Two extra years were needed for Phuong to graduate from North Seattle College after she was almost killed in the Ride the Ducks crash on the Aurora Bridge on September 24, 2015. She missed one whole year due to being at Harborview and the Kiero Rehabilitation Home. When she was able to enter school her injuries required her to take reduced loads. Including fitting in a total hip replacement surgery during winter break 2017. Phuong was the lead plaintiff in the Ride the Ducks trial that occurred from October 1 2018 through February 7, 2019.Read More
6:30 am wake
7:00 am get up
8:00 am go for run with Nala
9:30 am return home get ready grab suitcase. Email from insurance attorney – they will take out that language.
10:15 am Drop Nala off at Doggie Daycare. Drive to airport
10:45 am arriveRead More
Skype witness Dr. Laukant is from Wisconsin – doctor for Rhonda C the former UPS driver who lives with her wife in Amish country. We are avoiding calling doctors except for the cases involving surgery. Here, the defense has denied all of the medical bills and so we need to go through the technical dance of having a primary care provider testify that the referrals were appropriate, the care reasonable and necessary, and the total hip replacement in particular related to the crash.
In the first minute of testimony, ask if she’s a treating physician for the plaintiff, and Steve Puz objects.Read More
Walk up stairs. See the Hiraoka family. One year ago took two trips in the space of two months to Japan to visit them. First trip was a botch job because Scott did not realize you can only take depositions at the US Embassy in Tokyo. Second trip the deposition went forward in the dingy embassy conference room.
Dr. John Clark the lay witness is standing with them. Greet them. Walk into courtroom. Jesica tells me the interpreter is running late. Then she tells me that our three witnesses for Tuesday are being stricken. This is all awesome news first thing on a Monday morning.Read More
On September 24, 2015 - beautiful inside and out HaRam Kim was injured in the Ride the Ducks Aurora Bridge crash. She was taken to Harborview where she survived for several days. Just long enough for her loving family to fly from Korea to see her one last time.Read More
It’s too early to stop and smell the roses. But am out on the deck, moving pots around. Preparing for spring planting.
Am wrestling with a big pot. Bent over in a squat. Feel a prick on nose and stand up. This is bad.Read More
Ed and I started dating in Philadelphia at an AAJ convention. After a lifetime of living in Texas he moved to Seattle a year into the relationship in 2009, ten years ago this month. He office shared with my law firm and started wearing more jeans and less cashmere suiting. We broke up shy of three years later. And stayed friends.Read More
Today am supposedly blasted by an old school rapper defendant who has been sued by two of my clients for alleged sexual assault. He doesn’t have his lawyer call me up or write a letter. Nope. He issues (drum roll) a personal attack press release. Which by the way gains very little traction surely to the dismay of his PR firm. Here’s what it says according to TMZ.Read More
Jesica has marked off our half of the courtroom to reserve it for cocounsel clients, members of the law firm, and people who want to cheer us on. Defense counsel ignore the signs and line up behind Jesica.
Andrew shows me some of the transcript from yesterday. Since I tactically missed it. They are complaining about the second screen. Conspiracy theorizing am trying to block their view of the jury or vice versa. So the judge tells them to move over next to us. It’s even pettier than that though. Remember the lego wall we built to keep them at least symbolically on the other side. Well they have been stressing about that wall ever since. They start to complain to the court that I might do something with legos during closing. She shuts them down. Seriously. They are in a tizzy over a screen and legos on the eve of closing. Gawd.Read More
Yesterday, the State Senate, approved a motion to amend Washington’s wrongful death act.
According to the Associated Press:
In debate before the vote, the bill's sponsor said the provision stemmed from efforts by business interests at the beginning of the 20th century to block claims made by the families of Chinese miners killed in workplace accidents.
"This law has its roots in racist origins," said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle. State documents date the provision in the law to 1909. Hasegawa's language echoed claims by the Korean parents of a student killed in the Ride the Ducks crash.Read More
One month after trial has ended - am still keyed up. Aggressive. Hostile. If you look at me the wrong way will absolutely light into you.
During our monthly firm meeting confess how mad I am still at the defense lawyers being mean to our plaintiffs. Can hardly stand to see their names even in emails.Read More
The notices of appeal arrive today. First by Ride the Ducks International (out of Branson Missouri). Second by Ride the Ducks Seattle.
Predictable. Still makes me mad to see them. Especially since Ducks Seattle went around crowing to the world how happy they were with the jury’s verdict. Got an adjective to describe that behavior but will refrainRead More
The jury renders its verdict. The media covers the story. The public sees the headlines. It looks like the case is over.
The 40 injured victims who have waited three and a half years for justice. Are still waiting.
Because Ride the Ducks International/its insurance companies have more legal moves to make.
Motion number one: Demand a new trial with a different judge.Read More
I delegate the job of arguing legal motions and jury instructions to Andrew Ackley. He has this chore most days after trial and several full working days. At first sit at counsel’s table and watch him. But as the trial progresses, as soon as the trial day ends - bolt out of the door. Do not have the bandwith to listen to the tortuous exercise of compiling jury instructions nor the constant barrage of motions. Andrew is excellent. By dividing up these responsibilities can give full attention to preparing for the next trial day.Read More
We are running out of time. As we march towards trial too many depositions remain to be taken. We ask the four defendants to narrow their list of experts. They do no such thing. They ignore us. We ask for their experts’ opinions. The defendants tell us they won’t have them until after their experts review all of our experts’ opinions and depositions.
There is no way we are going to take 54 defense expert witness depositions. Why should we.Read More
Wake up too early. Go back to pretend sleep. Lie there. Perform countdown of how long it will all take. Remember Alysha has gone to the cabin with Nala and the house is totally quiet. No Nala to feed or take potty. Or to laugh with. Reduce countdown. Thirty minutes later have donned black cream and red plaid slim slacks, red shirt with ruffles, favorite Boss black jacket and pointy toe heeled boots with tassles that swing back and forth.
One of the challenges in representing 40 people in a mass disaster trial is to put on their medical damages cases without taking weeks and weeks.We have been streamlining the case not only since before trial began, but also during trial.Read More
Jury is filing in. Am standing off to the side to let them pass. Realize still wearing sneakers. Judge has noticed and chuckles. Rush to chair. Sit and buckle ankle straps of heels. This looks better with stockings, black criss cross in the front bcbg skirt with raspberry toned red Moschino jacket over free people wildly batique-ish top with key hole neckline. Costume bangles accompanying apple watch.Read More
Just spent a weekend in Lululemon and now it is time to get court ready again. There have been times over the years where have resented having to figure out what to wear. Including whether to repeat or not in a long trial. But dressing up for court is really like putting on a costume for the big show. There is a stage and audience and what we wear is a part of the whole process. So for the most part, don’t whine. Messages are being sent by what we wear in court.Read More
Today’s uber driver is from Romania where everyone crushes grapes in vats at their homes. Some is saved as grape juice for the kids. The rest is put in a bottle. In 6 months there is good wine. Better than you can get at Safeway. He would like me to use uberXL versus uberX. The numerous reasons range from the safer more superior status of his SUV to what difference does a few more bucks make if we are all going to die anyway. Drops me off.
Get through security without beeping. Climb 9 flights. Enter on the dot at 8:30 as ordered by the court so we can address pretrial matters. 8:45 Mr. Ulmer announced her honor will be arriving in 7 minutes. Her bus has been delayed again. She arrives.Read More