In a recent webinar my Segal McCambridge colleague, Dan Ahasay, and I covered three key litigation topics: telling your client’s story to the jury, understanding and applying the federal rule of evidence governing the use of expert witness testimony at trial, and defending against a trial tactic claimed to spur jurors to think with their “reptile” brain. While we couched our discussed in the context of products liability litigation, the thoughts and insights shared apply to just about any case. You can access the presentation materials here.
Category Archives: Best Practices
Originally defined as a moral obligation, warranty has evolved into a powerful tool for enhancing the customer experience, which in turn drives sales. Continue reading
A recent outbreak in the South Bronx claimed 12 lives, left another 120 victims infected and put Legionnaires’ Disease back in the headlines. Besides being potentially fatal, LD poses a serious product liability and warranty liability risk to the manufacturer of any product that holds or stores water. This group includes manufactures of HVAC equipment, water heaters, water tanks, plumbing fixtures and supplies and companies that include these items in their products, such as mobile home, motorhome and travel trailer makers. But once appreciated the liability risk can be effectively managed. Here are a few things you should know about the disease and some suggestions for managing the liability risk it poses. Continue reading
As you’ve surely heard by now, the plaintiffs’ bar has come up with a can’t-miss-science-based trial strategy. Its creators boast that it has produced over $6.25 billion in jury verdicts and settlements in personal injury suits since 2009, including nearly $19.2 million in the past week alone. And they’ve given their strategy a name; it’s called: The “Reptile Theory.” While there are many who dispute its claimed scientific basis (here, here, here), defendants who’ve squared-off with the Reptile don’t doubt its effectiveness. Continue reading
At this very moment a good friend of mine is in a dust-up with a rental car company. After hearing (my friend’s version of) “the facts,” and harkening back fondly to my law school days, I thought his tale just might make an interesting hypothetical to launch a discussion on “customer experience,” and I’m hoping the reader(s) of this blog will chime in. Continue reading
Can a company use warranty to help drive sales? It sure can. Just ask Hyundai Motors. It saw its market share jump from 1.1% to 4% after it extended its powertrain warranty in 1999. You might also want to put the question to Volkswagen, which saw its sales drop 30% in the three years after it shortened its powertrain warranty in 2002. Continue reading
Imagine if you will, you are the founder and CEO of ABC, Co., a small to midsize company that’s been sued for millions of dollars in a breach of contract action. Next imagine that, just before sending the jury out to deliberate, you heard the judge say to them: “It is up to you to decide what ABC, Co.’s obligations were under the contract.” Feeling queasy? Well, here’s the kicker: your company wrote the contract.
Recently, a scenario just like this one played itself out in a Chicago courtroom. How’d it turn out, you ask? Read on. Continue reading