Tag Archives: trial

Litigation Practice Tips

close up court courthouse hammer

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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.

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The Reptile’s In Our Midst – Defending against the “Triune Brain” trial strategy


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 (hereherehere), defendants who’ve squared-off with the Reptile don’t doubt its effectiveness. Continue reading

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Plain language to the rescue?

Knights in shining armour

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

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