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    In this episode of Settlement Nation we sit down with Greyson Goody, a partner and senior trial attorney at The Simon Law Group, who has obtained over $40 million in jury verdicts. We discuss the advantages of being a younger trial attorney, how he is leveraging technology in this industry and his strategy behind using marketing and branding to reach a bigger audience. We also take a deep dive into the Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics case, where Greyson takes listeners through each step of this trial, which resulted in a jury verdict in Mr. Pebley’s favor, awarding him $3,644,000.

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    Courtney Barber:
    Welcome to another episode of Settlement Nation. I am Courtney Barber, and I'm joined by my co-host, Chris Bua, as well as Greyson Goody, a partner and trial attorney from the Simon Law Group out of California. Now, since becoming an attorney, Greyson has obtained over $14 million in jury verdicts. Notably, he was the lead trial attorney in the Pebley versus Estrada case, where he obtained a $3.6 million verdict, and was also awarded the Street Fighter of the Year Award for that case from the Consumer Attorneys of California. We're actually going to dive into that case today, which I'm super excited to hear about. In addition, Greyson has also been nominated as a rising star in 2018 and 2019 from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), and 2018 and 2020 from Super Lawyers. So welcome, Greyson.

    Greyson Goody:
    Hey, Courtney. Thank you so much for having me. Chris, really appreciate you guys asking me on the show. It's exciting to be here.

    Courtney Barber:
    Now, we're super happy to have you and you're an expert at this. For everyone who doesn't know Greyson, they have their own podcast, The Justice Team, so you should definitely check that out, too. So this is going to be great, because it's like I feel like there's three experts on this podcast. So I think people are going to be in for a treat. But starting off, Greyson, why did you want to become a lawyer? I saw that you were only sworn in seven years ago and you look very young. So give us a little bit of background on that.

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah, you bet. I grew up in Wyoming and my dad he was a public defender in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for about 20 years. He moved on from being a public defender to doing habeas corpus cases, which, if some of our listeners don't know, those are death penalty cases. That's essentially all he does now is just death penalty cases at the federal level. He's really practiced in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Washington, Oregon, and a lot of different states as a habeas corpus specialist.

    Greyson Goody:
    Some of my earliest memories are driving around Wyoming, and if anybody's ever been to Wyoming, it's pretty desolate. So there's a lot of driving around Wyoming for him to try cases. Early on, I didn't really see myself following that path. I always respected what he did and I always thought it was really, really interesting. To be honest with you, I've always watched these Forensic Files shows, First 48, I've loved that stuff. It's just really intriguing to me. After college, I went to college in Bozeman, Montana, and really just kind of snowboarded for four years and did my best to get through it. But after that, I moved out to San Diego, and I really just wanted to decompress and take some time off.

    Greyson Goody:
    So I took about three years off and surfed and actually worked for a lawyer in San Diego. I think knowing what my dad did, then working for this attorney in San Diego, it really kind of inspired me and empowered me to really think that, hey, this is something that I can do. Even though I don't have a law degree yet, I know that I can do it well, because we're very successful in this firm. So it really kind of just going through those processes and being a surfer and couch surfing, you can only do that so much before you realize you probably should get a real job.

    Greyson Goody:
    After that I just decided, hey, I'm going to go to law school, and I'm going to take the next three years of my life to really buckle down and focus and introduce myself, network, meet as many people as I possibly could, because this is the next three years for the rest of my life. It ended up being a really, really good decision. And I'll tell you, looking back, there's nothing else I would rather be doing with my time.

    Courtney Barber:
    It obviously has worked out really well for you. As a younger attorney, and we have all types of people that listen to our show, some of them are very seasoned attorneys, been in the industry 20 to 30 years, some are just starting out. But as someone who's just, you've had such great results and you haven't been doing this for so long, what do you think are some advantages of being a rising star in this industry?

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah. I'm 35 now, but I've been practicing for seven years, and I've been fortunate enough to get into a firm that allows me to try cases at a young age, I think I'm at 18 or 19 jury trials now. I think one of the benefits of being young is you're young and hungry. Anybody who's tried a case or who's in this industry and knows what it takes to try a case, all the time that's involved through discovery, preparing your client, preparing exhibit binders, trial binders, knows that you have to have a lot of energy. I think that's really the number one benefit of being young is that I'm young and hungry and I love what I do, I take it very seriously. I love my clients. I don't want to win. I'm very, very competitive and having that hunger and just being young really helps me buckle down when I absolutely need to.

    Greyson Goody:
    Then by the time you get to trial, I think there's another benefit to being young, is you're viewed as the underdog. Pretty much every time I go into trial, in fact, it is every single time I go into trial, I'm the youngest attorney there. I always try to put myself in the jury's shoes. So when I am preparing for trial, like to walk through it in my head, and I like to think about, okay, so this is mini opening, this is what the jury is going to see and this is what they're going to hear. I put myself in the jury's shoes and I think that there's a stereotypical attorney that they expect to show up. It's going to be an older guy, probably, sometimes it's going to be an older lady in a black suit with cufflinks, a nice watch, glasses.

