Verdicts & Settlements Submission Guidelines
The Gavel accepts OCTLA members’ reports of case results for publication in its Verdicts & Settlements (V&S) section. The V&S section announces and celebrates OCTLA members’ achievements, fostering communication and support among OCTLA members, and encouraging non-member attorneys to join OCTLA.
Publishing case results in V&S is an OCTLA member benefit. Only the names of current OCTLA members will appear in V&S. If an OCTLA member obtained a result with non-member co-counsel, only the member’s name will be published; co-counsel will be noted simply as “co-counsel”.
The types of case results published in V&S include jury and bench trial verdicts, settlements, binding arbitrations, etc. V&S will not publish voluntary dismissals, non-binding arbitrations, partial/duplicative results, mistrials, and results more than one (1) year old.
Case result submissions must NOT exceed 120 words and should include the following information:
- Name(s) & firm(s) of OCTLA member(s) who achieved the result
- Type of result (e.g., jury verdict, arbitration settlement, etc.)
- Size & nature of result (e.g., dollar amount, “confidential settlement,” general, special, punitive, etc.)
- Brief case description (e.g., major issue/problem overcome, unusual liability or damages factors, etc.
- Any other information that may be of interest to readers of The Gavel
Example: Jane Doe of The Doe Law Group and John Smith of Smith & Jones obtained an over-policy $1.3 million jury verdict in a disputed slip-and-fall case in Fullerton. Plaintiff, a 62-year-old hairdresser, sued a commercial cleaning service after she slipped on a puddle of soap and fell, causing significant injuries. There were no witnesses and no physical evidence at the scene. Defendant presented evidence that Plaintiff suffered from a history of falls. Nevertheless, the jury awarded past medical specials of $300,000, future medical specials of $250,000, and general damages of $750,000, far exceeding Defendant’s pre-trial offer. (96 words)
Example: John Dough of Dough Firm secured a $525,000 settlement in a failure to diagnose breast cancer case against the decedent’s physician and radiologist, who failed to order a biopsy after an abnormal physical and irregular ultrasound. Plaintiff contended that if decedent had been promptly treated around the time of the ultrasound, she would have had a 60% chance of a disease-free life. Defendants disputed the standard of care contentions and alleged that due to the aggressive nature of the cancer, earlier intervention would not have changed the outcome. The radiologist contributed $100,000 to the settlement, and the physician paid $425,000. (100 words)
Submissions may be contained in the body of the e-mail itself or in an attached document in Microsoft® Word format (preferred), PDF or ASCII plain text. Digital images & scanned files are not acceptable.
The deadline for V&S submissions is as follows: January 22 for Spring/April issue, April 22 for Summer/July issue, July 22 for Fall/October issue and October 22 for Winter/January issue.
The Gavel Editorial Committee reserves the right to edit V&S submissions for content, length, readability, or any other reason consistent with its exercise of editorial prerogative. Submissions to V&S may be subject to verification prior to publication.