Nick Rowley and Steve Halteman | Jordan, et al. v. TGI Fridays, et al. | $40 million verdict


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This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Nick Rowley and Steve Halteman of Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley, (

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Episode Details:

Award-winning trial lawyer Nick Rowley -- a U.S. Air Force and Army veteran and one of the youngest trial lawyers to be named Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles' Trial Lawyer of the Year -- explains how he represented grieving mother Carmen Jordan after her 33-year-old son Orlando Jordan was stabbed and killed in a Riverside, California TGI Fridays restaurant by an intoxicated minor and his friend. Steve Halteman, jury consultant and Nick’s co-author of the book, Trial By Human, assisted with the case and joins Steve and Yvonne to discuss this trial. In January 2009, Orlando was enjoying a date with his girlfriend when her son Michael Castillo, 20, and his friend Louis Martinez, 27, arrived at the restaurant. Already intoxicated, Michael and Louis ordered 12 servings of alcohol in the span of 30 minutes without being asked for identification. Michael proceeded to get into a heated argument with Orlando and stabbed him. Orlando later succumbed to his injuries. Despite TGI Fridays restaurant operator Briad Group's attempts to deny any responsibility, the family’s allegations were supported by the head bartender, who testified that Briad Group made a deliberate decision to not card minors in order to increase profits on Fridays and Saturdays. A Riverside County, California jury awarded Orlando's parents $40 million in damages and assigned 55% of the blame to Briad Group. Michael and Louis were both convicted in separate criminal trials and sentenced to serve time in state prison.

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Guest Bio:

Nicholas C. Rowley

Many consider Nicholas C. Rowley, founder of Attorney s for Justice and Partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley, to be the most accomplished trial lawyer of his generation having won more than $1.5 Billion in verdicts and settlements for injury victims and families across the country.

Winner of the 2018 Attorney of the Year and five time finalist, he is one of the youngest trial lawyers in history to be presented with the award. He has extensive courtroom experience representing victims of serious injuries and medical malpractice, especially those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and chronic pain.

Nick has been recognized by dozens of publications for his record-breaking verdicts and work for injury victims and their families. In 2018, Nick was named to The National Law Journal’s Elite Attorney s for having a top 50 verdict in the nation. He was also named “Los Angeles Top Litigators in 2018” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In 2015, Nick was listed in’s Top 100 Largest US Verdicts in the nation. In 2012, Nick was a finalist for the “Consumer Attorney of the Year” award, given by Consumer Attorney s of California (CAOC). Nick was recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal for winning a “Top Verdict of 2010” for his $31.6 million jury verdict for the victim of a traumatic brain injury. In 2009, the Consumer Attorney s of San Diego awarded Nick its “Outstanding Attorney ” award. In 2013, Nick was honored with the organization’s top award – “Outstanding Attorney of the Year”.

Some of Nick’s other recent successes include a record setting $131,000,375 verdict for the victim of a car accident after the driver was over served at a bar, a record setting $74,525,000 verdict for a victim of medical malpractice, $40,000,000 for two parents whose 33 year old son was negligently killed due to corporate negligence, a $38,600,000 verdict for a young man who fell from a hotel balcony while intoxicated, a $17,000,000 win for a woman who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a fall from a hotel window, $16,500,000 for a young girl who was a birth injury victim, a $13,860,000 win for a mild traumatic brain injury caused by an automobile crash, $10,250,000 for a man who suffered a below knee amputation, $10,000,000 for an Iowa family in a wrongful death lawsuit, and $10,000,000 for a child with a mild traumatic brain injury.

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Steven Halteman

Steven Halteman lives in Los Angeles with his significant other and her two lovely children. He is also a trial strategist and jury consultant for a number of attorneys including Nick Rowley. In his career, Mr. Halteman has consulted on cases resulting in verdicts of more than $600 million in total. His trial philosophy demands that lawyers relentlessly narrow their case to its heart, eliminating ancillary issues that distract jurors from the truth. Mr. Halteman often analogizes his trial strategy to furniture building, his hobby. The strongest and most elegant chair or table has no unnecessary parts or flourishes. Likewise, he believes that every component of a trial must have an important purpose, or it must be shed. Mr. Halteman credits his unclouded perspective of what jurors and judges really want with having lived overseas for most of his adult life, his travels through over 100 countries, and having himself served as a court commissioner in Maryland. In his spare time, he has completed six marathons, a couple of ultramarathons, and hiked both the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail and 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail. But his greatest accomplishment is having a 15-year-old daughter who still speaks to him with a measure of fondness.

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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

117 episodes