    Greyson Goody:
    So when they think that's what they're going to see and then I show up, and they kind of contrast me versus the older guy in the room, who may be more experienced, have some more wisdom, it's really kind of a David versus Goliath thing. I think naturally, as people, we gravitate towards the underdog. I like that. I like having that underdog feel at trial, because I think people start rooting for me out of the gate. And as long as I don't mess anything up or lie to them, or I'm just not cocky, or saying things that are way out in left field, I can typically gain their trust.

    Greyson Goody:
    And by the end of the case I usually talk to jurors who say, hey, if I get into a wreck, I want you to be my attorney. And you contrast that with before like right when we start, I've literally overheard jurors and my co-counsel, I've overheard jurors saying, who is this young kid in here trying this case? Like, how old is this guy? It's a good thing to be young. Obviously, there's going to be some negatives to it. I think you have to walk a fine line when you're trying cases as a young attorney. Because if you get a little bit too much, if you're getting in witnesses' faces, or you're using your energy too much and you can't really control yourself, and control your emotions, you can come off is kind of young and cocky.

    Greyson Goody:
    You don't really want to be seen as the young punk because the jury will punish you for it. So it's a fine line, but it's been interesting to see. I'll tell you, talking about success, I'm the last one to expect all these good verdicts. I really am. I'm the last one to expect it, but it's been a pleasure. It's been awesome.

    Chris Bua:
    Greyson, I've got a follow-up to that. So we do have a lot of younger listeners that are just starting their practice. So they're probably starting to do their first trials, and they're probably entering courtrooms like you are and like you were, which is, you're the youngest person there, you're going up against attorneys that have been doing this for 20, 30 years. Those first few trials, what pieces of advice would you have for attorneys that are going through that right now?

    Greyson Goody:
    That's a good question, Chris. I was fortunate enough during law school to work for the district attorney. And if some of your listeners are still in law school, I would highly recommend taking an opportunity with the district attorney or the public defender because those places give you really good insight into how to try cases, how to conduct yourself while you're trying cases. But for those people who are just starting to try cases out of the gate who are attorneys, I think my biggest piece of advice is to be humble, work hard, and know your case inside and out.

    Greyson Goody:
    You have to be okay with failing and you're going to mess up. I mean, I've said some stupid things and trial. I'm not an aggressive person naturally, but it's really just not knowing what's going to happen during a case and not being prepared for it that leads me into saying these stupid things. And you just have to be okay, of getting over that and understanding that and having some humility to move on with your case when that happens. Also understand that the more you try cases, the more patterns come out and the more you get used to the issues arising in cases and how to counter those and how to react to those things. So remaining calm, just being slow, acting just very, very calm is very good.

    Greyson Goody:
    In fact, one of my mentors when I first started trying cases, Mike Alder, one time told me, he said, "Look, what you need to do when you're trying a case, and you're up, you're talking with people, whether it's in jury selection or closing, control your emotions. You control your emotions by controlling your heart rate. And you control your heart rate by controlling your breathing." So whenever I get nervous, I take three deep breaths and it's something so simple that you just kind of overlook. But by taking three deep breaths, you slow your heart rate down and you can control your emotions. I've read, I think there was a Harvard study on this a few years ago, that when people can't control their emotions and they get angry, they actually lose 10 to 20 IQ points. So that just goes to show you how important it is to maintain your clarity and your emotions during trial.

    Chris Bua:
    That's great advice and I'm definitely stealing that three breaths.

    Courtney Barber:
    Me too.

    Chris Bua:
    Probably before every podcast moving forward.

    Greyson Goody:
    I'll tell you guys, even with my witnesses, whether it's my plaintiff or witnesses who haven't testified before in deposition or at trial, when I'm preparing them, I tell them that. And I say, "Hey, look," at the end of the prep, I'll say something like, "How do you feel? Are you nervous? All right, well, like 0 to 10 how nervous are you?" I'm like, eight. I'm nervous. Like, what's going to happen tomorrow and I testify. And then I lead them through that three deep breaths, each one with me. Just breathe with me. Each one is going to be bigger than the last one. And when they're done, I always ask them, "All right, how do you feel now?" And they always feel better. It's the simplest technique to use. So yeah, please steal it, please use it.

    Chris Bua:
    That's great. So let's switch gears a little bit. In a recent episode, we had Arash Homampour, and he has a real passion for integrating technology into his trials and his case work. So I wanted to ask you, as a younger attorney, I assume you're also leveraging technology. So if you wanted to speak a little bit about how you're doing that, that would be great.

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is also another one of the benefits of being a younger attorney. Because we grew up with computers, and we've sort of been able to evolve as computers have evolved, and we've been really forced to using computers in school, undergrad, graduate school, law school. So you kind of have a step up on some of the older attorneys who have difficulties. They might have difficulty sending email or getting on a Zoom deposition. But no, just like Arash I love using demonstratives and I love using technology. I'll give you a quick example.

