PMT Winning in Court – Setting Up for the Win: PMT Delivers a Directed Verdict at Trial

Setting up for the win: PMT Delivers A Directed Verdict at Trial
By Ernest J. Bernabei III and Thomas M. Bona.

Court: Camden County NJ Superior Court
Judge: Hon. Michael J. Kassell
Case Type: Construction Liability
Caption: Verizon NJ, Inc v. A.P. Construction Inc and General Asphalt

Index #: CAM-L-004075-20
Decision Date: 6/1/22
Decision: Motion for Judgment at Trial Granted

Ernest J. Bernabei III - PMT Partner

PMT Partner, Ernest J. Bernabei III – VIEW BIO

The best trial lawyers start early to set up a win. They quickly identify the other side’s weaknesses legally and factually and then continuously hammer away at those issues. They know that repetition is the key to convincing a judge and jury. When a case goes to trial, top trial lawyers start by letting the judge know what the weak points are in their opponents’ proof, and then as the case proceeds to trial, remind the judge that these issues are still problems. When done successfully, the judge is left with only one option: dismiss the case. PMT trial lawyer Ernest Bernabei recently showed how to set up the win.

Ernest Bernabei obtained dismissal by motion after the second day of a trial in Camden County Superior Court. The case, before Judge Kassell, involved a substantial claim by a major utility against the PMT client, a construction company, and a subcontractor. The plaintiff company alleged that the defendants had damaged several cables during a bridge reconstruction project and sought damages for repair and replacement. Mr. Bernabei laid the groundwork for dismissal by arguing liability issues in motions in limine at the start of the case. While the judge was unwilling to grant these motions, Mr. Bernabei was able to alert the court to the plaintiff’s problems as to causation and the lack of an expert. By the conclusion of the plaintiff’s liability case, it was clear that the judge understood and agreed with the defense position and granted both defendants’ Motions for Judgment (essentially a directed verdict). This emphasizes the value of identifying proof issues through trial motions and using them to alert trial judges to the defense position when hearing the plaintiff’s evidence.

PMT trial attorneys methodically prepare their cases to get the best result for our clients. That’s the PMT advantage; let it work for you.

Should you have any questions, please call our office at (914) 703-6300 or contact:

Marc H. Pillinger, Executive Partner

Jeffrey T. Miller, Executive Partner