(1928 - 2011)
Scotty Baldwin was an amazing lawyer who won million-dollar verdicts in one-day trials and who was a legal hero to many. He was a great mentor who would drop everything he was doing to help another lawyer with advice which, inevitably, had an unforgettable story as a part of the lesson. The following story about Scotty in one of his asbestos cases has been told many times:
Scotty was trying a young husband/father's case to a jury. Other than exposure witnesses and damage witnesses the following was the only scientific evidence offered:
Q. Dr. Jones please tell the jury your name?
A. Paul Jones.
Q. How old are you Doc?
Q. You know Davy?
A. Sure do. Birthed his Mama his Papa and his six brothers and sisters and him.
Q. Anything wrong with him?
A. Yup. His body is riddled with cancer?
Q. You have an opinion within a reasonable medical certainty as to what caused that cancer?
A. Those damn chemicals they exposed him to at work.
Q. Thank you Doctor.
The defense called scientific witnesses from across the globe to discredit Scotty's case. They lost and they lost big.
Another story Scotty liked to tell was of a trial he had in Marshall, Texas. He brought in Joe Jamail to try the case with him and they agreed that Scotty would do the closing. The defense lawyer was a slick, silk stocking big city lawyer from Dallas, a fact they thought would not play well with his local jury.
The defense lawyer argued: "These lawyers have asked for a lot of money but they dont want or expect you to award that. I remember when I wanted a dime from my Daddy, I would ask him for a quarter and hope to get the dime."
Joe started furiously writing on a legal pad at counsel table and passed the pad to Scotty. The note said: "I will give you half my fee if I can do the rebuttal." Scotty said OK.
Joe stood up and told the jury: "You cant trust one word that big city Dallas lawyer just told you. He has admitted he tried to cheat his own Daddy!"
They got a big verdict and a great story.
It was a defective product case against Ford in 1977 that brought Scotty to the attention of the Inner Circle. He won a $2 million verdict in that case which settled on appeal. He followed that up with another defective product case against Massey-Ferguson in 1979 that ended in a $1.43 million verdict which was affirmed on appeal.