    Greyson Goody:
    With COVID going on, I've been doing a lot more Zoom depositions, and not just Zoom depositions of defendants or defense experts, but I've been noticing my clients depositions, I've been noticing all of our treating physicians depositions. And all it takes is having a conversation with this treating physician before you take the deposition to see what they have. See what kind of technology they have so that you can create demonstratives with your witnesses. We as a society and we as a people nowadays have such short fuses. I mean, it's hard to keep somebody's attention for longer than 15 seconds with smartphones, computers, all that stuff.

    Greyson Goody:
    So I love to use demonstratives with all of my witnesses. I had a deposition a few weeks ago of a neurosurgeon that I'd never deposed before, I'd never even talked to him before. But when we got into the deposition, I wanted to start talking about MRIs, and I wanted to start talking about spine injuries and herniations and things like that. So I asked him, I said, "Hey, can we take a look at the MRIs?" And he says, "Yeah, we can take a look at them. But because you're doing this as a trial direct," and I always do my depositions as a trial direct in the event that witnesses become unavailable later, "would you like me to orient the jury with what we're looking at it in MRI?" And I go, "All right. Yeah, that's fine."

    Greyson Goody:
    And he says, "Okay. Well, I've got this program," and he pulls up this program, which was the coolest thing in the world. It essentially is a human body that has the skeleton, the nerves overlaid each one of the discs in the vertebrae. He was able to kind of parse through that and really give a good explanation to somebody, like our jurors, who probably have no idea about what the human body really looks like, and what vertebrates do, and what discs do, and what dermatomes are. He was able to use that, and I just kind of jumped on board, we were able to really go through that and it's going to be a great direct for a jury, because he's just teaching them about the body. I think it's going to be really something that they can focus on.

    Greyson Goody:
    In addition to that, I always like to do either animations of surgeries or illustrations of surgeries. It's really important when you're doing these Zoom depositions or Microsoft Teams, whatever platform you're using, to get familiar with the platform. If you're using a particular court reporting company, for example, we use Kamryn Whitney they teach you how to use these platforms, and they'll sit down with you for an hour or an hour and a half. Take that opportunity to learn how to use the platform, because there's so much more that you can do with a computer in a remote deposition than you can in an in-person deposition. And understanding that, I think, will get people a lot more into these remote depositions, which saves time, which saves money, and really can be much more impactful than in-person depositions.

    Greyson Goody:
    To give you guys an example, I'll do these medical illustrations, I'll do videos for the witness, I'll have the witness write on the screen for a Zoom deposition and talk about directions of travel. Really, like I said earlier, I really want to have a demonstrative for every single witness that I have, otherwise, the jury is going to get bored. So use technology to your advantage to create the demonstratives. So that at the end of the day, when you're in trial or you're presenting your case to a mediator, nobody's going to get bored, and it's going to really paint a better picture than just words.

    Chris Bua:
    That's great. Let's transition to branding and marketing. You're with The Simon Law Group, as Courtney mentioned, and you guys have done a fantastic job. We visit a lot of law firm websites every day, and yours really stands out. So for it to stand out amongst the crowd in the law industry is pretty impressive. So can you talk a little bit about how you guys came up with your branding and how you market yourselves?

    Greyson Goody:
    You bet. I've got to attribute really everything to Teresa Diep. She is the head of our marketing department. Since I've been with the firm, we have never advertised. We don't advertise. We don't pay for billboards or anything like that. It's more of like a grassroots operation, where we put out stuff on social media, we do podcasts like you all do. We sponsor teams, we do pro bono and charity work to try to get out in the community and really just increase that word of mouth.

    Greyson Goody:
    Simon Law Group, three of my partners are the Simons, and it's Brad and Bob who are twins, and their little brother, Brandon. They kind of grew up as Marvel Comics fans, DC fans. So that has really, I think, been a good building block for our brand. Now we have Justice Team and Justice Headquarters are a couple different businesses that we have and the Marvel and DC stuff has really sort of seeped into the Simon Law Group and the Justice Headquarters brand. In fact, in our offices, we have big posters of Marvel characters, Superman and Hulk in every single office. And I think it just makes it fun.

    Greyson Goody:
    I think at the end of the day, if you're on social media, if you're you're not advertising and you can even do it when your advertising is keep it fun, keep it down to earth, keep it relaxed. Try to really tell your story with your social media and with your advertising. The Simon Law Group is a family firm, and I think that we really put that out there. Like I said, Brad, Bob and Brandon are the brothers, they also have their two sisters working for us. They also have a big Bob, who's Bob's dad, who was a UPS driver for 40 years, he works for us. His wife, Mary, their mom, Linda, works for us.

    Greyson Goody:
    So it's really a family business and I think that they've really been able to push that through social media so that people, not only want to give us their cases, but they want to work with us, and go have fun and go sit down and have a whiskey after a long, hard day. So at the end of the day, we have fun, we eat, we drink, we drink whiskey, so what's not to like?

