Jordan Lipp has a rule to follow as a litigator: The jury must always see the product he’s defending.
In his primary practice area of product liability defense, he represents companies facing claims that their products are responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries. His self-imposed rule allows him to show that both he and the company he’s defending are proud of the product. It also lets jurors see the evidence in person and come to their own conclusions about the product.
That became a personal rule during a case that questioned whether an oil tank was placed too close to an airport runway, which a plaintiff claimed caused an airplane to crash into it. Lipp arranged to have the judge and jury take a field trip to the airstrip and see the oil tank and the runway just as Lipp had while preparing for the case. He felt the first-hand experience helped jurors see there was no way a pilot could easily overlook the oil tank. After the case, jurors told him that seeing the scene in person was the most important piece of evidence.
Last year, Lipp had two cases reach total defense wins, handed down by the jury, after putting them in contact with the products in question.