Nick Rowley became the only attorney to be highlighted twice on the CVN Top 10 Plantiff Verdicts of 2016.

#3: Carter v. Kern County School District – Attorney wears chicken suit and wins millions

Link to video of the trial:

Why it made the list:

We’ve covered hundreds of trials here at CVN, and we thought we had seen everything.

That was until plaintiff’s attorney Nick Rowley, during his closing argument in a traumatic brain injury case, began putting on a full body chicken costume complete with gloves, rubber webbed feet and a beak.

However this was no mere courtroom stunt. This was a shrewd maneuver employed by one of the most aggressive and sometimes unconventional plaintiff attorneys in the country to make jurors understand the circumstances that led to his client’s injury and ultimately resulted in a liability verdict that set up a $10.5 million settlement, after an initial offer to resolve the case of only $50,000.

Rowley’s client Mitch Carter was mobbed during a high school football rally after dressing up as the mascot of a rival school, using the same costume that Rowley put on in front of the jury. Rowley argued the school district was responsible for creating the unsafe conditions that caused Carter’s head injury, and after the first phase of a bifurcated trial in June a California state court jury agreed.

A $10.5 million settlement, which Rowley told CVN was the school district’s insurance carrier’s full policy limit, was reached during testimony in the damages phase.

Rowley landed a number of other impressive verdicts that CVN filmed in 2016, but this likely “courtroom first” is the one that comes in at number 3 on our list.

#10 Lin v. LA County MTA – $8.35 million awarded to deceased immigrant’s family

Link to video of the trial:

Why it made the list:

How much is a human life actually worth? It’s a profound and some would even say insensitive question, yet it is one attorneys in wrongful death trials have to frequently ask jurors to grapple with.

This verdict, reached by a Los Angeles County jury in March, closes out our list at Number 10 and addressed how much the family of Yaer Lin, an immigrant from Vietnam, deserved after he was killed in a rear-end collision with an MTA vehicle.

The MTA admitted liability, but attorneys for the Lin family rejected their pretrial settlement offer of $5 million, which was later raised to $7 million after a jury had been seated. Lin’s children were fully grown and had worked as cooks, leaving jurors to weigh that against the central role a patriarch plays in traditional Vietnamese families.

Nick Rowley, who previously made an appearance in the Number 3 spot on our list, relied on the family’s traditional cultural values to beat the MTA’s settlement offer by $1.35 million while walking the fine line involved in asking a jury to assign a hard dollar amount to a deceased person’s life.