    Courtney Barber:
    Exactly. I mean, you had us at having a drink after a long, hard day. It sounds great. And just on that note of Marvel, do you have a favorite? Do you have your own Marvel poster in your office? And if so, who's your go-to Marvel person?

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah, good question. So Hulk and Superman and Batman were already taken, so I am the Silver Surfer.

    Courtney Barber:
    Very cool. Yeah.

    Greyson Goody:
    I mean, it's just I love surfing. I've got eight boards in my garage. I go out as much as possible. In fact, I would have gone out today, but I'm dedicated and I'm doing the Settlement Nation podcast.

    Courtney Barber:
    There we go.

    Greyson Goody:
    So no surfing today even though the swell is up. But, yeah, the Silver Surfer is definitely my character.

    Chris Bua:
    We appreciate the sacrifice.

    Courtney Barber:
    Exactly.

    Greyson Goody:
    Anytime, guys. Anytime.

    Courtney Barber:
    Something, Greyson, that we talk about with each of our guests, we really like to dive down into one of their memorable cases in their career so far, and break it down so that they can sort of share some words of wisdom and advice to other attorneys. You did mention when we spoke earlier about this Pebley v. Estrada case, where you also got the Street Fighter of the Year Award. Do you want to tell us a little bit about how that came to fruition and what you had to do to bring that case right through to a verdict?

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah, I'm happy to tell you a little bit about it. This was a case, man, this was back in 2016, I think, is when we eventually tried it, but it came across our desk about a month before trial. This is pretty typical for our firm. We usually get cases anywhere from two weeks to a couple months before a trial. And it's usually an attorney or firm who knows it's a big case, and it's just like, look, I wouldn't do it justice, or I need help, I need to try a case with you.

    Greyson Goody:
    This particular case had been in the hands of another attorney for two and a half years. He'd done a relatively good job with discovery. And at the end of the day, there was a $300,000 offer on the table. But the problem was David Pebley, who was the plaintiff in the case, his medical bills were about $300,000 and the prior attorney wanted in to settle. So Dave had begun reaching out to some attorneys in the community. He went through a couple who said, look, there's just too much to be done on this case in too little time. To give you an idea about what needed to be done, there was I think seven experts per side, and none of the expert depositions had been taken.

    Greyson Goody:
    So I take a look at the case, and it's pretty straightforward. I just know that there's a lot of work to be put into it over the next month and I met with Dave. Dave Pebley is really just the nicest guy in the world. I met him at his office. He just kept telling me stories about his dad. He just kept saying, well, dad says this and dad says that. It really kind of reminded me of one of my uncles, my favorite uncle and I loved him. I said, "All right. Look, let's take this case on. Let's go to battle with you."

    Greyson Goody:
    So, we jump into the case, I go take 12, 13, 14 expert depositions over a month. Our office is in Hermosa Beach, California, but the trial was up in Ventura, so about an hour and a half away and I'm driving up and back, and I'm doing all these depositions. I remember the judge when we first came in said, "You guys probably want to trial continuance now?" I go, "No. Let's try the case. Let's try the case." We get to trial, and the defense attorney, he's an older guy up in Ventura. Nice enough guy, but this kind of goes back to what we talked about earlier.

    Greyson Goody:
    I think he was a little upset we came in the case, number one, because he thought he's going to settle for $300,000. And once we came in, our I think our demand was like $900,000 or a million or something. So he thought he's going to settle and he was a little upset with me. Then I think he underestimated me too. That's a benefit of being a young attorney, you're going to have people who underestimate you all the time. So that's what makes it much more important to just get prepared for trial. By this time I had probably tried six or seven cases, but I was always second chair. I was never first chair before Pebley.

    Greyson Goody:
    So Bob says, "You know what, why don't you just go try this case? You'll be first chair, it's your trial. Take somebody with you, though, to get your back." We try cases in pairs. I went to law school with one of my best friends in the world and by the way, there's four or five of us who went to law school together who work at Simon Law Group. I chose him to come up and try the case with me. We were study buddies, we were on the same basketball team, and we always talked about trying cases together. So this was a case of many firsts for me. It's the first time I got to pick a jury, it's the first time I got to cross-examine an accident reconstruction expert. First time I got to do a full closing and rebuttal.

    Greyson Goody:
    So we went up there, and to tell you a little bit about what happened, let me just step back and tell you about what happened in the case. Dave and his wife Jolene owned a RV. They're from the southern Los Angeles area, and they would take this RV up to Santa Barbara, Ventura, they'd camp out for the weekend. They were with a couple of their friends and they went up to Ventura for the weekend, and they were on their way back and they were driving on a two-lane freeway with a big center median in the middle and they're driving in the right hand lane, and Jolene is behind the wheel and she got a flat tire. So they pull over to the side of the road, and there's an exit pretty close to them, but they're like, we don't want to mess up the rim.

