The “Golden Rule” is Not Applicable in Court

Posted by:
Airport jetway
If you are injured at an airport or on an airplane, be sure to hire an experienced airport injury attorney who understands how a damages trial works.

The “golden rule” — treat others as you yourself want to be treated — is not allowed in a damages trial in court.

The golden rule argument would have jurors considering, for example, how much the loss of the use of an arm would mean to them.

Virtually all courts have considered such arguments to be improper if made with regard to the harms and losses sustained.  The courts are afraid that if such an argument is made, the jurors will be influenced by what that loss would mean to them, rather than by the evidence in the case.  The judges want a jury to consider the facts of the particular case and not be moved by their own passions, prejudices and personal predilections.

That is why airline passengers cannot argue before the jury how its members may be impacted if they were caused to fall down and injure their knee, requiring surgery.  In other words, instead of directing the jury’s attention to the evidence in the particular case arising out of the airport accident, asking jurors what their leg is worth would be deemed improper by a Virginia court, as well as nearly every single other trial court in the nation.

Any plaintiff’s lawyer who tries to make such an argument, invoking the golden rule, would probably wind up with a mistrial, causing even more delayed expense to the innocent air passenger. That is why it is important to hire an experienced trial lawyer who regularly tries airline and airport injury cases.  Experienced lawyers know the rules and the permitted arguments for court.

No one wants a mistrial; is it only delays justice, greatly increases litigation expenses, and may lead to loss of the case if, by the time the case actually goes to trial years later, the plaintiffs are not well enough to attend, airport witnesses have disappeared, or memories have faded.

If you or someone you know has been injured while traveling and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).