Sponsored by the Personal Injury Law Section. Lunch is provided.
PI Law members, when registering for the Series, please use promo code PISER; when registering for Sessions, please use promo code PISES, to receive your Section discount.
April 4, 2014 Session I -- Intake
and Retention - 1.5 Hours
One of the most important aspects of
doing personal injury work is deciding whether to take a case, especially if
you are taking it on a contingency fee basis. Some of the more important issues
to consider are basic: (1) clearing any conflicts of interest; (2) identifying
who you represent or can represent, especially if there is more than one
plaintiff in an accident that seeks your representation; (3) identifying potential defendants; (4)
knowing the applicable statutes of limitation; and (5) assessing your potential
client(s) at the initial meeting and making sure you obtain as much
underlying information as possible to
help you assess the merits and value of the case. Once you get the information
and you decide to take the case, you are ethically required to document your
retention with a written fee agreement. If you decide not to take the case, you
should send a declination letter.
11, 2014 Session II -- Investigation
- 1.5 Hours
Because "the devil is often in the
details," it is important to conduct a thorough investigation of your
case. This means you should obtain and
review all the key documents, which often include insurance policies
(liability, UIM/UM, MedPay, health), police, fire, and EMT records, medical and
billing records, and employment records (if lost earnings are at issue). The
assistance of a private investigator can often be of use to discover, among
other things, a defendant's assets and liabilities, as well as civil and
criminal backgrounds. The more you know and the sooner you know it, the better
position you will be in to settle or effectively try your case. Depending on
the case, experts and other consultants may be needed to investigate the claim.
April 18, 2014 Session III – Complaint, Discovery, Settlement and Liens - 1.5 Hours
It is important to get an early handle on
the appropriate legal claims to include in your Complaint. Once the lawsuit is
filed, you need to get a handle on what facts you have and still need to prove
those claims. This can be critical to understanding the strength of your case
and its settlement value. This also helps you formulate your discovery plan.
Often times, the strength and correlating value of a case cannot be determined
until after motions for summary judgment are decided. Thus, you need to make
sure you have sufficient facts to overcome a motion for summary judgment. Other
times, the amount of available insurance and the defendant's personal finances
determine the settlement value of a case. But no matter the settlement, you
must always be aware of, take into consideration, and ethically dispose of any
applicable liens that attach to a personal injury settlement.
April 25, 2014 Session IV -- Trial -
Unfortunately trial consists of way more
than the fun time in court presenting the case to a jury. The pre-trial work is
often the key to success. We will discuss what is involved, including Motions
in Limine, the Joint Pretrial Statement and Conference,
Marking Exhibits, Proposed Jury Instructions, Verdict Forms, Voir Dire
Questions and Jury selection.