    Greyson Goody:
    So they pull over to the side of the road, and they realize, hey, we can't get all the way over. The shoulder wasn't big enough for them. So they fire up the RV and they decided, okay, let's go down to the next exit. And so they start to kind of creep along as you do when you have a flat tire. And Dave is not sitting in his seat, he's not seatbelted. In fact, he's up and he's walking around the RV, which in California, I think is illegal. You have to be seatbelted. So he's up, he's walking around and Jolene looks in her rearview mirror and she sees this big, big trash truck just bearing down on them. She realizes at the last second that it's going to hit them.

    Greyson Goody:
    So she screams to Dave, it's going to hit us and he tries to kind of run over to his seat and sit down, but before he sits down, they get hit. And they get hit really, really hard. I mean, it's a 40,000 pound trash truck that hits them and it starts this fire in the RV. Dave gets knocked unconscious and eventually wakes up. He's able to get out. Luckily, nobody was killed, but he gets out and then his injuries were, I think he had a two level cervical fusion. He had knocked loose a couple teeth when he was knocked unconscious. There was no traumatic brain injury claim. That had resolved. He had a concussion. So really, it came down to, hey, this guy's got a cervical fusion and there were a ton of issues in the case, a ton of issues.

    Greyson Goody:
    Number one, is the seatbelt issue. The defense went really hard on the seatbelt issue saying that he should have been belted. If he was belted, none of this would happen. Number two, the defense concocted this theory that their driver of the trash truck had also sustained a blowout. So he couldn't control his trash truck and he hit Dave and Jolene Pebley. So there was an emergency instruction that the judge actually read at the end of the case. That's the second issue. So we had tire experts, of course.

    Greyson Goody:
    The third issue was that Dave had Kaiser health insurance and instead of treating through this Kaiser health insurance, he treated on a lien because the Kaiser doctor he initially saw, he just wasn't very jazzed on. He didn't really like him, didn't feel like he was in the best care, and so he treated on a lien. Now I know you guys your listeners are from probably all over the country. But in California specifically, there never really was a law as to whether the defense in a civil trial can argue that you should have used your insurance as opposed to a lien. And this is back in the day when some judges would allow that in, some judges would say, no, we're talking about insurance.

    Greyson Goody:
    This really became the biggest fight in the case. The defense had a billing expert, they had their guys all saying, hey, these are what the insurance rates are going to be and these are what he should have paid at pennies on the dollar and he failed to mitigate his damages. So we had a lot of battles in motions in limine. If our listeners don't know, motions in limine are the motions at the beginning of trial that you try to exclude evidence with. So we were trying to exclude mention of insurance, we were trying to preclude the defense from arguing that he should have used his insurance to mitigate his damages.

    Greyson Goody:
    Harping back to do some of the positives and negatives of being a young attorney, I think one of the negatives really is that judges give older attorneys deference. You have judges who have been practicing for 20, 30, 40 years, who worked really hard to become judges and maybe they've tried a handful of cases. But they are in a similar position as the defense attorney is. So oftentimes they will defer to the defense attorney. But this is kind of a funny story about motions in limine. This was back when ... Bob Simon is like my number one mentor at the Simon Law Group. And I've tried a lot of cases with him. I kind of have a similar style as him, just very relaxed.

    Greyson Goody:
    When we started in motions in limine, I think the judge thought I was Bob and at this time, Bob had one trial over the year in like San Diego, San Francisco, like all these different locations, so he was known. I'm just some punk kid coming to try this case up in Ventura and the judge is probably like, this kid is going to get the fence. But I we go through these motions in limine, and I eventually get the rulings that we wanted. The judge sided with us on all the big ones, on all the insurance ones, he sided with us. I remember like very distinctly at the end of motions in limine when he list out the rulings, he looks at me and he goes, "Is that okay, Mr. Simon?" He's basically saying, are you okay with that, Mr. Simon?

    Courtney Barber:
    And you're like, yes.

    Greyson Goody:
    Exactly. I'm like, Yes and you can keep calling me Mr. Simon if you're going to rule for me. I think I kind of pulled one over on the judge there because he thought I was Bob Simon. I'll tell you, I've never won as many motions in limine as I did on the Pebley case. So that was pretty funny, but we go through, the judge rules for us on all that stuff. There's some things that he gives the defense, of course, but we go through the trial, and it's a three-week trial, really go through everything. I remember as the trial was coming to a close, I had a good feeling. I thought we did well. As a plaintiff's attorney, I think you have to win every day in trial, and you have to try a near perfect case if you want to get a good verdict.

    Greyson Goody:
    So it's the night before closing argument, and I remember it was a million dollar policy, insurance policy that was open. We had no doubts that it was an open policy and I really wanted to protect Dave and Jolene in the event we got a defense verdict or we got a bad verdict. I didn't think that we were going to get a multi-million dollar verdict, but I wanted to protect them and so I reached out to the adjuster on the other side. The adjuster had been in and out of trial, she kind of was watching things. I had a conversation with her, and this goes back to being underestimated.

