In any civil trial, the court is going to establish certain deadlines and other important dates. Obviously, one key date is the date of trial. Before that, however, there will be deadlines for things like designating expert witnesses and completing all forms of discovery. It is very important to make sure you comply strictly with all of these deadlines. Being late can mean losing out on presenting key evidence. You can also use these dates to your advantage. If your opponent is the one who fails to meet the court’s deadlines, you may be able to use that failure to keep certain potentially harmful evidence out of your case. To make that you are both compliant and also using the rules of procedure to your best advantage, make sure that you have a knowledgeable California motorcycle accident attorney handling your case.
One serious injury case in which the court’s deadlines and the rules of procedure aided an injured plaintiff was the lawsuit filed by Jeremy, a motorcyclist riding in Brentwood in Southern California. During that trip, Jeremy was hit by a vehicle driven by Tomoe. The accident inflicted serious injuries upon Jeremy, and he sued Tomoe for negligence, seeking a large sum of damages. Jeremy’s case was persuasive, and the jury found in his favor, awarding him more than $2.4 million in damages.
Tomoe appealed the verdict. In her appellate case, she argued that the trial court improperly rejected her request to allow for additional discovery and to postpone the trial. The woman’s underlying contention was that, if the judge had granted her requests, she could have presented expert opinion evidence that would have contradicted Jeremy’s testimony, including Jeremy’s statements regarding how fast he was going.
Tomoe asked the trial judge to create a new, extended deadline for discovery (and to postpone the trial). Tomoe wanted to present an additional expert witness. Tomoe did not, however, ask the court to extend the deadline for producing expert witnesses. That was a key problem for her and an important advantage for Jeremy. Jeremy was entitled to assert that Tomoe did not make the proper request, and, therefore, the issue of expert witnesses had not been properly placed before the judge. That is what the trial judge ruled and what the appeals court upheld.
The appeals court also upheld the trial court’s decision not to postpone the trial. The appeals court explained that trial dates are firm and that they should only be moved when very special circumstances arise. A defense lawyer’s failure to do his job to the satisfaction of his client (and eventual replacement by new counsel), which was what Tomoe claimed had hampered her case, is not something that rises to the level of very special circumstances that require the postponement of a trial.
Jeremy and his legal team were ready for trial and were entitled to proceed on schedule, and to reap the benefits of the result of that trial.
When you’ve suffered serious injuries in a vehicle accident, you need several things to achieve a fair result. You need a strong presentation of the facts showing fault. You need a strong presentation of the facts showing the harm you suffered. You also need an in-depth understanding of the law and court procedure rules. In other words, you need experienced counsel. The skilled San Mateo motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye & Fitting have been helping injured motorcyclists, drivers, and pedestrians pursue their cases, and the compensation they deserve, for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
A Confusing Malibu Restaurant Exit and a Confused Tourist Combine to Cause a Fatal Accident Along the PCH, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 19, 2018
Keeping Out Privileged Information in Your California Vehicle Accident Case, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published April 20, 2017
Photo Credit: U.S.M.C. Cpl. Carson Gramley, [CC0 License], via marines.mil