My client owned a speedboat.
The speedboat had a massive engine that could propel this boat at amazing speeds. There was only one problem. The engine stopped working within a short time. My client tried to get the boat engine manufacturer to pay for the repair under warranty. The boat engine manufacturer said “No.”
My client presented them with proof that the problem should be covered under the warranty. The boat engine manufacturer still said “No.”
My client came to me for help. It would've cost him an absolute fortune to fix this boat engine out of his own pocket.
We wound up bringing a lawsuit against the boat engine manufacturer for breach of contract and breach of warranty.
As part of the lawsuit process, it was necessary to retain one of the best marine experts in the country. He came to examine the boat and engine. He came to specific conclusions and drafted a 25 page report outlining all of his observations, analyses and conclusions. He concluded that the problem with the engine was a manufacturing design defect that required the manufacturer to repair it under its warranty.
We sent this detailed Marine expert report to the defense. They still said “No.”
Litigation proceeded forward.
During the course of the lawsuit I had an opportunity to question the defense's own marine expert. This was someone the boat engine manufacturer hired to evaluate our boat and engine.
It was during this deposition that I experienced one of the greatest victories I've ever achieved in my legal career.
In case you don't know, a deposition is considered pretrial testimony. Basically it is a question and answer session, given under oath, in an attorney's office. The information obtained during this question and answer session can be used at trial and it is the same as if a witness is giving testimony at trial.
I asked the defense expert the following series of questions:
“Mr. defense expert, I am handing you a copy of our expert's report and conclusions. Have you seen this?”
“Yes I have.”
“Do you know our expert?”
“Yes I do.”
“Do you recognize that he is a known authority in the field of marine engineering?”
“Yes I do.”
“Are you aware of our expert's credentials and his training?”
“Yes I am.”
“Do you have any dispute about our expert's credentials and that he is a recognized authority in this field?”
“No I do not.”
The purpose of this series of questions was to establish the fact that our expert was a known, recognized authority in this field. These questions were designed to bolster our expert's credibility, which is exactly what I accomplished with those few questions.
The next question generated the most amazing response I've ever heard.
“Mr. defense expert, is there anything in our expert's report that you disagree with?”
“No there isn't.”
I said “Excuse me? Did you just say that there is nothing in our expert's report that you disagree with?”
“That's correct. That's what I said.”
I looked at my client. I then looked at the defense attorney and said to him “Can I see you outside for a moment?”
Outside, I asked the defense attorney bluntly “If your expert agrees with every single thing that our expert has said, why are we here and why haven't you settled this case already?”
He recognized that he was in a unusual predicament and asked if I could please ask the expert a few more questions then we could wrap it up.
I returned back inside the conference room and asked the defense expert the next question:
“Mr. defense expert, since you told me that you agree with everything our expert has said, why are you here?”
“Because the defense attorney asked me to evaluate the boat and the engine and then told me to appear for this deposition so you can ask me questions about my evaluation. Beyond that I have absolutely no idea why I am here since my analysis confirms everything your expert has said.”
I thanked the witness for his honesty and ended this amazing pretrial testimony.
The following day we quickly settled the case.