    Greyson Goody:
    I said, "Look, I think we picked a great jury. I think we have a lot of very caring people on our jury. I think we've really won every day at trial. Tomorrow, I'm going to go in there and I'm going to ask for about $4 million bucks and I think they're going to give me $1-2 million, I really do. At least. I think very confident in this. The adjuster quite literally laughed at me and she said, "I think the complete opposite. I think you're going to get defensed, and I'm willing to offer you $100,000." So of course I said, basically, go eff yourself. I hung up the phone. I'm looking at Sevy. I remember we're in the car and we had just gotten to like a wing joint. We were going to go have a couple beers and just kind of decompress before closing the next day.

    Greyson Goody:
    I looked at my co-counsel and I go, "Dude, are we missing something?" Like, what are we missing here? We spent the rest of the night just kind of thinking about like, what is it we're missing. After going through my closing, my PowerPoint, making sure that it was all up to par, I realized, look, we're not missing anything. We just have to really just tie a bow on this case and show this jury everything that's happened. So the next day I come in and we start giving our closing arguments in the morning. It was first thing in the morning. I remember, when I get done with my initial closing, and this is not the rebuttal, I usually go into a story and I try to tell a story to get the jury to stir their emotions up a little bit.

    Greyson Goody:
    I always tell this story about a guy with a bag. Sometimes I'll change it depending on the facts of the case. It typically goes like this. I want to take you back to June 6th of 2015 and I want you to envision the inside of Dave and Jolene's RV, where they're driving down the road and they get a flat tire. Jolene says "Dave, I think we got a flat tire." and she pulls over and Dave says, "I think you do too, honey." He puts down the stairs to the RV and he goes back and he checks and he says, "Yeah, you got a flat tire."

    Greyson Goody:
    He runs back in and he's standing there with Jolene as she's looking in the rearview mirror, and she realizes that there's a trash truck bearing down on her and in that moment, time stops. It stops for everybody except for Dave. Dave looks in the rearview mirror, and he sees a man approaching the RV and the man knocks on the RV door and Dave walks up to it and he opens it. The man says, "You must be Dave." And Dave goes, "Yeah, I am. I am Dave. Can I help you? Who are you?" The man is dressed in black and he's got a black hat on. Dave can't really see his face, but Dave has a bad feeling about him.

    Greyson Goody:
    Then the man says, "No, you don't need to help me. I've actually got something for you." He takes a bag and he throws it into the RV. Dave takes a look at the bag and he unzips it and in the bag is $4 million. Dave says to the man, he says, "Well hold on a second. What did I do to deserve this? I don't want this money." The man says, "It's not what you did do, but it's what you will do. Because in about two seconds, you're going to be hit at 40 miles an hour by a 40,000 pound trash truck. You'll be knocked unconscious, you'll lose some of your teeth and over the next three years, you're going to have treatments and surgeries, they're going to cut into your spine. Over the next 30 years, you're going to have chronic low back pain for the rest of your life every single day.

    Greyson Goody:
    "Your holidays will not be spent with family, they'll be spent with doctors. You'll have two more spine surgeries and you'll hope that you survive." And I usually go through the entire kind of timeline that he's going to go through. Then Dave says, "You know what, screw that, I don't want your money," and he throws it back out at the guy. But that guy in the black, he says, "You don't have a choice." Just like the defense in this case says you don't have a choice. And he throws the money back in. And in that moment, time starts again and they're crushed by this trash truck at 40 miles an hour.

    Greyson Goody:
    I remember when I told that story in the closing that the court reporter actually started crying and when I was done, I looked back in the back of the courtroom and the adjuster was back there. She looked like she saw a ghost, because she didn't expect that. She didn't expect it to be as moving as it was so that our court reporter was crying and I think some of the jurors were tearing up too. I think she knew in that moment that this doesn't look like it's going to be very good. She looked at me in the eyes and she walked right out of the back of the courtroom.

    Greyson Goody:
    So we finish up, defense finishes their closing, I do my rebuttal and I think total, we asked right around $4 million. At the end of the case, typically you shake hands with the defense. Judge says, you guys go relax, we'll let you know if there's a verdict and as a plaintiff's attorney, you typically you want the verdict to come in about a day, maybe two days, get those people back, they're taking their time thinking about big numbers and writing down big numbers. So anyway, the judge excuses us, we give our cell phone to the bailiff. We start unloading our boxes. So we take all our trial boxes, putting them on our carriers, taking them out to the truck.

    Greyson Goody:
    About 25 minutes later, as we are unloading our boxes into the truck, I get a call. I open up my phone and I'm like, "Oh, it's the bailiff." And so I answer it. And the bailiff goes, "Mr. Goody?" "Yeah?" "We have a verdict." And I'm like, "No." I look at Sevy and like, "Oh boy, we got a verdict." And so I hang up. I go back in. Usually quick verdicts mean defense verdicts. By the way, this was hard fought. They were all in that this was Dave's fault. He didn't have a seatbelt on, number one. Number two, it was Jolene's fault. She didn't pull over far enough. Number three, they had a blowout on their truck. So we were just terrified. We thought it was a defense verdict.

