During trial, Cruser used accident reconstruction expert Dwayne Canupp to argue that Winbush was responsible for the accident. Canupp testified that if Winbush had seen Garrett when he started to turn, she had time to stop 20 yards before impact, or she could have avoided the accident by driving straight instead of veering to the right, Cruser said.
Goldberg said he warned Daniels to be careful about what she put on the Internet. He said the most damaging tweets were quotes of lyrics to songs such as, "It's my birthday and I'll get drunk if I want to."
"It seems like she's very happy. The argument was basically that someone who's that happy doesn't need money for anything," Goldberg said. "The implied argument was if you give her the money, she's going to travel and blow it. For that jury that was the right argument to make."
B.J. Bernstein, who has spoken to lawyer groups about social media, said attorneys should look at potential clients' Twitter and Facebook postings before taking a case. But telling clients to abstain from social media may not be realistic.
"With clients, particularly of a younger age group, social media is critical to look at, even if you think it's not going to have anything to do with your case," Bernstein said. "Lawyers should urge caution and keep monitoring it. It's something you need to keep looking at again and again."
The jury trial was the last heard by Gwinnett State Court Chief Judge Robert Mock Sr. before his retirement at the end of the year. Mock has been a state court judge since 1991, and before that he served on Gwinnett Recorder's Court. Civil litigator Emily Brantley won election in November to succeed Mock.
The case is Daniels vs. Atlanta Refrigeration, No. 11-C-05722.