The second Vioxx trial: Day 1
“Merck, which has a different trial team here than it did in Texas, will not publicly discuss its strategy in this case. But Merck appears to have carefully examined the Texas case in an effort to avoid making the same mistakes that doomed its trial team down there.
In the Texas case, two lawyers representing Merck split time during the opening arguments, making it difficult for jurors to connect with either. In contrast, Diane Sullivan, a lawyer at Dechert, was the only lawyer to speak for Merck on Wednesday.
Also, Ms. Sullivan spoke without notes, unlike Merck’s Texas lawyers, who read from a lectern and appeared stiff and formal. Ms. Sullivan also repeatedly asked jurors to use their ‘common sense’ . . .
. . . Meanwhile, Christopher Seeger, the lead lawyer for Mr. Humeston, was far less smooth than Mr. Lanier had been.
Mr. Seeger read his opening argument from behind a lectern and sometimes appeared to bog down in the complex scientific details about the way that Vioxx affects the cardiovascular system.”