    Greyson Goody:
    I remember going back in and I'm sweating. I'm sitting at the counsel table. I'm texting Bob because this was literally my first case as a first year trial attorney and I put so much into it. I'm like, "Dude, you guys, I'm so sorry. It doesn't look good." They're like, "Don't worry, dude. We can appeal. We can appeal. It's all good." The jury walks in and if anybody's ever tried a case, if the jury walks in and they're looking at you smiling, you know it's good. The moment the jury walks in, the guy who I thought was going to be our foreperson is smiling at me. He is the foreperson, ends up being the foreperson. They read the verdict and it was basically everything we asked for, except for they decreased the future payment offering by a couple $100,000 bucks.

    Greyson Goody:
    At the end of the day, I think it was 3.644 million unanimous decision, no comparative on either Dave or Jolene. So we won on liability, 100% unanimous, and then damages 100%, unanimous on damages. I'll tell you, I was so excited and it was just ... Talk about being blessed to take a case like that to trial with one of your best friends and get a good verdict on the first go. It's just such a blessing and it's really led me to a lot more opportunities. Did you guys want to talk about the Street Fighter of the Year award and kind of how that materialized too?

    Courtney Barber:
    Absolutely.

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah. Okay. So to give you an idea about this defense in Pebley, they didn't like us, they didn't like the verdict, of course, they didn't expect it. So what they did was they appealed the verdict and in the appellate papers, they said they're not interested in mediation. So for the next two and a half years, we're battling this thing out in the appellate courts and our appeals attorney was Jeff Ehrlich, who if you haven't heard of him or used him for an appeal, he's one of the best, if not the best, at least in California. We hired him to do the appeal. And by the way, if anybody wants to email me and get any of the trial transcripts, motions in limine, appellate arguments, the appellate briefs, anything like that, I'm happy to provide that. Especially if you're in a state where the law is a little bit undecided on this issue that I'm about to tell you.

    Greyson Goody:
    The defense appealed and the basis of their appeal was that Dave Pebley had Kaiser health insurance and didn't use it. So their big argument was look, if you have health insurance and you weren't in a wreck, you'd probably treat for your health insurance. So by getting into a wreck and treating on a lien, that means you're artificially inflating your damages so that you can get a bigger jury verdict, or you can get a bigger award at trial, or you can get a bigger settlement. They had this argument that really they had put just all the way through trial, that they put into the appellate briefs. That was a big issue and it was really pressure filled issue.

    Greyson Goody:
    Because if the court ruled against us, that might mean that in every case moving forward, if you have health insurance, you really got a treat through your health insurance instead of on a lien and it really decreases damages. Not only that, it limits the universe that your client gets to treat with. They're stuck with Kaiser doctors, as opposed to going to the best guys in the world who are neurosurgeons and only do spine stuff. So it was a huge issue for us. I remember in trial arguing that medical decisions are a fundamental right. So you have a substantive due process to make them and that made its way into Jeff's briefs on the case.

    Greyson Goody:
    I actually remember the day we got the opinion, I had this other case, this freaking crazy case where this girl fell out of a window when she was drunk. It was totally the bane of my existence at the time and I was talking with a defense attorney, and one of our other trial attorneys at the time, Tom, who by the way, is also just an amazing mentor for me. He called me. I was on the line, so I couldn't answer. I was like, "No?" Then he called me and called me and called me. I'm like, "Dude, what do you want?" I go, "All right. Look, defense attorney. Hold on a second." So I switch over to Tom and he's like, losing his mind. He goes, "Pebley decision came out and it's published. You got to get down to the bar. Come down to the bar, come down to the bar." I'm like, "What? Dude, I don't even understand you. But I'm coming down. Which bar you at?"

    Greyson Goody:
    So I switch over to the defense attorney. I'm like, "Look, I got to go. We're going to talk about this later." Hang up, and I run down to the Hermosa pier. I think we went to like Sharkeez or something like that, which if you've been down the Hermosa pier, it's awesome. Sharkeez is a good spot. A lot of young people, a lot of tomfoolery going on. So we go to Sharkeez and the appellate court made its decision and published the decision and essentially what the decision says is everything we said in the trial court.

    Greyson Goody:
    Number one, insurance is a collateral source, you can't talk about it. Period. It's going to confuse the jury, it's going to lead into like way too much time wasted. That was already kind of a law, but it wasn't specific to liens and health insurance. Number two, the appellate court concluded that the defense in one of these personal injury cases cannot claim that a plaintiff failed to mitigate their damages by treating on a lien as opposed to their insurance, which is absolutely massive for the plaintiffs bar and all civil cases in California. Because once that case came down, we get to use that citation in every single trial. Every trial. Every time we're litigating a case, we talk about Pebley.

