How Mark Lanier used cheese to help win a $4.7B talcum powder verdict

Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier of Lanier Law Firm

National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier isn’t afraid to use a few props to make a point to a jury. Forbes has a profile of Lanier titled “A Bale of Hay and a Block of Cheese: How Mark Lanier Won $4.7 Billion Talcum Powder Verdict” The story begins with how Lanier pulled a knife out of his pocket during the trial and “held it over a large block of yellow cheese.”

“You’ve got Bailiff Jim over there just looking for an excuse to shoot, so I looked at the judge and said `Am I allowed to do this?’” Lanier recalled at a recent meeting for mass tort trial lawyers. “`For now,’ the judge said.”

Lanier was using the knife and cheese to illustrate to the jury how talc is mined. He went on to use a bale of hay, a bathroom scale and “drawings scribbled on overhead projector slides” to communicate with jurors. Read more about Lanier’s techniques and tactics at Forbes. 

Jury convicts Atlanta attorney of murdering wife

An Atlanta jury has found attorney Claud “Tex” McIver guilty of felony murder in the shooting death of his wife Diane in September 2016. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The 75-year-old McIver was acquitted on a charge of malice murder, which would have meant that the shooting death was intentional. Jurors also found McIver guilty on four lesser charges, including aggravated assault. WXIA reports that one of McIver’s friends calls the the jury’s decision “the wrong verdict.” Diane McIver was shot in the back while riding in the front passenger seat of an SUV. Her husband was in the back seat with a loaded revolver in his lap.

Judge in Philando Castile case supports jury decision

The Minnesota judge who presided over the recent acquittal of the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile has written a letter supporting the jury’s decision. “The criticism of the jury’s decision of which I am aware has focused primarily on a reaction to the squad-cam video and on consideration of issues you as jurors were never asked to address,” wrote Judge William Leary III on June 23. More on the letter is available here at The Daily Beast.