I was at a Defense Base Act Mediation recently. This article is about the mediation. This is part 2.
Click here for part 1 on: I was at a DBA mediation recently.
I guess I should get out of the way that my firm and I have had pretty good success settling DBA cases and settling cases in mediations. However, sometimes, DBA cases just don't get settled and have to be taken to trial. You can't just give up and go home when the DBA insurance company isn't being fair. You have to take the case to trial.
But I digress, back to the mediation.
Please understand, I don’t take a “Not my Johnny” approach to clients. Meaning, I don’t blindly believe everything my clients tell me. That is not going to help you. I need proof to win cases. Not blind faith. I have to win your case with evidence. Once I see the evidence, then I beleive clients. It's better that way for both of us.
But, in this case, I had hard evidence dis-proving every lie the DBA defense lawyer was saying. Of course, that didn’t even phase this DBA insurance company lawyer.
What I am suggesting, is that the defense doesn’t have to tell the truth. But you do. It isn’t fair. But it is the way it is.
These young ambitious DBA defense lawyers seem to have no problem putting on fraudulent defenses. But just because they lie, doesn’t mean you can.
The second teaching point here is this. I repeat it like a mantra - you always have to tell the truth. Always.
This particular lawyer let it slip during the mediation when I called out his lying. It seems like this claimant had “rubbed the adjuster the wrong way” before I was hired to represent him with his DBA case. Oh, the truth comes out.
The third teaching point here is this. Don’t argue or get into it with the DBA adjuster. You see the DBA adjusters have hundreds of files. They can’t take every case to trial. So, if they don’t like you, for whatever reason, they won’t authorize settlement of your case for anything approaching “fair value.”
You can largely avoid this by not talking to the DBA insurance adjuster at all. You probably should lawyer-up early. Seriously. It doesn’t have to be with my firm, but it should be with a seasoned DBA law firm.
If you do have to speak with the adjuster, you should be polite and try to say as little as possible. Never, ever argue with the adjuster. Never get angry at the adjuster. Never, yell at the adjuster.
Getting back to this particular mediation and defense lawyer. He was simply repeating the diatribe that the DBA insurance adjuster had spewed to him about my client. I frankly don’t think most any of it was true. But trials aren’t about truth. Trials are about what you can prove with evidence.
I often say, I wouldn’t do this job if I didn’t get the opportunity to take cases to trial. I am a trial lawyer. It is cases like this that give me the opportunity to try cases. Most of my clients would rather settle their cases than take them to trial. But, some cases have to be taken to trial. However, you need to not do anything that is going to make your case more likely to have to go to trial.
Any resemblance to actual events or cases is purely coincidental. This article is not legal advice. I am simplistic in order to achieve clarity. Whenever you bring a DBA case, always tell the truth. Always.