    Greyson Goody:
    So how the Street Fighter of the Year award came around is CAOC, which I'm a board member of, Consumer Attorneys of California really, really good organization, great organization. They're very involved in legislation. They're very involved in grassroots political stuff that's really you're trying to push through bills that are going to help victims, our clients who are victims. And so, the Street Fighter of the Year Award, I think the definition of it is it's given to a small firm practitioner who achieves a significant result in California that affects a good portion of attorneys and law firms in California. So, we were nominated for that award, actually myself, Jeff and Sevy, Sevy Fisher, who tried the case with me, we're nominated for that award, and ended up winning it.

    Greyson Goody:
    I think one of the big reasons we ended up winning it is because Pebley v. Estrada, Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics is quite literally cited in every single motion in limine for every single civil trial in California moving forward. It is ironclad precedent that you use when the defense is trying to say, your client should have treated it through insurance. For all those other people who are in these other states that don't have this law, again, feel free to reach out to me, because it's important that you have this. The Court of Appeals was very specific as to why they came down the way that they did. It's that plaintiffs in these civil cases are victims, and you can't have the person, the tort-feasor or the person who hurt you dictate your medical care. It goes beyond anything, any fairness at all.

    Greyson Goody:
    It's actually much more fair to have these victims choose any doctor that they want and there's reasons within the opinion that I won't go into, there's probably 10 or 15 reasons that the appellate court says, no, dude you have to be able to choose any doctor you want. It's a fundamental, substantive due process. I'll tell you, just winning the case, no, even less than that. Just being able to try the case with like one of my best friends from law school would have been enough.

    Greyson Goody:
    But quite honestly, it blossomed into what has become a great verdict, a great relationship that I've started with Jeff Ehrlich as an appellate attorney, a great opinion for all Californians, and all the victims and all of our clients throughout California. So I'm just blessed to have tried it, but to become what it's been and get the Street Fighter of the Year award, it was truly amazing. I honestly will remember this case for the rest of my life.

    Chris Bua:
    Greyson, thank you for that vivid and moving recap of the case. I don't think we've had an attorney yet that's essentially recreated their closing on our podcast. I felt like I was in the courtroom when you were going through that. So I really appreciate that and then the follow up on the precedent that was set, I think that's going to be really helpful for our listeners maybe in other states that can take that and maybe try to establish that precedent in the states that they're practicing.

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah. Thanks, Chris. Thanks.

    Chris Bua:
    So we really just have one last question for you as we wrap up, which is a question we ask every guest. And you may have covered it earlier, but I'm going to let you decide. We always ask, if you were able to give advice to yourself 5 or 10 years ago when you were practicing, what would your current self tell that person?

    Greyson Goody:
    Good question. If I was to give myself advice 5, 10 years ago probably right when I first started practicing, it would be to find balance. It took me a long time to realize that there's always going to be more work. You're never going to get through with the things that you need to get through. You're never going to be done with your work. Do your best to find balance. I always felt like I had to be working. And granted, when you're a young attorney, you got to earn your key, you got to cut your teeth and earn a spot in the firm. But balance is so important. Keeping up with the things that make you who you are, whether it's surfing or reading or doing puzzles or painting is so important.

    Greyson Goody:
    Because if you fully engulf yourself in an attorney lifestyle, you almost lose who you used to be and you can be so much more effective representing your clients when you're happy with your own life than just working all the time. I see that so much with young attorneys. I'm tired, I'm working till 10:00 at night, I'm doing this, I'm doing that. Try not to do that. Try to find that balance. Try to do the things that you love to do and continue being yourself because you can be yourself and be an attorney and be happy doing it. This is one of the best ways to make a living. It's one of the best ways to help people. If you just make sure you're happy while doing it, it's going to make the entire difference in the world.

    Chris Bua:
    That's wonderful advice. Thank you so much for coming on. I know Courtney is also very thankful. I'll speak for her. Do you want to just give our listeners a real quick way of getting in touch with you if they want to reach out for any advice or other engagements?

    Greyson Goody:
    Yeah, you bet. My email is my first name greyson@justiceteam.com. All lower cases, no spaces. Feel free to shoot me an email. I'm very responsive with my emails. If anybody needs anything, I'm happy to send stuff over. We do our best to help the lawyer community whether it's here in California or elsewhere with motions in limine. Really, anything that you guys need, I'm happy to send it over, no quid pro quo.

    Chris Bua:
    Thank you so much. I think this is maybe our best episode. If not, it's right there. I really appreciate you coming on. For all of our listeners, if you could like and subscribe to the podcast, it'll help us with searchability in Apple. We are creeping up the list and threatening some of the big podcasts. We appreciate it. We are far behind The Justice Team Podcast, but maybe we'll see you out there soon. Thanks again.

    Greyson Goody:
    Hey, Courtney, Chris, thank you so much for having me on here. It's been a pleasure.

    Courtney Barber:
    Thanks, Greyson.

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