Merck’s Bizarre Courtroom Strategy Part Of Master Plan?

An interesting opinion piece at asks whether Merck’s lawyers’ seemingly intentionally inflammatory courtroom behavior may be part of a larger strategy, based on having all the facts and science on the side of the plaintiffs. An excerpt:

As pointed out, however, in a number of scientific articles, news reports, and hearings, even at its best, the evidence supporting Merck’s position is virtually nonexistent. In fact, whatever wisps of evidence Merck has tenaciously clung to pales in comparison to the tidal wave of scientific studies, internal documents, and opinions from world-renowned experts and FDA reviewers.

Thus, the “in your face” confrontational approach Merck’s trial attorney has taken is far from a dignified test of somewhat balanced legal and scientific positions. Instead, it has been little more than a series of skirmishes with plaintiff’s counsel and open warfare with the trial judge.

These tactics, however, appear too well orchestrated on the part of Merck to be unintentional. Instead, they have all the indicia of a calculated strategy to reduce the proceedings to a street fight where Merck hopes to bully its way to victory by ignoring rulings, screaming louder, and acting tougher than either plaintiff’s counsel or the trial judge.

Clearly, Merck’s trial strategy has more to do with intimidation than evidence. The negative and highly damaging baggage Merck must carry into each trial is far more burdensome than the company would like the public or any jury to believe.

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