LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report   2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2014

Robert “Bob” Tanner Wins Six Defense Jury Verdicts in a Row

Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial partner, Robert “Bob” Tanner, is on a roll every trial attorney dreams of: six defense jury verdicts in a row.

Since late 2005, Mr. Tanner has successfully tried numerous medical malpractice cases, including one in 2005 and two in 2006, 2007 and 2008, before juries across Georgia. (One additional case in 2006 settled during trial.)

Mr. Tanner said the key to success is “hard work, getting to know your case in depth, your strengths and the other side’s weaknesses and presenting the case in a straightforward manner.”

While medical malpractice cases replete with technical terminology can be difficult for some juries to unravel, Mr. Tanner said that his approach is to drill the case down to core issues and present the facts in a clear manner.

“Generally, a trial comes down to one or two salient points,” Mr. Tanner said. “You don’t take the jury through medical school but you can talk about the narrow issues in depth. You have to get to the basic point.”

By concentrating on key issues, Mr. Tanner said he has been able to keep juries focused, which enables him to be highly persuasive. “Juries want information and they want you to get to the relevant information and sit down,” Mr. Tanner said. “If you do that they will listen and they will be focused on what you are saying. If they don’t listen, they can’t be persuaded. When I stand up, I want the jury to know that I am going to talk for a short period of time and then I am going to sit down.”

The cases Mr. Tanner has tried to a defense verdict have been in different venues and have involved a wide range of facts. In 2005, a jury in Farley v. Zellmer et al. in the U.S. District Court, Northern District, reached a verdict after three days of trial. In 2006, Mr. Tanner received a defense verdict in Shannon v. Mann in the Superior Court of Henry County.

In 2007, juries in Harris v. Newnan Hospital, et al., in the Superior Court of Coweta County and Campbell v. McConnell, et al., in the State Court of Fulton County, also returned defense verdicts. In 2008, Mr. Tanner successfully tried two death cases, Craft v. Elbert Memorial Hospital before a jury in Elbert County Superior Court and Buchanan v. Price in the State Court of Carroll County, to successful conclusions.

In all of these cases, Mr. Tanner said that while he is never sure of the outcome of a case, he felt that the jury would likely return a favorable verdict. However, he does not screen cases to select only the most favorable matters. “I don’t get to pick my cases,” says Mr. Tanner. “You take what comes your way.” 

WWHGD commends Mr. Tanner for his hard work and excellent results on behalf of its clients.

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