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Daniel Kramer: Want to Boost Your Trial Experience Fast? Don’t be Afraid to Team Up
Episode 2031st August 2022 • The Judd Shaw Way • Judd Shaw Injury Law
00:00:00 00:27:50

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It’s easy for younger, inexperienced lawyers to give in to their fear of trial and stay in their zone of safety. But the truth is, if you want to build a reputation, you have to muster up the courage to take risks and prove that you’ll fight for your client. 

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Daniel Kramer had some big shoes to fill when he became a trial lawyer. During his first trial, Daniel was trying to act like he was an experienced lawyer so that the jurors would take him seriously.  But after his cover was blown, Daniel realized that it’s more important to lean into your inexperience and seek support when needed.

Daniel shares the reminder that it’s only your first trial once. So, if you make a mistake, just own up to it and say, “Sorry folks, it’s my first time doing this.” The jury will understand and be that much more supportive — because everyone has to start somewhere.

Fast forward from Daniel’s first trial, and now he has numerous cases (and wins) under his belt. With over a decade of experience, Daniel knows how to overcome the fears of your first trial and become the reputable lawyer you’ve always envisioned. So, what’s Daniel’s advice?

Get comfortable in your own skin and make the courtroom your office. Through focus groups, you can receive feedback to make you a better trial lawyer. Additionally, through mentorship and co-counseling cases, you can enrich your skills and eliminate fears of the courtroom. 

Listen to this episode of The Judd Shaw Way Podcast with Judd Shaw featuring Daniel Kramer of Kramer Trial Lawyers. Daniel shares the stories of his grandfather that inspired him to be courageous, what it was like in the early days of his career, and how he went on to become a renowned trial lawyer. 

In this episode: 

  • [0:36] Judd Shaw introduces his guest, Daniel Kramer
  • [1:06] Daniel shares his grandfather’s story and why Daniel admired him so much
  • [5:09] What was Daniel’s first trial like, and what made him move away from the defense side?
  • [8:45] Daniel describes the early days of his plaintiff work and the case that hit home
  • [11:28] How Daniel continued educating himself on the art of the trial
  • [14:27] Daniel talks about the great things the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities are doing for the community
  • [18:46] How has fatherhood impacted Daniel’s work?
  • [20:41] Daniel’s advice for new lawyers on overcoming the fear of the courtroom

🎙️ Featured Guest 🎙️

Name: Daniel Kramer

Short Bio: Daniel is a trial lawyer who specializes in representing families and individuals involved in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters, as well as employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits. Among many accomplishments, Daniel has been named a “Top Attorney” in personal injury and employment law by Pasadena Magazine and has been selected as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities, where he served as President in 2021. 

Company: Kramer Trial Lawyers

Connect: dkramer@kramerlaw.com

🔑 Relevant Resources 🔑

This podcast is designed for general information purposes only. Nothing on this podcast should be taken as legal advice for an individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Those with legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney. 

Transcripts

Voiceover:

They don't care about your 900 years of combined experience or your wall of books. They only want to know one thing. Once they've signed on the dotted line, are you going to take care of them? Welcome to The Judd Shaw Way, where we believe providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as quality legal representation. From secret tips for creating unforgettable wow moments to proven customer service pointers, The Judd Shaw Way is everything you need to go from being a good lawyer to owning a great brand.

Judd Shaw:

Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Judd Shaw. Today with me, Daniel Kramer, Kramer Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles. Dan, thanks so much for being on, man.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Thanks for having me. This is great, here in person.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. So, power shooting behind enemy lines, right? Fighting Nazis. Just on the German soil there. Your grandfather was instrumental in your life, huh?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. I love it, man. Come out swinging. Yes, he was very much so. He was an old Southern trial lawyer.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. North Carolina, right?

Daniel Kramer:

North Carolina. Durham, North Carolina. Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

That's where my mom, both my parents from North Carolina, but he grew up very poor in rural North Carolina, a town called Hamlet, like a train-stop town. And no one went to college in his family, gets drafted, goes to Europe. Paratrooper. Used to tell us these amazing stories.

Judd Shaw:

Tell me one.

Daniel Kramer:

Well, he had his platoon. He was in the army, and their assignment was to go blow up, essentially, a German satellite.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

So, he's going, and it's really cold. I mean, it's like November. They parachute behind enemy lines. There's about eight soldiers, and he was the captain, I think. They're there, and they found out where the satellite was, but instead of all of them going... They thought it'd be too many. He just decided to go by himself, and then set it up to explode. And so, he kind of makes his way through the field and goes up a stream so that they wouldn't see his footprints in the snow. And then, he starts hearing all this German, like off in the pretty close.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. Right.

