You’ve heard the common refrain – the civil jury trial is vanishing. So has Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, and they were tired of it.
“Out of 100 cases filed these days, one or two will result in a jury trial,” said Spencer Pahlke, a shareholder in San Francisco. “That means less community involvement in deciding disputes, less process for clients whose cases should be tried, and less training for the young lawyers who are our next generation of trial lawyers.”
“Insurance carriers manage thousands of cases,” said Jeffrey A. Clause, an associate attorney in San Francisco. “They have the resources to take any case to trial, regardless of the value. Plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t always have that luxury, and are often forced to accept settlements far below the case value because the costs of going to trial, as well as the risk of an unfavorable verdict, make it impractical to try the case.”
“Trial lawyers, especially those in small shops, have far fewer cases and a tiny fraction of the resources,” Pahlke said. “Pushing one case to trial can feel like putting down all the chips on one hand of blackjack. A bad outcome, and not only the case can bust, but so too could an entire small law firm.”
“Our goal in the program is to create a trial experience for our younger attorneys out of whole cloth,” Pahlke said. “In other words, we target those cases that historically are settled instead of tried. There are many examples. It’s the case where the cost of flying in an expert for trial just isn’t possible, but it’s also necessary to win. Or the case where liability is complicated, and damages don’t justify the risk for you to try the case. Or you have limited trial experience, and the insurance carrier is taking advantage of their perceived advantage. Through Walkup Team Up, we want to turn those settlements into trials.”
The process for lawyers is simple. Visit walkupteamup.com and complete a basic form describing your case. The firm’s main criteria is that the case will go to trial – the sooner, the better.
“If we select your case, we will send one of our attorneys to try the case with you,” Clause said. “We will finance the next $25,000 of the case, only to be paid back if we get a verdict that covers those costs. Our fee will be only 33%. Our most seasoned trial lawyers will also consult with you on trial strategy. All we ask in return is that our attorney gets to pick the jury, open or close, and handle a witness during the trial.”
“If we work together, the house will no longer always win,” Pahlke said.