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Jury trial gain for policyholders | Property Insurance Law Team Blog



The two people on the right in this picture are happy Merlin Law Group policyholders after a jury trial this week. The judgment amount was greater than the public adjuster’s estimate. I would also smile with that result. Attorneys Dennis Bailey and Anthony Orlando, along with attorney Genevib Bertoncini, were the trial team that achieved this result.

Our company’s focus this year has been to get case solutions faster. Cases that take time are usually not good for the policyholders – even the insurance company has to pay a lot in legal fees and costs that could have been settled. But the only policyholders who will get a full settlement are those with lawyers who will try cases.

We added Dennis Bailey to our test team a little over a year ago, as mentioned in Former judge Dennis Bailey leads the Merlin Law Group Trial Division. Genevib Bertoncini said that “Dennis only seemed to get the jury̵

7;s and the judge’s attention throughout the trial.” As a former trial judge, I know he observed and learned what behavior is effective before a jury versus ineffective advocacy.

When I spoke to Anthony Orlando, I could say that he had an emotional commitment to the case based on some derogatory comments from a non-litigation lawyer from the opposing law firm. He wrote:

It feels incredible to get the justice that Carolina and Alejandro deserved. From the day they submitted their Irma application, First Community knew they would try and not give these people a penny. When we called their company representative to the booth and asked how they anticipated litigation before they even made a surveillance decision, the truth came out.

I put my heart and soul into this. An opposing representative who was not present at the trial underestimated me – just because of my age.

I can not thank Dennis Bailey enough for helping to weave the evidence together in a beautiful way so that the jury could understand and make a correct judgment. Dennis’ concluding argument was personally the best concluding argument I have ever seen – and to see the culmination of all our hard work is presented in the way he had presented it. This case and our client’s claim became very personal to me.

I must also thank Genevib Bertoncini, Nicholas Conklin and Carter Bess for all their help along the way. It really was a team effort.

Anthony had some very kind words to the opposing trial lawyer, Michael Rudd. He told me he had to “give Rudd credit. He was very efficient and a worthy lawyer.” Insurance company lawyers are often seen much harder than the adjusters, but they only do one job and often take facts in a case that they got them from the adjusters.

This will undoubtedly take place after the trial before the claim is paid. Still, this victory is pretty sweet. It is important to have a team to prepare and present tests. It is certainly much better than the days 30 years ago when I myself would roll my evidence and trial documents to court.

Today’s thoughts

It’s better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when celebrating victory when nice things happen. You go in the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
– Nelson Mandela


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