviously there is always the possibility of appeals but that is a post for another day…if jury trials are rare I’m sure you can imagine how rare appeals are).

Settlements made presuit or after a suit is filed are all based on guessing what a jury would award.  That is why you really hire a lawyer.  You hire a lawyer to give you an educated guess as to what a jury would award considering the law, facts and all the miscellaneous things out there.

No one knows what a jury would award.  But, who better to give you advice on the value of a personal injury matter than an attorney who has dedicated his career to knowing what amount of money a  jury would use to compensate an injured person and his/her family.

Next time I’m going to write about:

Thanks, I’m glad I hired you to handle my “lawsuit.”

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Cascade, Lomira, Janesville and Wauwatosa.

What Your Case Might Look Like? February 10, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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For those of you who have not been through a civil jury trial I recommend checking out Miller and Zois, LLC’s links to an entire auto accident jury trial.

According to Miller and Zois, LLC the facts are:

The case deals solely with the question of who was negligent in the car accident. The plaintiff alleged that a tanker-trailer carrying fuel oil cut him off in traffic, causing him to swerve into the adjacent lane, where he was struck from the rear by another vehicle.  He filed suit against the owner of the tanker truck and the driver of the vehicle that struck him from the rear.  The defendants claimed that plaintiff was responsible for the car accident. The case was tried on the issue of liability only, pursuant to a stipulated verdict agreement.

It’s a great thing to read if for no other reason than to get a feel for what happens.  Now it isn’t exactly what will happen in Wisconsin but it’s close enough.  Also, because damages are stipulated, the length of the trial is a little shorter than “normal.”

Anyway, if you are an injured victim and considering whether to hire an attorney read the transcript and bring those questions to your attorney.  Like I’ve said in earlier posts I really appreciate it when client’s come with questions about the civil litigation process.

In my experience the more a client is “in the know” the happier the client (and lawyer).

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wauwatosa, West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and Germantown.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

Jurors, Elephants and Donkeys December 19, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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The Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine has a quick read entitled Politics in Civil Jury Selection.  Very interesting.

This is one of the more important parts of my job.  Who should I keep on a jury?  What questions do I ask in order to figure out who would make a good juror for a particular set of facts. Who will the defense want to keep or strike?

Alan Tuerkheimer, UW Law 2000, is a trial consultant with Zagnoli McEvoy Foley, LLC in Chicago.  The Zagnoli firm conducted a survey of mock jurors in order to determine a relationship between political party identification and damages verdicts.

Some sections that I found interesting:

The Zagnoli study found that while political leaning tends to correlate with what jurors say about damages in civil cases, it does not predict whether or how much they actually award. In other words, political leaning is related to what a juror says but not necessarily to what a juror does; thus, political party allegiance should not be too heavily relied on during jury selection.

More specifically, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to make an at fault person pay damage awards for future medical expenses.

A closer look shows that a high proportion of Democrats (86 percent), but an even higher proportion of Republicans (92 percent), would consider awarding money for future medical expenses.

Finally, when it comes to the premise of awarding punitive damages both parties were high.  Again, like I assumed Democrats were more likely to agree (92 percent agreed) but I was a little surprised that so many Republicans agreed (80 percent agreed).

I recommend the article.  I ask this of my readers.  If anyone finds similar articles about jury selection please let me know.  I like reading about this stuff.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Milwaukee, West Bend, New Berlin and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.

Juror Appreciation Month September 19, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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It’s official. September is Juror Appreciation Month in Wisconsin.  In every case I litigate before a jury I start out thanking them and end thanking them.  Being on a jury is a civic responsibility (I think it would be kind of fun too but maybe that is just me).  Even though it is our duty as citizens I’m always very thankful for jurors who take their job seriously.  I can honestly say that it was a pleasure to “work” with every one of my juries.

If you currently or have been a juror in any County in Wisconsin remember that there are a lot of attorneys out here that are very thankful for your service.  If you haven’t been selected for service yet don’t worry I’m sure your time will come.  Once it does, enjoy it.  It’s our civil justice system in action.

http://www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Beloit, Sheboygan, Wauwatosa and Slinger.