You sued your doctor.
For medical malpractice.
He was careless.
His carelessness caused you harm.
Your doctor said he did nothing wrong.
Your doctor said you contributed to your own injury.
He also said your injury wasn't as bad as you claimed.
You were upset.
You couldn't believe he could say those things.
You had no choice but to proceed forward with your lawsuit.
The defense refused to negotiate.
They refused to offer a dime.
They said they'd see us at trial.
You resigned yourself to go to trial.
You figured you'd have to spend years going through litigation to get a verdict.
You had multiple experts.
All were board certified experts.
Medical specialists in different fields of medicine.
The defense also had their own experts.
You believe you had a better case.
Your attorney told you that you had a better case.
He couldn't guarantee your result, but he felt good you had a better case than the defense.
Your case went to trial.
It was hard fought.
You said the sky was blue.
The defense argued the sky was orange.
You said it was 10:00 a.m.
The defense said it was 3:00 p.m.
The defense wouldn't agree on anything.
Every piece of evidence was fought over.
It was nasty.
You felt you were on moral high ground.
You hoped the jury understood.
You hoped the judge understood.
During trial, you felt the judge favored the doctor.
You felt the judge made more rulings in favor of the defense compared to your side.
It felt unfair at times.
Your attorney said that was normal.
Ups and downs throughout the trial testimony.
It took an entire week to present all your evidence and testimony.
The defense also took an entire week to present their evidence.
Two full weeks of evidence and testimony.
It was now time for closing arguments.
The defense lawyer went first.
His argument lasted an hour.
Then, your lawyer made his closing argument.
Your attorney took an hour and a half.
But there was something that happened during your attorney's closing argument that stuck in your mind.
The judge actually yelled at your attorney for doing it.
The defense lawyer jumped out of his skin when he heard it.
The jury didn't seem thrilled he made that comment.
Your attorney inflamed the jury.
Your attorney was trying to get the jury riled up.
He was cursing.
He accused the defense and the defense lawyer of being liars.
He accused the defense's medical experts of being whores.
He argued that they would say anything for a price.
He also called them paid gunslingers.
Willing to say anything for the defense.
After listening to your attorney make closing arguments, you felt confident the jury would reach a verdict in your favor.
The judge then gave the jury legal instructions for about an hour.
The jury then began to deliberate.
Since they had only two hours before the end of court, the judge let them deliberate for two hours and then sent them home for the night.
They continued deliberating the next morning.
By lunchtime they had a verdict.
To learn about the first question a jury has to answer in a medical malpractice case, watch the quick video below, then keep reading underneath the video...
The first question the jury had to answer is whether your doctor was negligent.
The jury said “yes.”
You were excited hearing this.
Watch this video about the second question the jury has to answer, then keep reading below...
The second question the jury had to answer was whether your doctor's carelessness was a cause of your injury.
You were hoping that the jury would say “yes.”
The jury did in fact say “yes.”
You were getting more and more excited.
You quickly realized that the first two questions were decided in your favor.
You knew, in your heart of hearts that's what would happen.
The jury agreed with you.
The jury agreed that you were more likely right than wrong.
To learn about the third question a jury must answer, watch this video, then keep reading below...
Since the jury determined that your doctor was legally responsible for your injuries, they now had to answer how much money you were to receive as compensation for all of your damages.
The jury was asked to evaluate how much money you were going to get for your pain and suffering, from the time of the malpractice until the time of trial.
Legally, that's known as past pain and suffering.
This is also known as a form of “non-economic” damages.
The jury decided that you were entitled to $10 million for your past pain and suffering.
You can't believe your ears!
The jury just decided you were entitled to receive $10 million for all the suffering you had the past few years.
You are beyond excited.
You want to scream and shout!
You want to throw your fist up in the air and scream out "YES!!"
You hold yourself back since the jury isn't finished.
The jury then determines you are entitled to receive $500,000 for all your medical expenses.
The jury also decides that you are entitled to receive $15 million for all of your pain and the suffering into the foreseeable future.
The jury decides that you will live for another 35 years, based upon statistical life expectancy tables.
That $15 million represents all the suffering you will endure for the rest of your lifetime.
The jury also decides that your spouse is entitled to receive a small amount of money to compensate him for all the struggles that he has put up with while helping you with your injuries.
The jury gives him $100,000 for his troubles.
Legally, that is known as a claim for loss of consortium.
You quickly add all these amounts up in your head.
You realize that the total amount of money the jury has given to you is huge.
That's a lot of money.
Then you begin to immediately justify it in your head.
You believe you are fully entitled to all of that.
Because the jury said so.
Because the jury decided that you were more likely right than wrong that what you were claiming is true.
Your evidence and testimony established that your doctor was careless.
Your experts were able to convince the jury that your doctors' wrongdoing caused and contributed to your injuries.
You're treating doctors were able to demonstrate to the jury that your injuries were permanent and disabling.
You feel vindicated.
You feel you were right all along.
Just think, the defense had an opportunity to settle this case early on for a fraction of the amount the jury gave you.
They were pigheaded to think they could win this trial.
They were pigheaded to believe a jury would rule in their favor.
You knew all along that you would win this case.
You trusted your attorney and he came through for you.
You are beaming.
You want to shout out to the entire world how great you feel right now.