Daniel Kramer:

So, he ducks down and lays in the stream, and it's like freezing cold, and they're upstream. And then, suddenly "Oh man." He's like, "They're pissing on me." You know? Because they're peeing upstream, coming down, and he makes his way over there. He waits. He Waits it out. Waits till they're basically about to go to bed, straps all the explosive devices on the satellite, and just books it out of there. He hears the explosion. His whole platoon thought he was dead because he was gone for like three days. Makes it back. Mission accomplished. And the way he would tell these stories, in just this great old Southern accent, the way a trial lawyer would.

Judd Shaw:

Right. Right. Right.

Daniel Kramer:

It was just so powerful. Just hanging on every word around the dinner table, and I just loved it. And then, he would tell the stories about in the courtroom or dealing with clients and just-

Judd Shaw:

He was a trial attorney.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Yeah. He was. I mean, but back then, you kind of had to do every... So, he hung a shingle.

Judd Shaw:

Right.

Daniel Kramer:

Went to law school. Went to Wake Forest Law School in undergrad on the GI Bill. Never would've gone to college without the GI Bill. Met my grandmother and just hung a shingle like right out of law school.

Judd Shaw:

What a bad ass.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Oh yeah. It was awesome. He was just a great guy.

Judd Shaw:

And I read that you still have his flag on your desk.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, it's right behind me in my office. They had four kids, and everyone decided to give it to me because I'm following in his footsteps. I mean the one thing I miss, obviously the most, is he passed away right when I was just about to start law school. So, I didn't really get to have the-

Judd Shaw:

Right.

Daniel Kramer:

I would love to just get his advice on stuff now or like how did he do... I'm just so curious. Like how did he do jury selection?

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

How did he talk to juries? How would he handle a closing argument? It'd just be so interesting to hear that now. But we had so many great stories, so many great stories from him.

Judd Shaw:

And then, after law school, you go on, and you're doing defense work, right?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

And I think I read, the first time you did a trial, it was like, "Wow. I found my passion and my purpose in life." Right? You just got like the bug. You just got hooked.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. No, I mean, it was absolutely amazing. I remember when I was first picking a jury, I had never even second chaired or set in on a trial before. And my boss, I was like begging for trials. I was 10 months out of law school after having passed the bar, and he's like, "Oh, you want a trial? Well, here you go." And it's like December 23rd, right before I'm about to go to the East Coast.

Judd Shaw:

Dan Ambrose coming in and give Bob, my man. Dan. we can have a beer on the podcast. Absolutely. Dan Ambrose, Trial Lawyers University-

Dan Ambrose:

You want a couple?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, man. with a beer.

Judd Shaw:

... bringing in a beer. This is the best.

Dan Ambrose:

Trial Lawyers University.

Judd Shaw:

This is the number one podcast right here.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

Dan Ambrose, Trial Lawyer University, bringing my guy, Dan Kramer, a beer.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. What a great waiter, too.

Judd Shaw:

Wow.

Daniel Kramer:

This is a full-service conference.

Judd Shaw:

This is. this is some-

Daniel Kramer:

full-service conference.

Judd Shaw:

This is the best podcast I've ever done. So, you went back and you're, "Give me the trials. Give me the trials."

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Give me trials. And then, we're about to go to North Carolina for Christmas. He's like, "All right. Here you go. Here's one that starts January 3rd." I'm like, "What? I didn't mean that soon."

Judd Shaw:

Right. Right.

Daniel Kramer:

I didn't know anything for the case. He hands me the file, and I'm just like, "Okay." Trying to figure it out. So, all throughout Christmas, I'm just like... Actually, ironically, I was in my grandfather's office because we were at his house. He'd already passed away at that point. But I was studying to learn how to... Because I was getting the trial books. I forget. Mauet or whoever the original trial textbook was. I was reading that, how to do this, and then learning the case. And I go in there, and I'm trying to be like I'm experienced. I'm not just brand new, my first trial.

And I remember the judge brings in all the jurors. There's like 50 or 60 all sitting behind me, and he starts reading the list. He's like, "Does anyone know any of the witnesses?" No one raised their hands. "And does anyone know the attorneys?" And, "Does anyone know Dan Kramer?" And then, someone in the back's like, "Yeah, I know Dan." And I look back, and it was one of our old roommates from law school that none of us really got along with. I was like, "Oh God, not him."

