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Anatomy of a Civil Trial


Explain the Different Types of Damages David Ball's important work on Damages has outlined


that the three basic types of damages should focus on the jury's role to fix, help and make up for losses. Tese include:


1. Fix what can be fixed. Some losses can be 100 percent fixed, such as repayment of medical bills or lost wages.


2. Help what can be helped. Such as by paying for care that will help but not cure.


3. Make up for (balance) what cannot be fixed or helped. Such as past pain or untreatable disabilities that won’t get better.


Tis is where you have to use your powers of persuasion the most to talk about the non-economic damages that your client is entitled to. You should use the jury verdict sheet and go through the elements of damage on the verdict sheet.


Although this is not an exhaustive list of helpful hints,


these have worked effectively for me over the years in persuading juries to provide justice to my clients. 


"Most trials will come down to which witness or expert the jury ultimately believes."


Biography Bruce M. Bender is a partner with the law firm of


Axelson, Williamowsky, Bender & Fishman, P.C in Rockville, Maryland and has been associated with this firm since 1984. He has been a member of the Board of Governors at MAJ for the past five years and has been honored as a Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present. He has tried over 50 jury trials in state and federal courts including a recent trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia whereby his client was awarded $1,050,000 in damages after a two and one half week trial.


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Trial Reporter / Spring 2012 37


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