Haggard Law Firm trial lawyer Christopher Marlowe obtained a $1.69 million settlement in a negligent security case involving the murder of two cousins.
Ken Jean and Bensen Cineas lived on Florida’s southwest coast. They
were traveling to an immigration appointment in Miami with a friend late at
night, before arriving at a relative’s apartment in North Miami around 3
am. On January 31, 2016, around 4 pm, the cousins were found dead in the
front seat of a car. They were found shot in the back of the head, with bullet
casings in the back of the car. It is believed that they were dead for
Family of Local Librarian
Murdered in ATM Robbery to Announce Negligent Security Lawsuit Against Credit
Reward For Information
Leading to Killer(s) Increases to $23,000
Miami Gardens, Fla - The family of Jaime Humet, who was killed on December
10th, 2018 while leaving the ATM of the Dade County Federal Credit Union
located at 20645 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami Gardens, says the business did not have
sufficient security measures in place to prevent the tragedy that claimed the
life of their beloved Jaime.
Humet’s mother Pilar and
brother Nick will be joined by their attorneys Pedro Echarte of The Haggard Law
Firm and Angel Diaz of Kirschner, Groff & Diaz...
Every trial lawyer understands the significance of creating and developing a strong, clear theme for their case at trial. The theme of your case initiates a tone towards your Case-in-Chief and if powerful enough, it will dictate which fork in the road, favorable or unfavorable to your client, the jury takes.
Opening statement is the second opportunity the trial lawyer has to begin planting the seed of bias in favor of his or her client—seasoned and skilled trial lawyers understand voir dire is really the first opportunity. It is critical to communicate to the jury and ingrain within each member of the jury a persuasive and powerful theme. Why? Once your theme is etched into the minds of the jury, each juror will begin to look for evidence that supports that theme. If a particular piece of evidence contradicts that theme they will likely discard that piece of evidence or they may not associate as much credence with it as they would have had it fit with your theme. This is vital to the outcome of your case. The theme essentially summarizes your case for the jury. Whether it is a short phrase or one word, the theme should capture the case theory, tone and the area of focus for the jury. The theme should be simple and easy to understand. I can share with you a case example in a recent trial of The Haggard Law Firm—the case of Trinard Snell.
Our firm tried the negligent security case against a gas station owner and operator, which resulted in a $5.7 million dollar verdict on behalf of the deceased Plaintiff and his survivors. Understanding the importance of a clear theory and a memorable, persuasive theme, we began opening statement with our theme— inadequate security on a crime-ridden property.
The case theme was presented to the jury at the very beginning of opening statement, repeated throughout the entire opening statement and reiterated at the end. Why? A concept in psychology—primacy, and recency—tells us that order is important! The primacy effect is described as the ability of an individual to recall information better that was presented earlier rather than later. The recency effect is described as the ability of an individual to remember information presented most recently to them better than information that was presented earlier. When you combine the two, optimal information recollection is achieved. Therefore, at minimum, the jury must here your theme at the beginning and at the end of your presentation.
Haggard Law Firm trial lawyer and Managing Partner, Michael Haggard email MAH@HaggardLawFirm.com
Testimony and Evidence Presented
After your jury has been indoctrinated with the theme of your case through voir dire and opening statement, you must keep the jury on that same track during the presentation of the oral testimony and physical evidence. Depending on the length of the trial, the jury will hear days to weeks of testimony. It is their job to sort through the evidence presented and make a just decision at the end of the trial. After weeks of testimony, jurors often become overwhelmed with the volume of information and evidence presented. It is the trial lawyer’s job to organize this testimony and evidence presented to the jury in a manner that diminishes this information overload. I use the analogy of a train on a train track to best describe this concept. The theme is the locomotive. Your jury represents the passengers on the train. The trial lawyer must keep his or her passengers onboard throughout the entire trial until arriving at destination “Favorable Verdict.”
One way to ensure your train passengers are not disembarking is to reiterate your theme and theory of your case throughout each segment of the trial. Your theme should be clear, concise and easy to recognize. The theme is the lens through which your jury will view the case. It is imperative that the lens you provide to the jury is the correct diopter—representing a powerful and persuasive theme. An incorrect diopter will result in a hazy, unclear view of your case and perhaps an unfavorable verdict. Mock trials and jury focus groups are a great way to gauge the lens diopter your jury will need.
WE INVITE REFERRAL ATTORNEYS AND CO-COUNSEL TO CONTACT US AT INFO@HAGGARDLAWFIRM.COM or 305.446.5700
As simple as this may sound, many lawyers have a difficult time successfully implementing these techniques. Through our years of law school and demanding casework at our prosperous law firms, our legal minds are trained to analyze the complexities and minutiae of the law, creating sophisticated legal arguments for opposing counsel and the court. The basic techniques of persuasive communication are often neglected due to the lawyer’s engrossment with the complexities of the legal issues of their case and their own familiarity with legal terms and attitude of simplicity. For example, the trial attorney that uses the theme of “Negligent Actions” will be rudely surprised by the jurors’ varying definitions of negligence. Despite the lawyer’s familiarity with the term “negligence” and its rudimentary elements, it is not so easily nor correctly defined by the jury. Through juror focus groups and mock trials, the lawyer can clear out the fog and rework the case theme prior to trial. During the deliberations at mock trials, I often hear jurors begin an explanation with “Personally, I feel that…” or “To me, this means…” These phrases are indicative of “information gap-filling.” Jurors will pull from their personal experiences to fill in the gaps. Those gaps are either areas where the jury is confused or has simply forgotten the information presented. Regardless of the reason for the existence of the gap, the juror will instinctively try to fill that gap in order to make sense of the legal questions they are tasked with answering. This illustrates why trial lawyers cannot forget the basics and cannot neglect the importance of simplifying and effectively communicating those complex issues to the members of the jury. The skilled trial lawyer will be mindful of this. The skilled trial lawyer will have an engaging theme.
