Two weeks ago we were getting ready for trial, representing an oil & gas company accused of, inter alia, stealing timber from Plaintiff’s property. We took the time to pay a call on Plaintiff’s neighbor to see if he saw anyone take timber away. As we sat at the man’s kitchen table, we learned that Plaintiff had in fact sold timber after our client had cut it. Needless to say, this piqued our interest, because it directly contradicted Plaintiff’s claim. We asked how to get in touch with the man who bought the timber. Two phone calls got us nowhere.
Just then, a man knocked at the door. It was the man who bought the timber! He gave us the two $5,000 checks he gave Plaintiff in payment for the timber. The checks bore Plaintiff’s name on the front and her endorsement on the back. Bingo!
At trial, Plaintiff insisted that our client stole the timber. She denied selling the timber. We confronted her with the first $5,000 check, then the second. She had to concede the endorsement on the back was her own, and that she had, in fact, sold timber off the property. Her credibility was shot. Two days later, we won the jury’s verdict.
The moral of the story is: Hard work pays off. Getting out of the office talking to witnesses can really help your case.