“DID she?” or “DIDN’T she?” was the question! She DID NOT was the Jury’s verdict,
In most jury trials, the question becomes: who does the Jury not believe! Whose credibility will remain intact when the jury meets to deliberate?
Zeigler & Associates just successfully concluded a four-day jury trial where the issue became: Did the signature on a New employment agreement belong to their client, thus giving up the employee’s incentive bonus? Or was it, in fact, not her signature entitling Zeigler & Associates’ client to all of the back pay for the incentive bonus originally contracted for and legally due the employee?
The jury came back enthusiastically in favor of the employee finding that they did not believe the employer. The jury found that the employee actually did not sign the alleged New employment agreement giving up her claim to incentive bonus compensation. The award was for the employee! The employer must honor the original contact and provide back pay and the incentive bonus as was agreed in the original employment contract.
This case, as most, turns on one or two major points. The employer in this case introduced into evidence an alleged New employment agreement that appeared to bear the employee’s signature, and if the signature was genuine, Zeigler & Associates’ client would have forfeited her right to any bonus. The employee testified the signature indeed looked like hers, but swore under oath she never signed the document submitted as evidence by the employer.
How can that be? To support the employee’s testimony that the signature was, in fact, not that of their client, Attorney Matt Zeigler called on the nationally known and respected document examiner, Ruth Holmes. Through her expert testimony, Ms. Holmes testified that, in her expert opinion, the signature of Zeigler’s client was not an original signature. Ms. Holmes through her testimony was able to explain and ultimately convince the jury, the signature was mechanically or electronically manipulated onto the alleged New agreement to appear as the employee’s original signature.
The true issue in this case was one of credibility. The employee was able to produce a credible witness along with expert testimony to dispute what seemed to be obvious on its face their client’s original signature. The jury believed that she DID NOT sign the alleged New employment agreement and Zeigler and Associates was able to win for their client the full restitution that was due under the original employment agreement.
Bork v. Property Management By Design, Case #10-C02755 GC.