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Lawyer Brag Leads to Vacated Verdict

The next time Robert McKenna III celebrates a recent victorious court case in front of coworkers, he’d be wise to prevent anyone from filming his exultation. That’s because McKenna was part of a defense team that successfully fended off a wrongful death suit for a local gastroenterologist.

He was recorded on video at a company function describing the situation as “a guy who was probably negligently killed, but we kind of made it look like other people did it. ... We actually had a death certificate that said he died the very way the plaintiff said he died, and we had to say, ‘No, you really shouldn’t believe what that death certificate says, or the coroner.’”

As a result, the judge who presided over the case vacated the verdict, ordering all parties involved to return to court. At a hearing for the new trial Superior Court Judge James Crandall said, “I think I have to protect the system and say plaintiffs deserve a new trial.”

When asked for his reasoning, the judge elaborated. “When he says on video a ‘guy was probably negligently killed,’ probably is more likely than not. Then he goes on to say, ‘But we kind of made it look like other people did it.’ That seems like an admission of negligence. Seems like an admission the plaintiff should have prevailed.”

The judge went on to call McKenna “an excellent lawyer,” with a reputation for “honesty and integrity. ... But good men make mistakes.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

We shouldn't get so caught up in boasting of our own accomplishments that we lose sight of our own fallibility and the truth.

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