Trial Partners: Keith Mitnik & Matt Morgan


Together, they have received multi-million dollar verdicts in court. Attorneys Keith Mitnik & Matt Morgan discuss the way they are helping shape the landscape of case evaluations in personal injury cases.

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Matt Morgan: What's happening with what Keith and I are doing right now is we're changing the landscape of the case evaluation process. Attorneys and insurance companies and adjusters, they're all accustomed to certain cases having certain values. But what we're finding is their valuation system is skewed. It's off. It's not right. It doesn't take into consideration the true harms and losses that our clients have sustained. Many times we have people that are young, 20, 30, 40 year old individuals that have a long life expectancy. They got a lot of life to live and they're going to live with a lot of hurt and a lot of pain. And I don't think that's ever really been taken into consideration on a large-scale basis. People just think, "Hey, they're going to have some future medical bills. They're going to have some past medical bills. Pay those and everything will be fine." But everything's not going to be fine. Their overall ability to enjoy their life has been significantly diminished. And that's what I think we are in the process of explaining to these insurance companies and to juries is that there's much more going on with these claims than just medical bills. We're talking about somebody's happiness, their ability to enjoy their life. And I think that when Keith and I go into a courtroom together, we are able to clearly bring that to light for juries. And in the process, we get favorable verdicts many times for our clients. These verdicts spread like a wildfire to the insurance company and therefore changes the way that they evaluate the cases, we believe. And so I think the greatest benefit that they get from us as they have believers, true believers in their cause. And they have people that have the skillset to get a verdict which truly recognizes what they've been through in the past and will go through in the future. Keith Mitnik: I am sure there's some insurance adjusters out there that may say, "God, these guys are magicians." They're getting such big verdicts no one else is getting. And we're good at it. I'd say we're better at it than most people in the country without sounding too self-congratulatory. The results speak for themselves, but there's no magic to it. None. Those verdicts may be higher, but we're not tricking jurors into doing something crazy. We're educating jurors into doing the only right thing. And people just don't know how to educate them. And by putting our heads together, we really come up with ways to make those jurors see it and see the justice in doing what we're suggesting to them and why it makes sense. It's little things like Matt talked about the loss of joy. Well, if you just tell a jury, "My client doesn't enjoy life as much as before," they're going to go, "What about I... I ain't enjoying life every day either. No one's giving me money." And you have to take that on and you have to show them that, look, it's not about how much you're going to get, it's about how much was taken. And life isn't joyful all the time, but boy are those moments of pleasure and joy something precious to us. Because the simplest thing like sitting in this chair, instead of sitting in this chair and having this conversation, if I was sitting here and the whole time I'm uncomfortable because my back's aching. I'm not moaning and groaning and crying and falling on the ground and getting the cane to walk out. You'd never know, but the experience would be different. The whole time I'd have that gnawing background noise of dealing with the pain. When it is thrust into someone's life, unnaturally, by no fault of their own, minding their own business, and someone comes along, isn't doing their job and causes that. And it's going to be there for the next 40 years and never go away. And you start explaining it that way people go, "Oh," and you give them an analogy. It's like someone waking up with a crick in their neck because they slept wrong and they get up and go, "Oh my goodness." And the wife says, "What's wrong?" "I slept wrong. My neck's bothering me." "Oh, I'm sorry, honey." And they go to work. They pick up their briefcase, "Oomph." They get in the car and change lanes. They go, "Oomph." They get to work, sit down. It's uncomfortable. They stand up. They stand up, after a while, they're uncomfortable. They sit down, they pick something up, they, "Ooh." They drive home. Same thing. You know what they did all day? They got on with life. They didn't say, "I can't work today." They didn't run around crying all day. No one would know but them and their wife, when they get home, "What's wrong, honey." "This thing's driving me crazy." Next morning. "Ah." "What?" "I was hoping it would be gone." Same thing all day, same thing. Still working, but now it's starting to affect his mood. Now he's getting cranky with it. Comes home. He's a little short with his wife. His wife says, "You need to go to the doctor." Part because she feels bad, part she doesn't want the crankiness. Goes to bed that night. Wakes up the next morning and wife is brushing her teeth in the bathroom. And she hears him go, "Hallelujah." She says, "What?" And he goes, "It's gone." Well, you know what my client's suffering with? All of that, but there's no hallelujah ever. All of a sudden, the jurors no longer going, "Get out the hankies and violin you look fine to me." Because they're all of a sudden realizing, you know what? This is serious to have injected that in their life and for this younger person or whatever the age you are to have that extra burden. It's never going away. So what Matt and I are doing is finding ways to take decent people on the jury and simply changing their perspective to a fair perspective. And now, they're doing the right thing. We're not raising the bar to unfairness. We're taking the bar away from unfairness and putting it where it ought to have been all along. Of all the things he and I have accomplished, that moving the bar together is something that, when I'm an old man laying on a death bed, I will think about Morgan and what we're accomplishing right now. Because it is significant for a lot of people, not just this law firm, but a lot of people. And I don't... Not saying that to sound important. I'm saying it because it is important.