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We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

TRIAL PRACTICE

We’re trial lawyers.

Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. We think like jurors and specialize in refining complex sets of facts into compelling narratives that juries find persuasive.

Of the thousands of pages of documents in your case, there are about 10 that actually matter to a jury. As trial lawyers, we specialize in identifying them and using them to create winning themes for our clients.

If you think that you want your case to settle and therefore don’t need a trial lawyer, please think again.  While it’s true that most cases settle, the best trial lawyers get the best settlements. The other side won’t give what it should until it is totally convinced that it will lose at trial – at Madia Law, we specialize in helping them gain that clarity.

We believe in success based fee arrangements.

We take pride in contingency fee and blended hourly/contingent fee arrangements. We believe in our ability to try cases so strongly that we welcome and, in fact, insist on creative fee arrangements that tie fees to success.

Madia Law Gets Jury Trial Results

We routinely take on some of the largest law firms in the country and get exceptional results. For example,

  • We tried a breach of fiduciary duty case to a jury on behalf of a minority shareholder in a limited liability company. The defendant was represented by one of the top 5 largest firms in Minnesota.  Prior to trial, the largest offer by the defendant was $40,000. The jury returned a verdict of $1.3 million.
  • We represented a small business that was sued in a wage and hour class action involving nearly 1,000 plaintiffs represented by one of the largest and best employment firms in the nation. The lowest offer to settle by plaintiffs before trial was $2 million. We tried the case, and the jury dismissed most charges and returned a verdict of just $13,000.
  • We represented a young man who claimed that he was assaulted by St. Paul police officers. St. Paul refused to offer favorable settlement terms because it claimed that it had not lost a police misconduct case at trial in 15 years. We tried the case and beat them – the jury awarded nearly $35,000 in punitive damages for the officers’ actions.
  • We represented a small business that sued the downtown Minneapolis building it leased space from because faulty plumbing caused damage during a rain storm. A large insurance company defense firm represented the defendant. Though they offered only $50,000 before trial, the jury returned a verdict of $298,000.
  • We represented a businessman who sued his partner for breach of fiduciary duty. Another firm handled the matter for a year until the dissatisfied client switched to us. Prior to our representation, the best offer from the defendant was $2 million. We took over the discovery and handled depositions and motions practice. Two months before trial, the defendant settled for approximately $4.5 million.
  • Another firm brought us in to try a breach of fiduciary duty case against a real estate agent and large real estate company to jury, just 3 months before trial. Prior to our retention, the best settlement offer the company made was $2,000. After we were retained, the company offered $25,000 and later $50,000. We turned down their offers and tried the case: the jury awarded every dime that we asked for: over $115,000.
  • We were brought on 3 weeks before trial in a tortious interference with contract case. The district court had previously dismissed the case on summary judgment, but the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for trial. The defense had made no settlement offers – at all – through the entire litigation. We tried the case and the jury awarded $175,000 to our client.
  • Another firm brought us into an age discrimination case about 5 weeks before trial. The district court had previously dismissed the case, but the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for trial. The defense made no offers of settlement. Though each of our 2 clients only had about $11,000 in damages each (as it was a failure to promote case, and they still had their jobs, so their wage loss was limited), the jury awarded $50,000 in damages to one plaintiff and $25,000 in damages to the second. The jury additionally awarded each plaintiff $25,000 in punitive damages – which is the statutory maximum allowed.

Madia Law Takes Cases on the Eve of Trial

We ramp up quickly. Very quickly. We take pride in being hired by clients (and often, other lawyers) just weeks before trial.

One of the first things we’ll do with your case is develop the themes for our closing argument. We’ll think about exactly what we want our last words to the jury to be, and what we want jurors thinking about as they deliberate. Based on the closing, we’ll develop our trial strategy: which witnesses to call and what we need from their testimony, what we want to develop in cross, and how we’ll use documents and other exhibits to build the evidentiary record that we’ll draw on in closing.

Because we’ve tried so many cases, and have so much experience with so many different judges and juries, we’re able to quickly work through stacks of paper to identify and focus on the documents that will matter to a jury. We develop a case theme that’s clear, logical, and respects the jury.

Other Counsel

If you are an attorney who’s litigated a case all the way to trial, but you feel that you need trial support, we’re here to help.  We can assist any way that you feel would be helpful, whether it’s working with you on opening, closing, and trial exams; trying the case together; or trying the case on our own – we can get it done. We understand the investment you’ve made in getting the case to trial, the value you have for your client, and the importance of finishing the job right. We’re confident in our ability to take cases on the eve of trial and bring them home.

THE MADIA LAW WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial.

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

What Our Clients Say