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, chap-
ter 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 tech-
niques 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 sur-
prised 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 less‑
er amount than the verdict.
Plaintiffs’ counsel can expect a telephone call
from defense counsel who will suggest the possibil-
ity 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 conces-
sion 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 auto-
matically 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 compensation.
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
If any of the above approaches takes place,
the plaintiff will be required to make a deci-
sion—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 plain-
tiff. 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 expec-
tation of spending even more money for a new
trial. The conclusion, therefore, is that in most
small cases the plaintiff can call the bluff of the
carrier without substantial fear that an appeal will
actually take place. Before you make such a final
decision consider the following checklist.
§712 Checklist:
Likelihood of
Appeal of Verdict
by Defense
1. Are there any real appealable issues?
If there have been many objections, evidentiary
rulings, or procedural rulings in the case, consider
whether any of these have any real errors for the

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