Miami Dade County, FL - A gunshot victim who had his kidney, portions of his intestines removed and his colon perforated settles a negligent security lawsuit against northwest Miami apartment complex for $3 million.
On May 3rd, 2014, Dennis Gore and his friend worked together cleaning one of their clients’ business’. After work, Dennis and his friend played flag football and then went to Dennis’ mother’s apartment at Suncoast Apartments (999 NE 167th Street). Dennis would ask his friend to take him to Walgreen’s to get an ace bandage because of a sore knee.
The two of them went downstairs to Dennis’s...
The Haggard Law Firm has been recognized by TopVerdict for notable results in 2017. TopVerdict recognizes U.S. law firms and attorneys who have obtained one of the highest jury verdicts, settlements, court or arbitration awards in the Nation or an individual State, in a particular area of law, and year
The $12 million verdict obtained by Haggard Law in Machado v Waves of Hialeah was named by TopVerdict as the number one inadequate security (negligent security) verdict and third highest premises liability verdict in Florida in 2017. The negligent security, wrongful death case was litigated by our Christopher Marlowe, Jason Brenner, James Blecke and co-counsel Alexis Izquierdo, ESQ.
This is the second straight year Haggard Law has earned the #1 Inadequate Security verdict recognition. In 2016, Brenner and trial attorney Douglas McCarron were recognized for the $1.7 million verdict obtained in Navas V Regal Entertainment Group. That case involved injuries suffered by a Monica Navas after moviegoers trampled her while trying to frantically escape a theater after a suspicious person started a fight days after the Aurora Colorado movie theater mass shooting.
A recent issue of the VerdictSearch periodical named a $12 Million verdict earned by Haggard Law in a wrongful death, negligent security case as the "Featured Verdict" of the month.
Background of Case
A Miami Dade County jury awarded the parents of Yaimi Guevara Machado $12 million following a five-day trial that originated from a wrongful death negligent security lawsuit filed against the Chesapeake Motel.
On April 10, 2016, their daughter, 30-year-old Machado was locked out of her hotel room only wearing a bra and jeans when she asked the staff of the Hialeah motel for help . They refused. Moments later, police...
On Monday The Haggard Law Firm hosted a media conference to discuss the recent $12 million verdict earned in the negligent security wrongful death case of Yaimi Guevara Machado. Joined by our brave clients, Machado’s parents and sister, our collective goal was to drive the message home to motel owners to make sure they are taking every necessary step to meet the security needs of your property to ensure the safety of your guests.
In April 2016, Guevara was killed shortly after asking the staff at the Chesapeake Motel in Hialeah Florida to help her after she was locked out of her room wearing only jeans and a bra. No help was given. Security video shows that Ronald Lopezandrade was also on the property that night. He was not a guest of the hotel but he was able to purchase alcohol, requested a prostitute, and made sexual advances on a hotel employee. Despite those red flags, he was never removed from the property. Eventually, the suspect met the victim, gained her trust, gave her his shirt, and walked her to the parking lot. They would disappear from view of the security camera. Police say Ronald Lopezandrade sexually assaulted Machado and then beat her to death.
Every major TV affiliate and the two major newspapers in South Florida were among the news filed stories along with media outlets that covered (as of the date of this posting).
MEDIA CONFERENCE MONDAY 1:30PM- Security Video Provided
Local Family of Woman Beaten to Death During Sexual Assault Say Hotel Could Have Prevented Her Murder.
A Miami-Dade County Jury Agreed, Just Ordered Hotel to Pay Parents $12 Million.
Hialeah, FL – Late Friday a Miami Dade County jury awarded the parents of Yaimi Guevara Machado $12 million following a five day trial that originated from a wrongful death negligent security lawsuit filed against the Chesapeake Motel.
On April 10, 2016, the 30-year-old Machado was locked out of her hotel room only wearing a bra and jeans when she asked the staff of the Hialeah motel for help (video/audio available). They refused. Moments later, police say, she was beaten to death by Ronald Lopez Andrade who has been charged with first degree murder.
Machado’s family filed the lawsuit against the owners of the Chesapeake Motel because they believe its staff had several opportunities to prevent the tragedy. Along with not assisting Machado when she approached them, the hotel’s staff:
Allowed Andrade, who was not a hotel guest, to linger on the property
sold Andrade alcohol (video/audio available)
fielded a request from the inebriated Andrade for help to find a prostitute (video/audio available)
did not kick Andrade off property when he sought sexual favors from a housekeeper
Machado’s parents, Julia Machado and Rafael Guevara, hope their successful lawsuit sends a message to budget motels to follow the best practices in the lodging industry to provide the security that will help prevent tragedies like these from destroying another family.
The Haggard Law Firm’s Christopher Marlowe and Jason Brenner were joined by co-counsel, Alexis Izquierdo , in litigating this case.
Tis the season for the holiday shopping surge. Unfortunately with the increased traffic experienced by most stores, malls and gas stations comes a rise in crime at those commercial properties. While some malls take responsible steps to increase security measures, too many businesses are negligent in providing the adequate security needed to protect you and your family from harm.
Firms included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.