Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian Blog

A Road Map for Arguing Damages (Vol. 2): Use the Defendant’s Inconsistencies to Your Advantage

Posted by Dev Sethi | Feb 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

This is the latest in a series that aims to help jurors fully understand the extent of the defendant's (The accused person) actions and the harms they cause. In the first installment, I started with our most basic and most important guideline – Tell the truth. Today we talk about the power of highlighting the defendant's inconsistencies.

The availability of information online is powerful, so when I start investigating potential cases, I start with a robust Google search and other search engines. There is often so much information readily available online that it doesn't take much searching to find important information about something or someone. 

People and companies, especially their marketing departments, willingly and intentionally put up a tremendous amount of information on their websites and social media. That information is, of course, designed to paint them in the most positive light possible. Often these statements make promises or brag about expertise, competence, and safety. They may also tout their size, resources, and reach. In the courtroom, however, these statements can be contrasted with the facts of the case to show the disconnect between the defendant's self-image and how it behaves in the real world.

Consider doing a deep search through these publicly available resources and adding this information to your Complaint and disclosure. As discovery in the trial progresses access to other information like memos and other internal documents will become available. The memos and internal documents work to juxtapose what the defendant says publicly against what role they had in your case. These inconsistencies are powerful evidence and bolster an effective argument in front of the jury. 

The disconnect and inconsistencies between what the defendant says publicly and how they really behave are of great interest to the jury.

About the Author

Dev Sethi

Dev Sethi litigates and tries a wide-range of complex injury and death cases throughout Arizona. He has Martindale Hubbell's highest rating, AV, and he is listed in "Best Lawyers." Dev is also recognized as an Arizona Super Lawyer in the area of plaintiff's products liability litigation.Dev has been at the forefront of auto product defect litigation. He played a key role in uncovering the Goodyear Load Range E tire scandal and worked to hold Ford Motor Company responsible for the danger posed by their now notorious 15-passenger vans. Dev is currently representing families in product liability suits against the nation's largest corporations including General Motors, Ford, Pentair Pools and Invacare.


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