Combating Plaintiffs' Reptilian Tactics in Commercial Vehicle, Premises Liability, Products Liability and Med Mal Cases

Responding to Reptile Techniques During Discovery, Deposition, Voir Dire, Opening Statement, Cross-Examination and Closing Argument

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide litigators in recognizing and combating the trial strategy leveraging the so-called "reptile theory" in commercial vehicle accident claims, premises liability and medical malpractice cases. The panel will discuss the increased use of reptilian tactics by plaintiffs' attorneys and how defense counsel can strategically confront the strategy.


The infamous trial strategy called "reptile theory" has gained traction among the personal injury plaintiffs' bar and well-prepared defense counsel. The theory promotes the use of trial tactics appealing to the region of jurors' brains sensitive to safety as a tactic to gain an advantage at trial and recover sizable verdicts.

Reptilian tactics are being used throughout litigation, and defense attorneys must understand how to identify and combat reptilian tactics.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the use of reptilian tactics in commercial vehicle accident claims, premises liability and medical malpractice litigation, and how defense counsel can challenge these tactics to increase their client's chances of success.



  1. Reptilian tactics in litigation: Explanation of theory and current trends in its use
  2. Defense strategies during discovery and depositions
  3. Pretrial strategies to limit or exclude the reptile theory
  4. Combating the reptile during trial


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the underlying basis for the strategy known as the "reptile theory"?
  • How are plaintiffs' attorneys leveraging reptile tactics in their cases?
  • How can defense attorneys spot and identify reptile tactics before they occur?
  • How can defense attorneys prepare for, defend, and counter the increasing use of reptilian tactics?


Pokrywka, Brian
Brian J. Pokrywka

Montgomery, Rennie & Jonson

Mr. Pokrywka’s practice is focused on defending commercial vehicle transportation claims from post-accident...  |  Read More

Senter, David
David A. Senter, Jr.

Young Moore and Henderson

Mr. Senter is a shareholder at Young Moore and a member of its transportation and logistics team in Raleigh. He advises...  |  Read More

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