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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 video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course 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 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.

Trial attorneys use reptilian tactics 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, as well as how defense counsel can challenge these tactics to increase their client's chances of success.



  1. Reptilian tactics in litigation: an explanation of the 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?


Bashor, Karen
Karen L. Bashor

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker

Ms. Bashor has significant litigation and trial experience with complex litigation and catastrophic injury defense, and...  |  Read More

McLeod, Alexandra
Alexandra McLeod

Of Counsel
Wilson Elser

Ms. McLeod has two decades’ experience in Nevada trying cases on both sides of the civil bar in front of Las...  |  Read More

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