The Verlander trial was the worst civil trial I ever experienced. Not only could I not place my client on the stand to explain how he came to be fabricating Dallas Market wholesaler invoices, which he couldn’t explain away anyway without perjury, I couldn’t even bring him to the courthouse for fear the other side would put him on the stand.
My client had proven himself incapable of expressing himself in any meaningful manner through the deposition process not only in this case but a previous one. In Texas, perjury (lying under oath) is a felony, and one could be punished up to ten years in prison. Bringing Ron Morgan to the court house was just too dangerous.
Any trial lawyer will tell you that explaining a party’s absence from trial when he is nevertheless hail and hardy is next to impossible and so it was in the Verlander case. The jury awarded $300,000 in compensatory damages and a million dollars in punitive damage for fraud.
I write of the litigation experience in representing Ron Morgan in my book: “The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime”