Yes, I had an entirely transactional practice until I went solo Sept. 1, 2015.
It was my first litigation case and this was my first trial. I leaned pretty heavily on three litigator friends -- calling them frequently as issues arose. But I also committed to learning rules of evidence and procedure. I overprepared for everything.
In early March, we had our first hearing on my motion for a preliminary injunction and it was the first time I had ever appeared in Circuit Court. I was so nervous I almost puked on my shoes. I had prepped my client well and I got all our evidence in that day. I did a good job cross-examining the defendant -- even impeached her! I won the injunction and felt a little better after that.
I learned how to issue subpoenas duces tecum; how to depose witnesses; how to disclose expert opinions; how to undermine experts; how to talk with my witnesses and get them prepped; how to conduct voir dire; how to get facts into evidence; how to pretend I'm not terrified (LOL); and how to ignore defense counsel's interruptions and keep pressing a witness; and a thousand other things. It has been a huge investment of money, time, and energy but the growth I've experienced has far outstripped the costs.
12 years of public school teaching was definitely a good foundation for connecting with a jury, feeling comfortable in front of an audience, and thinking on my feet.
One more nugget of good news.... Yesterday, while prepping to write my brief in opposition to the defense motion to set aside the verdict, I actually looked at the verdict forms for the first time since 7/22. I haven't had the heart to make myself look... Lo and behold, of the five assets the jury gave us damages on, TWO OF THE FIVE ARE FOR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES!! The aggregate compensatory damage award was for $160k and the aggregate punitive damage award was for $85k. On the day of the trial, the jury read down their verdict for all twelve assets -- finding fraud on 5 of the 12 -- and in the blur and stress of that moment, it sounded to all of us like ALL damages were punitive.
But, they're not! Having read the case law on this, there is no authority for dis-aggregating the damage awards, asset by asset. I am now very hopeful that the judge will deny the defense motion and the judgment will stand. With $300k frozen by injunction, I can execute the judgment quickly and recover a nice bundle of $$$. Fingers crossed. Briefs due 8/12.