Judd Shaw:

Right.

Daniel Kramer:

But then, the judge was like, "So, how long you known him?" "Oh, we lived together when he was in law school." "Oh, how long ago was that?" "Eight months ago." And I was like, "Oh God." It totally blew my cover with these jurors. I was trying to play it off like I've been doing this for 10 years. But the one thing I would tell young attorneys, you can only say it's your first trial one time. And so, use that if you're in trial and you screw up or you make mistake, like, "Sorry, folks. This is my first time doing this." And jury's, "Oh, son. It's okay. We got you here. Don't worry." I think you should definitely use it if you can.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. But you went back and I think you knocked out four or five in your first year or something. It's more trials than somebody with 10 years of experience ever sees in the courtroom.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. I was really lucky. So, obviously, I caught the trial bug and then-

Judd Shaw:

I wonder where that came from.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Slowly got away from the defense attorney. I just wasn't... My passion was definitely not in that after a few years, but yeah, they just started giving to me. They're like, "Here you go." It was really kind of circumstances were really lined up well, because it was a flat-fee client. It was the auto club that we were doing defense cases for. So, the partners were like, "We're not making more money the more we bill. So, we don't want to be out there doing the trials because that's not good for our profit margin, So, let's give it to this young attorney who can't bill much anyway. It's a flat fee." I was like, "Absolutely. This is amazing. Let me try every case you can." Super thankful for that. I mean, I had some great mentors there. I just kind of just lost... I just didn't feel good about really what I was doing after a few years, nothing against the whole defense. I have a lot of friends on the defense side. It just wasn't-

Judd Shaw:

You loved the trial, but it wasn't serving that purpose of like fighting for someone.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. And I was telling some people-

Judd Shaw:

Making a wrong right.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. It was one trial where I defensed rear ender, where the woman, obviously wasn't a big case, but it was a defense work on her rear end where she actually went to the hospital. So, they gave her nothing. And I remember celebrating, but then, I talked to my mom about it and she's... I was like, I just got another win. She's like, "Well, yeah. But what... " So, it was like a school teacher. She's like, "Do you really feel that good about that? I mean, is that really justice? Because you know, her attorney was just wasn't that experienced or didn't really do the right moves. And it's just like, you won because of this, but was that really justice?" And that really got me thinking like, "Is this really, really doing it for the right reasons?" I was really into this, and now it's like... And then, found plaintiff's work 10 years ago and just love it.

Judd Shaw:

So, you jump over to the plaintiff's side, and what, I mean, the irony, right? In the first big case you land, a World War II veteran who lost his life in a truck accident case. I mean, talk about hitting home.

Daniel Kramer:

Well, so two months after we opened up shop, didn't have any staff. We had to do our own faxing. Like, I mean, literally everything, as mostly anyone knows who starts their own firm. And I get a call from a friend whose grandmother's best friend lost her husband when a grocery truck just jammed it on a red light, flipped over, and landed on him. And so I went and met with the family, like got really close. It was obviously very intense, dramatic. I'd never really handled a plaintiff's case before. And, she just reminded me so much of my grandmother. And his story, he reminded me so much of my grandfather. Just, he was a pilot in World War II and just a great guy, great. Same amount of kids as my family, my mom had, or her siblings.

And, but I didn't really know what to do. And this was too big for me to really take on on my own. So, I actually called Rob Glassman, who is a partner at Panish's office. And we were really close friends from law school. We really cultivated that relationship. And I was like, "Look, man. I don't want to refer this. I want to learn and work on it and learn from your firm and learn from all you guys."

And so, we just teamed up and just kicked ass. I mean, we were going in ex parte every week, just hammering the defense. I mean just every which way possible. We really wanted to try the case. I mean, we were both very new, I mean, third-year lawyers. And thankfully, Panish's office just let the two of us run with it.

Really, just us managed the whole case, 10 to 20 depos or something. And we just split all the work, and we just did it together. It really was from our relationship in law school. And then, that experience allowed me to start handling big cases on my own. But that's why I always recommend to younger attorneys, to really learn, it's just best to co-counsel. And I don't say that because I know I used to hear that and say, "Oh, he just wants to get my case," but I think it's just a great way to do it, but insist that you take a part of the case and not just hand it off. You work on it. And you work it with the attorney and sit in on everything, and then take your own stuff, and make sure you're going to have a role because that's the best way to learn.

Judd Shaw:

And then I think you whack them for two point something million, right?

