First Jury Trial Results in Incredible Verdict:
In John Reilly’s first jury trial, he represented the defendant in a Kent County jury trial before Judge Thomas Needham. The plaintiff claimed that our client assaulted and beat him severely following a minor motor vehicle accident and what might today be called some “road rage.”
We claimed that our client acted in self-defense and counterclaimed for nominal damages of one dollar. Police testimony established that upon arrival at the scene our client seemed to be the aggressor, standing over the fallen plaintiff and covered with plaintiff’s blood. After 3 hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict for our client, giving the plaintiff nothing and our client his dollar. The plaintiff appealed and the matter was eventually settled for a nominal amount. Gallo v. Arnold, 463 A.2d 129 (R.I. 1984).