A prominent Charlottesville attorney, Matthew B. Murray (of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen) and his client, Isaiah Lester, have been accused of lying to the court in regards to a wrongful death case.
Lester was originally awarded roughly $10.6 million for the death of his wife and injuries he sustained when the two were victims of an overturned cement truck on the highway in 2007. At the time, the court had no knowledge that Lester had been intentionally withholding evidence in the form of social media.
During the discovery phase of the case, the attorneys representing Allied Concrete Co. (the company involved in the accident) had gained access to Lester’s Facebook page. They requested screen photos of Lester’s Facebook account and had attached a picture they found that featured Lester with a beer can and an “I ♥ Hot Moms” t-shirt. Upon seeing this, Murray specifically ordered Lester to delete photos and to deactivate his Facebook account in order to hide evidence that would damage his client’s case.
In December 2009, Lester testified during his deposition that he never did such a thing and claimed that he had never taken his page down during the trial. With no evidence to prove otherwise, the jury passed a verdict that awarded nearly $10 million to Lester and $1 million to the deceased wife’s parents.
However, when the court learned of the actions of Murray and Lester, the verdict was cut by $4 million due to the misrepresentation of his condition. On top of this, Murray was fired from the Allen Firm, and both Murray and Lester could be liable for up to $900,000 in attorney fees for Allied’s defense counsel.
At the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we always advise our clients to be completely open and honest. The last thing we want is to have the court question your credibility, especially if it’s over some scandalous photo on Facebook.