After the Verdict

AuthorEllsworth T. Rundlett III
Chapter 7
After the Verdict
§700 In General
§710 Settlement After Verdict for Plaintiff
§720 Settlement After Verdict for Defendant
§730 To Appeal or Not to Appeal
§740 Checklist of Compensation, Costs, and Disbursement of Settlement Proceeds
§750 Conclusion
§700 In General
§710 Settlement After Verdict for Plaintiff
§711 When to Accept Less Than the Verdict
§712 Checklist: Analyzing Likelihood of Appeal of Verdict by Defense
§720 Settlement After Verdict for Defendant
§730 To Appeal or Not to Appeal
§740 Checklist of Compensation, Costs, and Disbursement of Settlement Proceeds
§740.1 Paying Medical Bills and Subrogation Liens for Health Insurance, Medical
Payments Coverage, Workers’ Compensation, and Medicare
§740.1.1 Agencies and Entities Dealing With Subrogation and Reimbursement
of Medical Bills
§740.1.2 Sample Letter Requesting Waiver or Reduction of Lien by Insurer,
Medicare or Other Agency With Subrogation Rights
§740.1.3 Responding to the Question of Whether or Not Your Firm Has
Reduced Its Attorney Fees
§740.1.4 Fee Problems With Clients
§741 Sample: Letter to Client Outlining Costs, Fees and Disbursements
§750 Conclusion
§700 In General
When the trial is over you will either have won a verdict for the plaintiff or lost the case. Either way you
will be faced with postverdict questions, issues, and things to do. This brief, though essential, chapter will
deal with the major considerations that must be undertaken after the trial is over and the jury has returned
its verdict.
§710 Settlement After Verdict for Plaintiff
If you have won a verdict for the plaintiff, in addition to the verdict amount your client will be entitled to
compensation in the form of interest and costs. In small cases this additional amount can be a fairly significant
factor since the costs of bringing a small case to court are often substantial.
Some insurance carriers employ several techniques to reduce their final obligation. Some of these include
the following:
1. Sending a check for the verdict amount immediately after trial.
In some cases, plaintiffs’ counsel will be surprised to see an insurance draft for the jury verdict amount,
without interest or costs, a day or two after the trial has ended. The carriers presume or hope that some
plaintiffs will be happy to get the check, thereby waiving interest and court costs. Beware of such a procedure.
2. Negotiations by defense counsel for a lesser amount than the verdict.
Plaintiffs’ counsel can expect a telephone c all from defense counsel who will suggest the possibility of an
appeal, motion for new trial, request for remittitur, or other aggressive tactics after the verdict. The purpose of
such threats is to request a concession from the plaintiff to accept less than the verdict amount. If you are faced
with this decision, consider the factors enumerated further in this chapter.
3. The filing of voluminous post-trial motions.
The difference between this and the tactics outlined above is that such motions are filed automatically
before defense counsel tries to negotiate a lower compensation figure. In this instance, plaintiffs’ counsel
is put against the wall to either respond to the flurry of motions or agree to a lesser amount for plaintiffs
4. Good guy/bad guy approach.
With this tactic plaintiffs’ counsel is contacted by the insurance adjuster who suggests that defense counsel
has recommended an appeal. The adjuster indicates that he would rather “pay the plaintiff” than continue
paying defense costs. A compromise will be suggested as though the adjuster has bypassed defense counsel in
an attempt to settle the case.
§711 When to Accept Less Than the Verdict
If any of the above approaches takes place, the plaintiff will be required to make a decision—accept
a compromise or call the bluff of the defense. It is important to note the tremendous difference between
small cases and large cases in this situation. In very large cases, you can almost always count on post-trial
motions, an appeal, and negotiations for lesser compensation to the plaintiff. However, in small cases,
especially those in the $15,000 range and under, it is unproductive and unprofitable for the insurance
carrier to spend several thousand dollars on appeal with the expectation of spending even more money

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT