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Under the Minnesota civil procedure rules, Minnesota juries can not be told about insurance. It really is lying to the jury as we go through trials against defendants who didn’t hire a lawyer, can make the case settle, and often times have no interest in even being there.

There will be trials where jurors do ask about it. But, they are told that’ s an issue for the judge. Sometimes after trials I’ve had jurors ask me why we didn’t go after the insurance. They would have liked to know the truth. But, the defense can’t have that.

I do wonder why a juror would think that I would be wasting my clients time going after a person who clearly doesn’t have much. I need to make sure to ask that next time. I can assure you that it would be a path to quick bankruptcy for everyone involved.

Trials often happen because insurance companies don’t offer enough to settle. They seem to relish the thought that the client has to look like they are suing a relative, a friend, or a little old lady. It is even more of a lie when a defendant gets all caught up in a case. I’ve watched seemingly good people, suddenly get all indignant , after they were the one who was reaching for a bottle of water as they smashed into the back of my clients car. Maybe, learn to pay attention and quit acting like you really have anything at stake in the case.

Most defendants get the suit papers and turn them over to the insurance company. The company hires the lawyer. The company calls all the shots. In the case where they actually win, the insurance company actually pockets the awarded costs. They also have raised the defendants rates for causing the collision. Nice work if you can get it.

I have written before about the need for direct action. It would be nice if we could just stop lying as required by the rules.

4 Comments

  1. A comment from Facebook:

    "Mike - you are right, it is a fraud on the jurors and makes everyone - except the deep-pocketed insurance companies and lawyers they paid handsomely - uncomfortable. Wonder why the rich insurance companies don't want the jurors to know the truth? I don't - they do anything to avoid responsibility. And as Mike says, they parade their insured who caused the crash and hurt our clients in the first place and who have absolutely no stake in the outcome of the case and have taken no responsibility at all before the jury to try to fool them into thinking it is the insured who is footing the bill - nope. Thanks for bringing this to light, Mike - I hope at some point our law makers will correct this rule so we can tell every juror the whole truth. "

  2. So very true, and one of the things Wisconsin has going for them with direct action. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave this comment.

  3. we suffer with the same situation in Michigan - its dishonest - thank you for pointing this out

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