Gail, California, Dale discussed on Trial Lawyer Talk
With one of my true mentors a friend and a lawyer. Who's helped me personally far more than I value anything that anyone has done to help professionally. Ray Format is a wonderful wonderful trial lawyer teacher of trial lawyers and one of the most talented individuals that connecting with other people that I've ever met Rafe. Thanks for being with us. Thank you for having me. Scott really is an honor and privilege to be here with you in. It's good to see it's wonderful to see you. Can you share with us? The story of a case that had a profound impact on you will sure appreciate you ask. You know all of my cases that there's somehow like your children. It's hard to pick one. That has the most impact but the reason that I want to tell you about. This case is because while it had a successful outcome spoiler alert. I did something wrong. That has stuck with me from the from the day of this trial all the way through. It's not that I don't always do something wrong but I did something. Well let me just tell you the story. Dale and Gail had a love affair that you should write a book about these two fell in love in high school and they all had to wait until gale was old enough to graduate and get permission from the parents to marry and they married and stayed married over sixty years until the date of his death. They're just a lovely couple full of love full life And I met him late in their lifetime and late in their marriage They're from California. They live up in the big bear. Area They had a cabin. That must have been there or house. I shouldn't say a cabin. They quite a nice house in the big bear area of California so he said well how does how does how does Gail Entail? Meet some lawyer. Who's practicing in Grapevine Texas? Well frankly I don't know how they did I don't know if they look this up in the phone book. I don't know I really don't know how they contacted us. But I got a phone call from Gail and she had a crown of a quiver in her voice and she said I'm looking for an Oklahoma lawyer and I said well I'm in Grapevine Texas. We're Kinda close to Oklahoma but I have a license in Oklahoma. So you're in luck. I can practice over there if you'd like and I said what's going on and she said my husband is in the hospital up here in Oklahoma and we've got to get back to California in the original call was just to help her get her husband. Transferred from home back to California. Wouldn't anything about a case or anything. It was just my you know we can't stay in this hospital. We had been there for weeks and to be honest with you. I wasn't sure what to do. You know I knew that a doctor would probably have to release them. I didn't know why couldn't care flat him. Except I suspected it was probably cost issue. They WANNA pay to Trans. Care flying him to California so I asked Gail what happened and she gave me a little bit of rundown. But I'm GonNa tell you the facts and just a minute. I said I'd love to meet with you. Do you WANNA come to grapevine or would you need me to come to the hospital and she said well we can do it over the mail. I hate to drive up here. I said well needed meet you? Your husband's see what's going on. Is he able to talk and she said well when he's not on the ventilator and I said you know it must be serious and she said he was injured in a trucking accident and I didn't know if it was a car wreck or what so I get to the hospital and Susan was my partner at the time and of course always talk to my partners about this case and when I left the office I was going to help a guy get back to California. There's not a lot of financial incentive in that but this lady just has the sweetest voice she ever heard. And you just can't say no to a person like gale and so. I thought how hard can it be? You know we discussed to go and find out what's going on when I got there found out that there was quite a bit going on the world's largest fiberboard in sheet. Rock manufacturer is in Oklahoma and at the world's largest sheet rock manufacturer Gale Day. All had retired from his previous career and he and his wife bought. Champagne pink eighteen wheeler and they did long haul truck driving across the United States. He just he was a former military and he said I've always wanted to see the United States. What better way to get paid in your own truck so gail and Dale in their grandson at four years old left big bear California in made it to Oklahoma to low cheap rock on this flatbed truck. Now the issue was it was about one hundred five degrees according to the National Weather Service and the winds. And this is the issue that I'm going to reveal later but the winds were very gusty. I'll just leave it at that for now. And they have a rule at the sheet. Rock company that you have to tarp your load because if this material gets wet it ruins it and so you cannot leave the premises until your load is tarped. It has to be tarped. And they will engalnd truck loaded in a new how Wendi it was outside so he asked him could Tarp inside out of the win to be safe and they said no there was a train coming