Daniel Kramer:

Well, it was millions. Well, it was a settlement. We settled right before trial.

Judd Shaw:

What? Yeah, they weren't pissing downstream on you.

Daniel Kramer:

No.

Judd Shaw:

Right? But that's the thing, you're an amazing storyteller, right? It's in your DNA, but you also need the skills, and you went out and constantly looked to continuously improve that. Right? You went into institutes, courses where you go away and understand trial, right? I mean, you're just a voracious studier of the art of the trial.

Daniel Kramer:

o that. It was kind of around:

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. You go away for that, right? Like two or three weeks?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Three weeks. Three weeks. Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

In the ranch.

Daniel Kramer:

In the ranch. You have to run up the hill to get any cell service. I'd just met my now wife at the time, too. And we were just having that early romance, and I was like, "I have to go to this ranch for three weeks or like a month." She's like, "What" what are you doing there?" Yeah. But it's funny though, because you know, like the ranch really gets you the psycho drama side of it to really gets you into the emotions in the case.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

And your own stuff. I had never done anything like that, but I was like, "What is this?"

Judd Shaw:

Like a human psychology of it. Yeah, yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

Do your own work? But came back and she said, I was just the nicest, sweetest, like so compassionate and loving and then hardened over time. So, she wants to send me back to that institute-

Judd Shaw:

Like "Go back to the ranch."

Daniel Kramer:

... once a year, at least, to soften up a bit.

Judd Shaw:

That's what I found at conferences, even where we're at right now. Right? With the, I mean, Panche and the team and the Morgan crew. I mean, just it's paying it forward. Darrell, all of, including you, just constantly giving back to make the plaintiff's bar better.

Daniel Kramer:

A hundred percent. Because, I mean, you can talk to... Everyone here from the top, Panash, Dud, Mitnik, I mean, they will say they got a lot of help.

Judd Shaw:

Right.

Daniel Kramer:

And it's great when you hear their stories about their people they looked up to.

Judd Shaw:

Their mentor, right?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, yeah. The Moe Levines, those guys. So, it's all about paying it forward and just helping younger lawyers and just really just giving your time, not to try to get something in return, just to really help their skills because all boats rise. And I'm a big believer that when someone else gets a big verdict for a righteous case, it helps us get better off. The more we work it together, the better trial lawyers we are, and we don't dump cases or settle cases for not full value because we're scared of trial. I mean, this prevents that. This gets people out on their feet. That's why I love... I taught my first breakout group yesterday. And it was just so fun. It's so interesting to work on other people's cases and try to help them craft their story, getting people on their feet. I mean, it's just, it's so fun, so rewarding, to see people really see it click, when they really feel comfortable up there.

Judd Shaw:

What did it mean to be invited at the American Trial Advocates? I think the youngest member invited to ABOTA?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. American Board of Trial-

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. No, it was great. I mean, ABOTA's-

Judd Shaw:

It was an honor?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. No, it was. I mean, since then, there's been younger people who have now made it, so I can't claim that anymore, but-

Judd Shaw:

You can't get that now.

Daniel Kramer:

No.

Judd Shaw:

You can't. Yeah. All right.

Daniel Kramer:

I'm just an old dude now. But it's a great group. It really is. I mean, it's very influential with the judge. The judiciary really, really respects us, and then it's plaintiff and defense. So, it's all about civility and working together.

And we do a lot of good work with the community, too. I'm working with Raul to try to put together a program where we go to disadvantage areas of LA and kind of showcase for these students, one, the diversity in the law, which is great, that there's more women, more people of color, that are actually trial lawyers. And so, you go to these communities and you want to show them, "Hey, this could be you. And there's no reason it can't be."

And we also want to show them the importance of the jury system and the right to a trial by jury because I think it's important to educate the young and high school students that if we lose that right, a lot of other rights can go away because it's the only system in the world and the only way we can hold corrupt politicians accountable. We can bring giant corporations to their knees. It's truly, the epitome of democracy is the jury system, and we can't lose it. We can't take it for granted. And so, I think showing that to the younger generation is very, very important.

Judd Shaw:

One of my core values at the company is be chivalrous to each other and to our communities. And you're a chivalrous guy. You do a lot of charity work.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Yeah. We do.:

So, it's a great organization. It's just reinforces just the great people trial lawyers are. And that the insurance industry has done for decades is just try to paint us as just greedy ambulance chasers. And that couldn't be further from the truth. Of course, there's bad apples. There's bad apples in every industry, but it's just not true. I mean, we are really fighting for people's rights, and that whole perception and image that they've tried to portray of us, we just need to change that. I think this is a way you'd start changing, on a grassroots level, changing people's minds and showing who we really are.

