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October 3, 2018

Plaintiffs’ Attorney Talks About How He “Sawed the Man in Half”

Likening himself to a magician, Houston plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Lanier described to a group of lawyers how he “sawed the man in half” to win a $4.7 billion verdict in a talcum powder lawsuit, Legal Newsline reports in Forbes.

Lanier said at a trial lawyer meeting in Napa Valley that he wants to “figure out what the judge’s playing field is and use every bit of that territory” in the courtroom. He talked about how he used a hand-drawn picture of a woman being pushed off a cliff by an arrow labeled “J&J Asbestos Baby Powder,” how he once compared a defense witness to a jukebox because “he will sing any song you want,” and how he used bales of hay to show how hard it is to separate asbestos fibers. He calls himself “a big believer in actually letting the jury see.”

The article says, however, that this “sort of behavior has gotten Lanier in trouble before.” In April, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a $151 million verdict because he introduced “inflammatory character evidence” and misrepresented compensation to his witnesses.

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