Agriculture, Ranching and Animal Law

I represented the Brinkley Defendants in Case # D101-CV-2010-03664 in Santa Fe County’s District Court.  The case went to trial in December 2013.  The Brinkleys are a Torrance County ranching family.  They were uninsured against the Plaintiffs’ claims and if we had not prevailed, they likely could have lost their ranch.

One terrible night my clients’ cows got out of their pasture and wandered onto a state highway.  Along came the Plaintiffs and hit one.  Their car rolled and the driver was badly injured.  So the Brinkleys got sued because it was their cow.

The Plaintiffs alleged the cows were on the highway because the Brinkleys were negligent ranchers.  They called themselves, a psychologist and an economist to testify about their injuries and damages.  They paid another alleged expert witness, Mr. Lar Thomas, to testify the Brinkleys were negligent ranchers.  They also called an accident reconstructionist who opined the cow was mostly in the Plaintiffs’ lane in the roadway when they hit it.  I argued the cows were on the highway because they went roaming like cows do sometimes.  I also argued the cow that was hit was in the middle of the road when it was hit, and the Plaintiffs would have avoided it had they been driving with due care.  Plus, the jury could see the Brinkleys are not negligent people.

For the Brinkleys’ expert witness to testify about their ranching practices, I found a professional range manager who worked almost 40 years for the Bureau of Land Management.  To win a difficult high-stakes civil jury trial, your attorney needs to find the right expert witnesses who will have a high degree of credibility.  That’s what I did.  Then I made sure all my witnesses and myself were well-prepared.  The jury’s verdict was that the Brinkleys were 0% at fault and owed the Plaintiffs nothing.

Every few years, I have been asked to handle a particularly difficult trial for someone the results of which could have long-term, life-changing consequences for the parties involved.  I have never lost one of these.  When your entire business or everything you have worked for your entire life are on the line in a difficult, risky lawsuit, you need a capable experienced lawyer on your side.  Hire one with a proven track record, not one who wants to “become” experienced at your expense.  For many years now I have studied and put into practice the persuasive arts and communication skills needed to succeed in the jury trial.   Give us a call to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your particular case.