DAVID BALL NEW BOOK DAMAGES 3

I am a great admirer of David Ball because he is one of very few people who has taken the effort to spell out the steps and procedures for trying a civil case based upon sound research and experience. Many people have explained procedures and concepts, but few have done so in a “paint by the numbers” style of teaching. His latest edition of Damages 3 is a book every trial lawyer should own, read and put into practice. Here is a very rough and brief summary of David’s outline for opening statement without his refinements and explanations to illustate what I mean.

   OPENING OUTLINE

A. THE PRIMARY RULES THE DEFENDANT VIOLATED   
 

B.THE STORY OF WHAT THE DEFENDANT DID   

 

              (What violation of the safety  rule occurred )  
 

C. WHO WE ARE SUING AND WHY WE ARE SUING 

“We are suing (name) for three reasons. The first reason is…”

D. WHY THE DEFENSES ARE NOT VALID 

E. CAUSATION AND DAMAGES 

(1) Introduction: Explain why you are talking about this: “The verdict form asks how much money you will allow for your verdict.” (P. 149)

(2) Mechanism of harm: Step by step clinically explain how negligence caused harm

 (3) Consequences: For each injury how it impacted client

(4) Undermine defense of causation & damages “We had to determine that the problems were due to the collision & not something else”

       (a ) Explain what was done to determine the real truth

       (b) Explain what the result was 

(4) Treatment: Fixes and helps – what client has gone through

(5) What cannot be fixed or helped

F. THE BEFORE SITUATION

G. WHAT THE JURY CAN DO ABOUT IT

“We will show you what caused ….harms and loses and how much money it will take to fix, help and make for them. By the end of the trial, you will see why the evidence makes this the kind of case in which I will have to come back later and ask for an amount that sounds like a lot of money right now, but which you will later realize is right fair and proper. That amount will be $______________. Thank You

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