CESI Vice President Ron Cohen was a speaker at the PAJ Premises Seminar

November 2013
On November 1, 2013, CESI Vice President Ron Cohen, P.E. was a speaker at the Pennsylvania Association for Justice seminar, “Proving the Premises Liability Case.”  Mr. Cohen spoke on the topic “Practice Pointers in the Slip, Trip & Fall Case.”

Mr. Cohen shared 20 mistakes trial lawyers make in slip, trip and fall cases.  The following are a few to consider:

Ronald J. Cohen, P.E.Preparing the Plaintiff: Be certain you know and understand your client’s description of the accident circumstances. Take the time to consider the circumstances in detail to determine whether they make sense because this is what the opposing expert will be doing.

Expert Testimony: Use the knowledge of your expert. Have your expert educate you on the technical details of the case. If you use one wrong word during cross-examination of the opposing expert, it may result in an answer you did not expect. Further, if you reasonably understand the technical issue at hand, you can recover from an unexpected answer, reword your question and return to your planned strategy.

Problems with the Case: The expert for the plaintiff or defendant should address problems up front in direct testimony. It is best to present a problem yourself and then move on. Do not turn over the control of such issues to the opposition.

Do You Want to Say to a Witness, Your Testimony is Not Truthful? Testimony regarding accident circumstances may not be accurate, can be missing facts or sometimes may be untruthful. There is often a choice between simply defending your position or alternately asserting that an opposing witness is not truthful.

Come Prepared – Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Premises liability matters may conclude with an argument over as little as 1/16 inch. If your office documents the conditions, be certain you have photographs from appropriate angles with measuring devices to clearly establish dimensions.

Avoiding Exposure: Do not place yourself at an unnecessary risk. A case may be lost because you did not have expert testimony that the court asserted was required.

Mr. Cohen can be contact at (610) 296-2250 or rcohen@ces-experts.com.

 

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