(How collaborating with lawyer peers on truck accident lawsuits can help clients)
I wrote recently about the value of friendship and collaborating with friends after my recent truck accident trial verdict in Jackson, Michigan. Well, the lessons from that trial remain true. I just got back from spending the last two days with two of the best truck accident attorneys I know. Michael Leizerman is an Ohio truck accident lawyer, the author of Litigating Truck Accident Cases and has his own CDL. Joe Fried is an Atlanta truck accident attorney, and he co-counsels with lawyers across America, helping them with serious truck accident injury cases.
Together, we analyzed a number of complex trucking cases that we are each working on. We also ended up at the world famous Zingerman’s Deli (which is a block away from my Ann Arbor law office), and ate our way through it for lunch and dinner (and with a bag full of chocolate and cheese that I took home as well).
There are two lessons here:
1. It certainly pays to work with top lawyers and brainstorm cases. Other truck accident attorneys can give a different perspective and insights to a case.
2. Zingerman’s makes a great sandwich. It’s a bit dangerous to have it so close to my Ann Arbor law office.
I hope this does not sound immodest of me, but I probably have handled more truck accident cases than any other lawyer in America over the past 15 years of my practice. I’m also the past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Lawyer Litigation Group, and have won an award as a Leader in the Law from Michigan Lawyers Weekly for my work to promote national truck safety, and another as Lawyer of the Year, for a record-breaking truck accident injury settlement. In other words, I know a lot about being a truck accident attorney.
But as much experience as I have, working with Joe Fried and Michael Leizerman still added a lot of value to my cases. I’ve become friends with both over the years. We’ve spoken together at probably dozens of legal seminars aimed at educating lawyers how to help their clients injured in truck accidents. More importantly, I have a great deal of respect for each, having seen first-hand how their work helps accident victims. They are, quite simply, two of America’s best truck accident attorneys. Fried and Leizerman care about their clients, and their work is first rate.
The sum is greater than the parts: our work on truck lawsuits
What happened over the last two days was eye opening. We tore apart and discussed a number of serious truck accident lawsuits, and each of us added something unique and different to the analysis. Sitting down with these two great lawyers for two straight days, at least one of us knew who was the key decision maker are at each trucking company, or how that company conducts settlement negotiations. We discussed trucking discovery, and even though we’ve all had experience with truck lawsuits, we still came up with new questions to ask at depositions of safety directors. Three minds – especially three experienced minds at trucking lawsuits – is better than one.
It was a great experience working with two of the best minds in trucking. We are lawyers who have now settled or received trial verdicts of probably well over $100 million dollars between the three of us in just the past few years alone; and we’ve seen most everything. The process was eye-opening, and the experience will certainly benefit my clients.
I look forward to another brainstorming meeting – and another round of sandwiches and coffee at Zingerman’s – again soon.
– Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported jury verdict in Michigan for truck accidents, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
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