A partner of Schauermann Thayer was one of two speakers who presented on the topic of “MAR, De novo Appeals, and Beating the Bar”, on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The program was held in the community room at the Columbia Bank Building in Vancouver, Washington. Co-presenting with Bill Thayer was fellow Clark County lawyer Grant Gehrmann.
Bill's talk addressed the pros and cons of opting for mandatory arbitration, versus going straight to jury trial, in personal injury cases brought in the Superior Courts of Washington. The program was put on as part of a regular monthly meeting of the local chapter of Washington State Association of Justice members. Grant Gehrmann followed Bill's presentation up with an interesting description of a recent personal injury case that he tried after it was appealed by the insurer of the defendant; the case having ending up with a very successful outcome for Grant's client. Grant spoke of the importance of helping the jury be able to really understand and appreciate the story of the injured plaintiff, and urged his listeners to see de novo appeals by insurance companies of fair arbitration awards as an opportunity rather than a burden.
This round table was particularly well attended, with some 25 to 30 local WSAJ members attending. The speakers were introduced by Ben Melnick, who has co-chaired Clark County's WSAJ Roundtables for the last three years with Bradley Thayer.