Retired Steinberg Law Firm Attorney, Kevin Holmes, Returns to Co-Chair His Son’s First Jury Trial
Charleston, SC (Law Firm Newswire) October 18, 2021 To long-time Steinberg Law Firm attorney and recent retiree Kevin Holmes, every case is important. Shortly after announcing his retirement last year, attorney Holmes briefly put his retirement plans on hold to try a case that had special meaning to him.
Kevin Holmes’ son, Logan, had recently graduated from Charleston School of Law. Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the courts, Kevin Holmes decided that he wanted to be there to support his son in what is a momentous event in any young attorney’s life: his first jury trial.
The case involved a man injured in a car accident while driving home from his brother’s house. On his way home, the client was going through a residential area when he lost sight of the vehicle ahead of him as it rounded a corner. As he made his way around the corner, there was a flash of light, and then everything went black.
The driver in front of him had lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a utility pole. The force from the collision caused the transformer in the utility pole to blow up. Not only did everything go dark, but the utility pole snapped and fell to the ground, blocking the road right in front of the client. With no way to see what lay ahead, the client crashed into the utility pole. His car flew into the air, landing atop the downed pole. The driver in front exited his vehicle and fled the scene on foot, never even checking to see if anyone was injured.
The police were called and gave the client a ride home. When the client woke up the following day, he could hardly move his head. He had pain and numbness running from his neck, through his left shoulder, down his arm, into his hand and fingers. His girlfriend took him to the emergency room, where doctors conducted a CT scan, gave him pain medication and muscle relaxers, and told him he needed to see a neurosurgeon.
Further investigation into the accident revealed that the car that initially struck the utility pole belonged to an event-planning business. However, the driver of the vehicle was never identified as he had fled from the scene. The event company claimed that their employee had clocked out hours before the accident and the car was stolen; however, the company had not reported the vehicle stolen. The event planning company claimed that it was not their employee who caused the accident, and even if it was him, he was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident.
In the meantime, the client could not work, feed his family, pay for a new car, pay off the banknote on his totaled car or pay for the medical fees that doctors wanted upfront before even seeing him. He felt hopeless until Kevin and Logan Holmes intervened and were able to find medical providers who were willing to wait for payment, negotiated with his insurance company to get the banknote paid off and pursued the event company to trial.
The insurance company offered to settle the case for $30,000, half of what was needed to cover expenses. When further negotiations appeared fruitless, the Holmes team decided a jury trial was the only way to get their client the compensation he deserved. The father and son team worked together, preparing the case, interviewing witnesses, and eventually, trying the case in front of a jury.
After a two-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of their client for $140,000, more than double what the Holmes’ sought through a pre-trial settlement and almost five times what the insurance company had offered. Kevin Holmes credits this victory to his son’s diligence and life experience. He explains, “when you try a case, you always get a few big breaks. Our big break, in this case, involved the event company’s claim that their employer had clocked out hours before the accident. Logan was the one who discovered that wasn’t the case.”
“Before law school, I held several hourly jobs, and I understood how the clock-in/clock-out system worked,” explains Logan. “So, when I heard the event company say that their employee had clocked out hours before the accident and that he could only have done so while he was physically present at the jobsite, I was skeptical. I know from experience that an employer can manually clock employees in and out, so I looked into it.”
The driver’s employer manually clocked their employee out to make it appear that he had been off-the-clock for hours before the collision. In a strategic decision, Holmes kept this knowledge back, only informing the jury of the discrepancy during the closing argument.
“I remember telling Logan during the jury’s deliberations,” Kevin explained, “no matter how this turns out, I want you to know I’m proud of you.” This is not a case that either father or son will forget anytime soon.
The dedicated attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm have over 170 years of combined legal experience handling all types of South Carolina workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Since the firm’s inception over 90 years ago, Steinberg Law attorneys have provided exceptional representation to clients dealing with personal injury and workers’ compensation claims in and around the Charleston, South Carolina area. Steinberg Law Firm offers free consultations to all prospective clients and represents clients on a contingency basis, meaning the firm only collects a fee if a client recovers compensation for their injuries. The firm can be reached at https://www.steinberglawfirm.com/.