Before you have a chance to truly process what just occurred, you begin to notice some heated argument between the attorneys and the judge.
In your haste to add up the total amount of the verdict, you did not hear the judge thank the jury for their time spent evaluating your case.
The judge thanks them for their jury service and promptly sends them out of the court to go home to their families.
As soon as the jury is out the door, you want to go up and hug your attorney.
Before you have a chance to do that and before everyone leaves the courtroom, the defense attorney jumps up out of his chair and begins making all sorts of legal arguments to the judge.
There's a lot of handwaving going on.
There's a lot of angry assertions by the defense attorney.
You're not really sure what he's arguing about.
Your attorney joins the argument and appears to be defending your verdict.
You realize that the defense attorney is asking the judge to throw out your verdict.
You begin to get angry.
At the defense attorney.
“How dare he do this!” you think.
How could he try and take away your verdict?
A jury of six people in the community decided that you are entitled to receive that money as compensation for all of your injuries.
How could he possibly do this?
It doesn't look like this argument will end quickly.
The defense lawyer is going on and on.
He says something about the verdict being against the weight of the evidence.
Your attorney says just the opposite.
Your attorney says that all of the evidence confirms that you are more likely right than wrong and fully entitled to this verdict.
The defense lawyer argues that the amount of the verdict is outrageous and not in any way related to your actual injuries.
This legal argument continues for the next 30 minutes.
Finally, the judge puts his hand up and tells the attorneys to stop talking.
“I've heard enough,” the judge says.
"I've made my decision," he says with finality.
“It is my determination after hearing the testimony and evidence in this case that this jury's verdict cannot stand. It is my opinion that the verdict is clearly against the weight of the evidence on the issue of liability, causation and most certainly on the issue of damages. Accordingly, I hereby order that the jury's verdict be stricken and that this case be dismissed with prejudice. Court adjourned!”
What just happened?
You got the sense that whatever the judge just said wasn't good for you and your verdict.
You would be right.
The judge just threw out your verdict.
The judge just overturned the jury's entire function.
The judge decided to do away with collective opinions of six members of your community.
The judge just wasted two weeks of the jury's time.
He disregarded their conclusions.
He threw them out.
Each and every one of them.
He agreed with the defense lawyer's argument.
He agreed that there was no possible way the jury could have reached the conclusion that your doctor was careless.
He agreed with the defense attorney's conclusion that there is no possible way his carelessness was a cause of your injury.
He also agreed with the defense attorney that the amount of money the jury decided you were to receive was way out of line for the injuries you actually suffered.
You want to throw up.
You're on an emotional roller coaster.
You feel like you want to do physical harm to the defense lawyer.
Every type of emotion comes flooding out.
You want to cry.
You want to scream.
You want to hit something.
You don't know what to do.
You don't know what to say.
The elation that you felt only moments earlier has now left your body.
You feel deflated.
You feel dejected.
You feel as if something has just been stolen from you.
You feel humiliated.
This is not good.
This is not right.
You need to speak your attorney immediately to fix this.
Your attorney looks upset.
He has invested hundreds and hundreds of hours of his time prosecuting your case.
He has invested thousands upon thousands of dollars of his money to prosecute your case.
He has spent the past two weeks working like a dog.
He has done an admirable job.
Not that you have anything to compare it to, but you realize he deserves credit for helping you obtain a large verdict.
What the hell you going to do now?
Can you get the judge to reverse his ruling?
Can you appeal the judge's order?
Can you get the jury to come back and explain their verdict?
The judge just turned your world upside down.
You're back to square one.
You hastily pull your attorney aside.
You want him to explain.
He tells you that your only option is to appeal.
If your judge made improper legal rulings can you do anything about it?
Watch the video to learn more. Then keep reading below...
You can appeal your case to the appellate division.
That's the next highest court above the trial level court in New York.
But it's not a new trial.
Instead, a group of judges reviews the evidence and testimony.
They look to see if there were legal errors made during trial.
If they were, they look to see if those errors made a difference in the outcome.
If they didn't, they'll call those legal errors 'harmless error'.
If they felt those legal errors made a difference, then they can send your case back to the trial judge to retry your case.
They could also send your case to a new judge.
You should know that many attorneys will charge you a separate fee for the appeal.
There's a lot of time and expense involved in appealing a case.
Some law firms have their own in-house attorneys who specialize in appeals.
Those that don't will likely have to hire outside counsel to handle the appeal.
It could cost $15,000.
It could cost $25,000.
It might be more.
It might be less.
That fee to appeal is not done on 'contingency' like your medical malpractice case.
In your malpractice case, your attorney pays all the expenses on your case with the hope and expectation that he'll get repaid when you obtain money on your case. Then, he'll receive a percentage of what he gets for you if you are successful.
What that really means is that he ONLY gets paid if you are successful.
What other profession does that?
I don't know of a single other profession that agrees to be paid only if you get a good result.
An appellate attorney doesn't work like that.
Instead, he gets either a flat fee or an hourly fee.
That money must be paid upfront.
Plus, there's no guarantee of any result.
The bottom line is that the jury decided you won.
The judge decided the verdict was wrong.
You now appeal.
An appellate court could agree with you.
Then again, they might not.
To learn more about jury verdicts, I invite you to watch the quick video below...