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Casey HultinClaire PlotkinSam FareedDan Kramer

Casey Hultin · Claire Plotkin · Sam Fareed · Dan Kramer

$715,234.96 Santa Clara County Car Crash Verdict - Casey Hultin, Claire Plotkin, & Sam Fareed - Webinar hosted by Dan Kramer

TLU Icon April 11, 2022 5:00 PM||TLU n Demand

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Casey Hultin and Katelyn Dembowski of the Dolan Law Firm, along with Sam Fareed from United Citizen Law, represented Tamiko Carrillo, a 51 year old makeup artist who fractured her femur in a car crash. Tamiko and the defendant, Daniel Forzano, both claimed to have the greenlight entering the intersection. The crash happened at a very busy intersection and there were tons of eyewitnesses, however, the only eyewitness police spoke to at the scene claimed Tamiko ran the red light. The police found Tamiko at fault for the collision as a result.

Liability was the biggest discovery concern. Tamiko was able to locate two eyewitnesses who saw the collision, and whose versions supported Tamiko’s. Then, the police ultimately walked back their conclusions at deposition. The witness who claimed Tamiko had a red light also walked back his statements in a recorded call with an adjuster, but was not willing to appear for deposition and left the state. The defense then subpoenaed for deposition every caller in the 911 call logs and eventually located a man who claimed that he spoke with Tamiko at the scene and she admitted to texting while driving. He also testified that he found her lit cell phone in her car displaying a recent text message exchange. The defendant driver also had a passenger in his car who claimed that he had a green light, not Tamiko.

While no one disputed Tamiko fractured her femur in the collision and required emergency surgery, the defense disputed the need for any future care and claimed that to the extent she did need future care, it was a result of a second collision Tamiko was in six months after this one. She also had multiple gaps in treatment, including a nearly three-year gap prior to trial.

Teaching Points

1. How to use typically undesirable jurors (engineers) to your advantage 2. Different ways of owning comparative fault – texting while driving edition 3. Explaining gaps in treatment 4. Finding eye witnesses 5. When to drop certain injury claims to narrow the focus of your case 6. How to handle your client continuing to work and having a substantial social media presence 7. How to utilize micro-polarizing the case (here we used polarizing the case language with the eye witnesses, betting they would be more credible than the defendant and his passenger, but did not include Tamiko in the framing)

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