in and they had to clear the loading dock and so he was forced to tarp his load outside he got the first tarp damn in as he was tarp in the second tarp a big gust of wind caught it in you know win and sales move ships across oceans and when this wind caught the sale it lifted him up up up up off the truck in slammed him into the ground he shattered his pelvis and five or six places so severely that it severed is your ether. He broke both of his arms and the bone for sticking out just behind. The wrists broke almost all the bones in his face and he lay there unconscious for almost forty. Five minutes while Gayle is frantically trying to find somebody carrying her grandson to help her husband and they can't find anybody and she has no cell phone reception because they're in a remote area in her cell phone wasn't working and That started the case. That I'm GonNa tell you had such an impact on me for over twelve years. I've kept in contact with Gail. Dale is deceased now but we went to trial in this case and I. How did you discover the story of what the case was about? We brought Dale in a gale to our office in Susan are big fans a second-round manner and when we were partners we had a psychodrama room dedicated for soccer drama. And we brought them in to do reenactments and soccer dramatic techniques so we can learn and understand what the the story was and is bad as Deo was injured. The story was always their love affair. The story was always the terror that you would see in. Her is in her voice as she described her husband bleed. Now the asphalt could have been a hundred and ten degrees. Because it's one hundred five and asphalt's always hotter. He's laying on the asphalt with his face bleeding big pool of blood and she's terrified she. She can't find help in this. Remember that very vividly. We did a reenactment where she's running around screaming for anybody a guy on a bicycle road biden and didn't help her and she finally found a guy on a golf cart who actually finally called somebody but it was really a bass standard. His name's Danny and Danny worked at the facility in. He came to render aid and it was him that called the nine one one and I will say this when we took his deposition he was such a good witness in gale was so grateful to him that. I think they went to dinner. Or maybe she wrote a Monas- Thank you card and I looked at it and I said I was appropriate. I mean it restores your faith in people doing the right thing because here's a bystander. Who had nothing to do with this situation? That comes and renders aid and literally saved sales life so we find all this out in her office. You know because when I go to the hospital. Dale is on ventilators and he looks terrible. He's he's literally his arms up like this with the suspension holding them up in his legs in the same way in his pelvis is shattered and five place. The guy almost a cast from his toes to his fingers any couldn't really talk so it was several weeks before we could learn from him. What his version of the story was we could piece together. The parts of the witnesses that we could talk to and then it was almost a year before we could bring office to do reenactments to find out what happened and Susan and I'd just Gail and Dale and Susan. We didn't have a big group of people we just had the two lawyers to clients and We did the listening exercise to start with which we always do and I think Susan may have written her entire opening statement during that gaels listening exercise it was so powerful that when you hear it you just say we have to help these. What did you ask or did Susan ask Gail to talk about what was on her mind and of course what always on Gail for mine? I guess since this wreck was her husband she loved this man like no other and she even though he would say is okay. Hsun believe it because he walks crooked or falls down or he trips sheet even when she was in the listening exercise her eyes would keep darting over to to him to just make sure he was okay and that he was listening. You know that he was okay to hear what she was going to say in that. He was physically. Okay In just for listeners the Gouda know about the listening exercise. That's sort of a form of active listening where you're tuning into the deep feelings that the Persian speaking is talking about. Or how would you describe it briefly? That's exactly right you tune in you listen with your ears of course but you listen more with your heart and you tune into the feelings that you are receiving from the speaker but they might not be saying so for example they may be feeling fearful but they don't Sam feeling fearful and you. You suggest that we call that a doubling and you say I'm feeling fearful and when you say that they if it's true they roll with it if it's not the correct instead to what is true so to give you an example if if I was doubling her and I said I feel fearful and she agreed with that she'd say Oh yes I was terribly fearful and then she gives you a whole list of things that were causing her fear. It's a tremendous active listening exercise. That's the best way I've ever heard.