Vetting the JURY/WITNESS List – a MUST!

Correct Me if I am Wrong- the Goal is to WIN? Yes?

Besides physical evidence, the testimony of key witnesses are the most valuable asset in a lawsuit or trial. One would think that law firms would make vetting these witnesses a priority prior to trial given the relatively low cost of doing so. I know I would loathe being the attorney that goes to a client and says we could have won the case, BUT we didn’t have that information about the witness, the juror or the defendant. The testimony of a witness can sway a jury positively or negatively. The expectation is that that witness is going to benefit your client, not potentially harm them. So regardless of which side the witness comes from (Prosecution vs Defense or Plaintiff vs Defendant) a background check or vetting should be done for your client’s benefit. Finding information on a witness’s character or lack thereof could be crucial. Discrediting an expert witness could be a lynch-pin as well. You don’t want to put your witness on the stand unless you can mitigate any negativity from their past, that they may have forgotten or neglected to mention. You also don’t want the other side to have their witness on the stand and not have available ammunition to use against them. What can be done to Vet a witness, jury member, expert witness?

You can CALL US at Paladin Investigations – 734-230-7177 or go to Paladinpipro.com so we can get to work for you. We can do the following – which can save you valuable time (see previous post) to focus on other courtroom issues: Vetting Brief Quotes/Examples:

“In November 2013, a proposed investor class action against Deutsche Bank AG was tossed out after the defense persuaded a federal judge in Manhattan that the evidence given by an expert witness for the plaintiff was faulty and unreliable. “U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest didn’t just find flaws in the methodology employed by the expert,” it was reported. “She also took issue with [the expert’s] credibility.”
Expert Witness Malpractice: Making the Case for—and Against—Civil Liability – Lexis Nexis Website

PETER KEANE, a former San Francisco Officer, wrote an article about cops lying on the witness stand and the importance of vetting for trials. AMERICAN BAR said “investigations should continually reevaluate the culpability of witnesses, victims, subjects and targets”.

Three weeks later, because the plaintiff’s attorney was unable to find another radiology expert witness, the court dismissed the lawsuit against the university hospital and the radiology fellow. In his ruling dismissing the malpractice case, the judge reminded the defendants that they could ask the court to order the plaintiff to pay for all of their court costs and attorney’s fees“.
Malpractice Issues in Radiology, May 2000, Volume 174, Number 5,  When an Expert Witness Is Not an Expert
“Decisions about the futures of thousands of children are being based on flawed evidence from well-paid ‘experts’, some of whom are unqualified and, time and again, never meet the families concerned.
The damning study by Professor Jane Ireland, a forensic psychologist, examined more than 127 expert witness reports used in family court cases in three areas of England”.
    The ‘Experts’ who break up families, Daily Mail.com, March 28 2012

Some additional case Studies:

     LLMD of Michigan, Inc. v. Jackson- Cross Co.,559 Pa. 297,740 A.2d 186 (Pa.1999)
     United States Supreme Court (Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325 (1983)
     Marrogi v. Howard, 805 So.2d 1118 (La. 2002)

More people are in prison right now because a witness sat on a stand or sat in an interview and lied through their teeth and no further effort went into fact checking the situation beyond writing it down. Facts Again I would ask, what harm is done by paying $175 dollars, $275 dollars, in some cases maybe even upwards of $500 dollars for a proper background investigation? Yes, I acknowledge there may be nothing to find in many cases. Indeed though, how much harm could be done and how much is your law firm culpable when you opted out of a background check but consequently lose a case. It may cost your client hundreds of thousands of dollars or potentially millions of dollars. It may also cost your client time in jail or in prison. To me there is no option here if it were my child. I would want to be sure I had done everything I could to help them including turning over every stone.

CALL US at Paladin Investigations & Protection for all your vet/background investigation needs and for peace of mind – 734-230-7177 or email us at paladinpipro@gmail.com.