Several years ago, during a wrongful death trial, Finkelstein was examining the decedent’s son, a rough-and-tough New York kid. The witness was providing a running narration for a video depicting his late father playing with the witness’ own son. As all eyes in the courtroom followed the spoon in the decedent’s hand moving to feed his infant grandson, a muffled sound was heard in the courtroom. The sound mounted in volume and intensity until it became recognizable as stifled sobbing from this street-wise witness. At last he was overcome with emotion, succumbed to uncontrolled weeping and began begging that the video be turned off. An immediate recess was granted and when the lights came on in the courtroom, Finkelstein saw that the face of every jury member, as well as the clerk of the court, was streaked with tears.
At the conclusion of the six weeks trial, the jury returned a handsome verdict for the plaintiffs.