Judd Shaw:

And the irony of the carrier who's, as a contract, that insurance agreement is a contract. Right? And when their insured needs the most, they bail. "You're in good hands."

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. "Good neighbor," and all that.

Judd Shaw:

We got you a good neighbor, and we're there when you need us. No, you're not. No, you're not. No, you take the premium, but you're not there at all.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. It's all the bottom line.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. They plug our clients into colossus or whatever equation they're like, "Oh, your knee injury is worth $47,000. 67.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They take the people formula. Congratulations on the new addition to the family.

Daniel Kramer:

Thanks. Yeah. We have our baby daughter, Isabella. She's five months old now.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. I love how you light up. You light up twice here. Well, three times. First, when we talk about your grandfather. Second, when you get a beer. And third, when you talk about your new... You have two, right?

Daniel Kramer:

I have two. Yeah. We have a son, Connor, who is two years, eight months or so. And Isabella. I mean, they're just so fun. I mean, he's the wild one. Shockingly, she sleeps through the night. Started sleeping the night at like two months, and our son is still just, he just loves life. Loves being awake. Loves doing everything. So, he's still not really sleeping great, but it's so fun.

Judd Shaw:

Has fatherhood changed you in your work?

Daniel Kramer:

Yes. Yes. That's a really good question because you force yourself to become more efficient with your time because I hate to admit it, but before kids, you can spend a lot of time like screwing around the internet or just, "Oh, I'll get to that later." Procrastinating. But now all that time, you're wasting at work or not finishing things is just time away from the family, and just, it's tough when you have to work late and you miss the kids or they are already going to bed. You've lost the whole day of them. And I hate that because I love spending so much time with them and my wife. And so, I've just definitely learned how to be just so much more efficient with my time and how I budget it and how I balance it. That almost happened right away. I remember as soon as my son was born, I kind of just noticed this change in me, and I was just able to do things quicker, better, I feel like.

Judd Shaw:

More efficient.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah. Yeah. So, Atlanta.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

Big fan.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, man.

Judd Shaw:

Huge fan.

Daniel Kramer:

Bill Braze, world champs.

Judd Shaw:

Right. And that's where you grew up.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. So yeah. Born there. Northside Hospital. My sister and I were born there, and we moved to the Bay Area when I was around seven. So I was young, but man, I-

Judd Shaw:

Are the kids wearing like Brave onesies.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, of course, man. Come on. What kind of question is that? They're definitely not wearing Dodger stuff. That's for sure. But yeah. Die hard Braves. Last year was magical, obviously. But yeah, when I moved out to the Bay Area from the south, man, I had like a rat tail and like real, just Southern kid. I remember having to get it cut in San Francisco. And I was just really sad about my rat tail.

Judd Shaw:

Dan, Jimmy's out there somewhere. He's a newer lawyer. He's somewhere in the firm. He's got a settlement. He knows it's not the right number, but he just doesn't have the skillset to do it. How does somebody like Jimmy, in your opinion, start to get into not being afraid-

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

... of a trial and getting in that courtroom?

Daniel Kramer:

I was talking to some people earlier about this because they had a similar question, and I think it is getting on your feet, right. It just feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, making the courtroom like your office. And I think the best way to do that is, honestly, focus groups. And nowadays, with craigslist... Oh, craigslist has been around for a while. That's not like a new thing, but you can do it for cheap. Even if the case isn't really a big seven figure case. We do it on cases all time. My secretary, she just posts on Craigslist, get a few questionnaires, pays 20, $25 an hour. Have them come in, you do some volunteer work. You do an opening statement. Maybe you have a defense opening. Do a direct and cross to your client. Have someone cross. But I think doing that as much as possible is really going to make you feel comfortable.

h at least, I know [inaudible:

Judd Shaw:

And reputation. I mean, you tell the firm, the carrier is tracking that. They know that minute you take that settlement, it meant you are afraid to go to trial.

Daniel Kramer:

And that was the biggest thing. When I was on the defense side, when we did the monthly or every two weeks round table with the managers, adjusters, at the auto club, they would always say that. They'd like look down. They had the... It was one sheet with all the facts, and then like, who's the attorney. And they would always say, "Oh, he won't try it," or, "Shoot, they'll bail last minute, so let's just stay at our offer. They're going to bail." But then, if it's someone who's. "He or she's going to try the case. So we need to take it seriously."

