Saturday, June 10, 2023

Latest Posts

Gwyneth Paltrow trial riddled with "embarrassing" mistakes by legal teams

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision court case has been littered with “embarrassing” mistakes and moments, according to legal experts reviewing the trial.

Paltrow has been sued by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson who alleges the actress caused him severe injuries when she skied into the back of him during a 2016 incident at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. He is seeking $300,000 in damages, while Paltrow counter-sued, claiming the collision was Sanderson’s fault. She is seeking $1 plus legal fees.

The decision to seek $1 was slammed as “embarrassing” by one lawyer while another accused both legal teams of “wilting” under the glare of media attention.

The case has been heard at the Third Judicial District Court in Park City over the past two weeks, with closing statements expected to be heard on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Various moments from the trial have gone viral, from Paltrow’s attire on the first day to the performance and questioning of Sanderson’s attorney Kristin VanOrman who was seemingly bonding with Paltrow.

While VanOrman was mocked online, personal injury lawyer Sherif Edmond El Dabe believes both sides are guilty of making “embarrassing mistakes.”

“The attorneys for both sides are not coming off as well [as Paltrow]. They seem to be wilting under the glare of the media attention on this case and they’ve made some embarrassing mistakes,” the partner at Los Angeles-based El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers told Newsweek. He believes Paltrow’s offer to bring in treats for the courtroom security staff was “smart” even if the judge didn’t allow it to happen.

Some analysts expressed shock that this case was going to trial in the first place. “I’m wondering who’s driving the litigation. Is it Paltrow standing on principle or is it her insurance company? Often, insurance companies are driving the legal strategy of a defendant. They’re the ones who are on the hook. So, behind the scenes, the insurance company may have told Paltrow she needs to defend herself from these accusations, even if it means going to trial.” El Dabe suggested that even if Paltrow loses, her insurance company could cover the fees.

While the alleged incident on the ski slopes occurred in 2016, the 76-year-old Sanderson only sued Paltrow in 2019 after stating the incident had severely impacted his life. He initially sought $3.1 million in damages, before the figure dropped to $300,000. Meanwhile, Paltrow’s intent to seek a symbolic dollar is a mistake in the opinion of personal injury attorney Ted Spaulding.

“The attorneys on both sides are not doing their clients many favors here. Lawyers cannot win a personal injury case just by their trial talent alone, but they can certainly lose a case by making mistakes,” the founder of the Atlanta-based Spaulding Injury Law told Newsweek.

“I do not agree with Paltrow’s attorney’s strategy of waiving a dollar bill around in opening arguments to highlight how little she is asking for. The antic hurt his and his client’s credibility.”

Spaulding continued, “Paltrow made a big strategic error by countersuing for $1 and attorney’s fees. […] Countersuing allows the plaintiff’s attorney to ask questions that elicit embarrassing testimony, such as ‘I missed a half day on the slopes.'”

Not every legal observer of this trial has been critical of the performance of the legal teams though. Paltrow’s team, led by attorney Stephen Owens, was praised by Los Angeles-based entertainment and corporate attorney Tre Lovell, of The Lovell Firm who appreciated the emotional approach.

“Gwyneth Paltrow’s attorneys have done a lot of things right in this trial,” Lovell told Newsweek. “It also was smart for Paltrow’s legal team to present testimony from her children, because that helped Paltrow with the sympathy factor which could counter some of the testimony from Sanderson’s daughters.

“Every advantage that each side can gain is going to matter in this trial, it’s a game of yards and inches because it’s really a he said-she said legal matter, and those cases are always hard-fought,” Lovell said.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision court case has been littered with “embarrassing” mistakes and moments, according to legal experts reviewing the trial.

Latest Posts


Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.