Plaut Spouts: Reflections of an Old Guy with a Corner Office
Two days after returning from a visit to Copenhagen to see our son who’s studying there, I tried and won a breach of contract case in a single day. The case involved a contract dispute between two construction subcontractors about insurance coverage. My client, a Spanish speaking stone mason, had been sued for failing to secure “completed operations” insurance coverage for another subcontractor. We tried the case before Judge Eric Shepperd in County Court at Law No. 2 here in Travis County, which is always a pleasure. Judge Shepperd moves his cases efficiently and fairly and as a lawyer you’re given the opportunity to put on the case you want.
In voir dire, opening statement, and closing argument, I argued there was simply no breach of contract and analogized to the Wendy’s commercial with the old woman who looks at her hamburger and asks “Where’s the beef?” My client had been asked if he had insurance and he said he did, which was true. Where was the promise to secure a specific kind of insurance for the other subcontractor? The answer was easy; there wasn’t any. The other side consistently attacked the insurance company defending my client, its claims handling, and our alleged complicity and failure to help secure coverage for that subcontractor. I argued that was all a red herring designed to obscure the basic issue of the case – whether my client had promised to secure a specific kind of insurance coverage for the other contractor.
The jury went out to deliberate at 3:00 PM and returned a verdict at 3:15 PM finding no breach of contract. That’s the quickest verdict – good or bad – I’ve ever had. Our clients are very happy with the result and so are we. #livingthedream