Judd Shaw:

Yeah.

Daniel Kramer:

"Offer more money." It oftentimes came down to that. Not the merits necessary. I mean the merits, obviously, you have to go through.

Judd Shaw:

It's risk. The carrier's in the business for risk. Yeah?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. No, totally. And they're like, "This guy will hit." And honestly, I think I lost a case in an employment case last year. I think it was one of my first one. It was devastating, obviously, but that loss actually, we tried a really good case. It was just these employment. I mean, it was tough. It was tough. And right after I had tried the case against a lawyer who was related to another lawyer had on a big case that was going to go to trial. As soon as I lost that, a month later or like a few weeks later, they ended up paying me six and a half million bucks because they knew I would go all the way, and I would do a good job, win or lose. But I think just being in the courtroom and letting them know you try a case, I mean, the wins are great, but you learn more from losses, and it's not going to hurt your reputation.

Judd Shaw:

Right. If you lose it, then they know you're at a risk, that you could take it to trial. You're going to go to the mat.

Daniel Kramer:

Exactly. On a risky case.

Judd Shaw:

On a risky case.

Daniel Kramer:

I knew it was a very losable case, but I was like, "Screw it. Let's do it." And that shows even more.

Judd Shaw:

I love the focus group idea. I remember when we were first into it, I had like, one lawyer had her husband, another one had the mother. I went around to my staff. Do you have any family or friend? I didn't even have the 20 bucks to pay everybody. I was like, "Can you get somebody, family or friend?" And it was like six people. And I'm doing it like I don't know them. And meanwhile, it's like my chief operating officer's sister or whatever.

Daniel Kramer:

up there and doing [inaudible:

Judd Shaw:

Right.

Daniel Kramer:

... and just sitting with it, maybe being comfortable with it? Because when you're a younger attorney, that's the scariest thing in jury selection. Someone's like, "I don't believe in pain and suffering. I don't trust you. I think you seem like an ambulance chaser." What do you do with that? And I think it's just being comfortable enough to say, "Well thank you for your... " Thank them for being, "I appreciate you being honest. I mean that hits, but this is what I asked for. I asked for you to be honest with me, and you did it. I thank you for that. Does anyone else kind of feel that way a little bit? And please tell me. I can take it." And so you just take that, and then you haven't gotten an argument. I think in my first few trials I would get defensive or try to make excuses or whatever.

Judd Shaw:

It's the fact of that response that's not akin to what they would've expected.

Daniel Kramer:

Exactly.

Judd Shaw:

Go, "Wait, maybe I'm thinking wrong about this."

Daniel Kramer:

Maybe you're thinking wrong. But also, it invites the others to open up as well because you're like, "He's not going to shut me down or get defensive," because you do that anywhere else outside in life, people are going to get defensive. I mean, it's just the natural human, but to take it and honor it and then, "Anyone else kind of feel that way? And it's important. We know this now." You gain credibility that way, and you also find out good data and good information from the rest of the jurors.

Judd Shaw:

Dan, your grandfather would be so goddamn proud of you, man.

Daniel Kramer:

Oh man. I don't know.

Judd Shaw:

Yeah, he would.

Daniel Kramer:

I don't know if he'd be too stoked on me having this beer right now when I'm doing a podcast.

Judd Shaw:

Hey, listen. He's still stoked that the fact that you're talking in the way leading other trial attorneys and paying it forward, just like he did.

Daniel Kramer:

Absolutely. And any younger attorney out there, you better pay it forward because we all got the gift from other people and can never do this alone.

Judd Shaw:

How do people get in touch with you, Dan?

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah, they can email me at dkramer@kramerlaw.com. Our website's www.kramerlaw.com. We're in... Just moved to offices in Westwood, but we do cases throughout the state.

Judd Shaw:

I'd say Dan Kramer, a rising star, but I think that star is risen. You are a legend in what we do. And I really, really appreciate you coming on, man.

Daniel Kramer:

Appreciate you doing this, man. Doing this kind of stuff really is what helps us all, is doing these podcasts. I listen to a lot of them. I listen to yours. I mean, it really does, it's education. And also hearing the human story behind because we could all relate, and we all... When you're young, you get scared. And you're like, "Oh. Well, he went through that," or, "She went through that. And so, it's not so... I can do that." And anyone can do it. Absolutely, anyone can do this. Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

Dan, thanks for coming, man.

Daniel Kramer:

Yeah. Thank you. Appreciate it. Yeah.

Judd Shaw:

I greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Voiceover:

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