Gary talks about advertisements that shed light on insurance companies being responsible for verdicts and the efforts of some insurance company lawyers to sometimes try to confuse the issue with jurors. There is also discussion of the jury’s role in determining compensation in a case without regard to who might have to pay.
Maureen: Welcome to Legal Break I’m Maureen Akres and with me today, our legal expert, Gary Bruce. Gary, thank you so much for joining us today!
Gary: Well it’s great to be here, thank you.
Maureen: Well this is a new segment we’re starting here on WTVM and we’re so glad you’re going to be part of it. Every Wednesday you can tune in right here and find out about topics legal topics that are in the news
Gary: And I hope we can make it entertaining or learn a little something, we’re excited about the project!
Maureen: It’s going to be very conversational so a little bit different than maybe what you’ve seen before, but it’s going to be really interesting.
One of the topics that have been out there that we were talking about before we went on camera was you know can an insurance company named as a party in a lawsuit? There are some things going on out there, tell us a little bit about that.
Gary: Well there’s a little controversy about what’s being said in some legal advertising, frankly talking to people about what happens in a trial. And so it appears the plaintiff’s lawyers, have been educating through ads about what happens and who’s really being sued. So the other side of the bar, the defense lawyers the ones who represent the insurance companies, have taken offense to this. They say well this isn’t something we normally talk to jurors about. And the question becomes if it’s the truth, and it is, why shouldn’t a juror know that?
Generally, I think the judges instruct the jurors about what they’re supposed to know. That’s the bone they’re picking is look, it’s up to the judge of telling juror about it. So the issue is, is an insurance company, if they’re not named, are they still involved in the case? I think there’s some confusion about that sometimes. Of course, ninety-nine percent of the time that we deal with a case, it’s not about necessarily the individual’s personal assets.
But the question that is not relevant is how much insurance there is. Jurors are charged with assessing damages, arriving at a fair amount based on what the judge tells them. The judge is going to tell them, look you do your job fairly, right don’t be distracted by outside issue, we will deal with those later. Those are not your concern your concern is to act something like an insurance adjuster and put a value on a case.
Maureen: Right, exactly. And then like you said not worry about who’s going to pay for it. That will be decided.
Gary: Generally people don’t waste their time and energy. Maybe the Hulk Hogan thing is an example of a different situation where he was sued for his personal assets by Gawker. But generally, we’re dealing with insurance.
Maureen: Oh very good! So for more information more legal information you definitely can go to your website. We’ve got that information up on the screen. So legal break – hot legal topics in the news and thank you so much for joining us, we look forward to seeing you on a very next Legal Break!