The Texas lawyer leading the lawsuit against a division of Smithfield Foods is a master of the art of turning a fact on its head.

When he gave his opening statement in the second nuisance trial, without a blink Michael Kaeske told the jury the neighborhood where the plaintiff lives beside the Carter family’s hog farm has been there since before the farm was built.

The neighborhood.

So naturally, if not listening closely, a juror would have thought the husband and wife he is representing had lived there before the farm was built, too.

That would be dead wrong.

The husband built his home in that neighborhood years after the Carter family farm was built and operating.

No, the farm wasn’t built next to the plaintiffs.

The husband bought his land from the farmer and then built the home next to the farm.

That’s how a fact twist works. It turns the truth on its head. And that’s what the jury heard from the Texas lawyer.

— Andy Curliss