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11/18/2013

Over Before the Jury Walked In

There is an old adage among attorneys that cases are often won or lost before the jury walked into the courtroom.  Recently, Mr. Vilardi defended a case involving allegations that an agent and principal (who happened to be daughter and mother, respectively) breached the Landlord Tenant Act when they allegedly evicted siblings without proper legal process.  The two brothers-plaintiffs also claimed that their mother and sister breached an implied bailment agreement and converted their goods.  The plaintiffs sought damages exceeding $75,000, the claimed value of their allegedly destroyed or discarded personal property. 

Prior to trial, Mr. Vilardi filed a summary judgment motion identifying the relevant facts and law, and attaching the relevant transcripts and related documents.  While the motion was denied, it had its intended effect – the motion fully apprised the Court of the case facts, and it established the groundwork for later motion practice.

In anticipation of trial, Mr. Vilardi filed several motions in limine highlighting the critical issues, with a focus on the lack of evidence that would warrant submitting the case to the jury.  On the morning of trial, during oral argument, Mr. Vilardi moved for reconsideration of the Court’s denial of his Motion for Summary Judgment.  The Court granted the motion for reconsideration, and granted the defense motion for summary judgment, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety – all before the jury was selected.