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Judge Testifies During My Very First Car Accident Trial

Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

This was my very first trial.

It was a car accident case.
In Brooklyn.
At 111 Livingston St., downtown.

I was defending a driver who was being sued in this particular accident.
I was excited.
I was nervous.

We were going to be trying liability first to determine who, if anyone, was responsible for causing this accident.

If the injured victim was able to show that they were more likely right than wrong that what they were claiming was true and that my client was responsible for causing the accident, then we would move to the second phase of the trial which was to determine how much compensation the injured victim should receive. 

That's also known as the damages portion of a trial.

After picking a jury and then making opening arguments and then  taking testimony from the injured victims' witnesses, it was now my turn to present our evidence.

I called my client to the witness stand.
He was a nice gentleman.
From Brooklyn.
He had lived in Brooklyn all of his life.

While questioning my client during direct examination, where I asked him open-ended questions such as who, what, why, where, when and how, something unbelievable happened.

I never expected this to occur. They never taught us this in law school. There was nothing about this in any of the textbooks I had read on trial practice.

It turns out, my opponent, an attorney with many years of experience had also never seen or heard of this happening.

Remember, I am a novice, wet behind the ears, young trial attorney trying my very first case.

Watch the video to learn exactly what happened while questioning my client. Thankfully, in more than 24 years, this episode has never repeated itself.