Mike Duffy sent me the jury verdict questionnaire early yesterday morning. He and Christina Phillips were in a lawsuit representing a Wisconsin condominium association. After I read it I asked how we could win because the questions seemed so unfair. It seemed impossible.
Then Mike Duffy wrote back about Christina Phillips’ amazing job with the trial testimony and talked about common sense so the jury could understand. He told that Christina would make the closing statement.
It didn’t surprise me that Christina did so well. Almost six years ago I wrote Christina Phillips becomes Chair of the ABA Property Insurance Law Subcommittee. I noted how she became the leader of a group of property insurance specialists that I was never asked to chair after being vice chair for a decade. Christina Phillips has long commanded the respect of colleagues who do this work on both sides of the aisle. In an age of fake expertise rampant all over social media, Christina is a challenger and not a pretender.
While the jury was deliberating, he wrote to me about how much Christina had grown as a trial lawyer. Regardless of the outcome, he noted that it was clear she connected with the jury, commanded respect and learned to shed her fears when sharing with a jury.
Our client prevailed. The insurer had not offered a penny. It was a case where the insurer must have believed that nothing was owed. With two law firms and six experienced attorneys opposing us, the insurer̵7;s defense costs and fees must have approached, if not exceeded, the verdict.
I once wrote the following in a post after a previous trial victory:
I have emphasized that our company should seek resolution through litigation whenever insurers adjust claims in a manner that delays, undervalues, or wrongly denies a covered loss. If insurance companies do not understand that their insureds are represented by attorneys who will competently, aggressively and ethically pursue these claims, they may be tempted to adjust claims in a way that favors the company’s bottom line and not the best interests of their insureds.
Christina was very humble and excited. She told me about all the hard work Mike Duffy and Ed Eshoo had done to make this win possible. She thanked her client’s caseworkers and members for not giving up.
We still have that emphasis with a great insurance team. I feel fortunate to work with such exceptional people who happen to be great attorneys in this area of law.
I manage with a little help from my friends.