Monday, February 27, 2017

Perfect Trial Record Remains Perfect

I had a nice, short District Court trial this morning.

It was a good lesson in both the need of having attorneys draft the contract for the sale of your business, and especially the utility of having an attorney represent you in court.

A doctor decided to sell one of his practice locations to another doctor. Of course they don't use an attorney and make a rather goofy and ambiguous contract where my client sells the practice charts for $10,000 and the furniture and accessories for $2,550. Of course the other doctor only pays the $10,000 and does n ever follow through and buy the furniture. My client drafts a nice letter to the patients at the practice telling them doctor 2 is taking over and he'll no longer be in that area.

Eventually my client gets annoyed at never being paid for the furniture and goes in to take it back, which he does, and the office manager gives him 12 charts of patients that have requested to switch to him.

Doctor 2 doesn't like that and sues, first in small claims court which is then removed to District Court The judge tells them both they should get attorneys and Doctor 1 hires me. Doctor 2 fails to hire an attorney, and then the fun begins.

At the first hearing he gets an adjournment as he said he's decided to get a lawyer, so we adjourn to today. He of course yet again appears without a lawyer. The judge indicates this is a really bad idea for him but its time to go to trial.

Since he's the plaintiff he goes first. He starts making mistakes and never stops - hearsay, inadmissible evidence, statements instead of questions, the lot. He has two witnesses in addition to himself, one of whom had no personal knowledge of the transaction. He fails to admit stuff into evidence and later tries to admit completely inadmissible items into evidence. I get to cross examine his witnesses and him and he admits that patients can go where they choose and if they contact my client they can go to him. He also admits never paying for the furniture and accessories. He hilariously calls my client to the stand and goofs up the entire exam.

He finally rests and I then move for an involuntary dismissal as he's failed to make even a prima facie case of a breach of contract nor of a conversion claim, and as to his emotional distress claim - don't even get me started....

An excellent trial win and I didn't even need to put on any witnesses or evidence, done in 3 hours from appearance at court to the verdict.

1 comment:

drjim said...

Yep, there are times when you absolutely, positively NEED a lawyer!