— Lifetime Achievement Award honors lawyers who achieved a trial verdict, arbitration award, settlement or appeal of $1 million or more.
When an insurance policy is $1 million or more and the attorney is seeking payment of that much, the insurance company will assign a claims representative who handles major cases. These claims representatives are far more experienced and spend more time scrutinizing claims.
Additionally, the insurance company will assign a defense lawyer who will spend much more time defending the case. Unless the plaintiff had a catastrophic injury such as loss of a leg, paraplegia or quadriplegia, obtaining $1 million is not easy.
Trial Verdict — A trial verdict is an award of money issued either by a jury after a trial or by a judge (without a jury) after what is known as a bench trial. This award indicates that a lawyer successfully obtained a verdict of $1 million or more from either a jury or a judge.
Arbitration — The award will also be issued to a lawyer who has obtained an arbitration decision awarding at least $1 million or more. Binding arbitration is like a bench trial.
Arbitration is usually done at the office of a private arbitration company with either a retired judge or an attorney acting as the arbitrator. Both the plaintiff’s attorney and the defense attorney will argue their case before the arbitrator and the plaintiff and defendant will testify before the arbitrator. The arbitrator will issue a written decision, usually within a week or two after the arbitration.
Settlement — A settlement is a negotiated agreement between the plaintiff and the defense to end the lawsuit in exchange for an amount of money to be paid to the plaintiff. A settlement can be reached at any time prior to the lawsuit, during the lawsuit or even during the trial or while the jury is out deliberating a verdict. This award will be issued if that amount of money equals $1 million or more.
A settlement can be negotiated informally during a conversation or during a formal mediation. A mediation is similar to binding arbitration but without a final binding decision. At mediation, the case can be settled through negotiation using the help of a mediator who is either a retired judge or an attorney. If the case is not settled at the mediation, the parties will leave and continue with the lawsuit.
Look for the Million Dollar Trial Lawyers™ award logo on a lawyer’s website verifying the lawyer is entitled to privileged lifetime membership in the exclusive Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Association™
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