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Combating Reptile Tactics in Employment Litigation

Strategies for Discovery, Voir Dire, Opening and Closing Argument, Direct and Cross-Exam

Recording of a 90-minute CLE 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 Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide trial counsel on combating the emerging trial strategy commonly known as the "reptile theory." The panel will discuss the increased use of reptilian tactics in employment litigation throughout the life of the case and how counsel can strategically confront the strategy.


The trial strategy known as reptile theory is an innovative approach that is steadily gaining traction in employment litigation. The method promotes the use of trial tactics that appeal to the region of jurors' brains that is sensitive to safety in the workplace as a tactic to win cases and recover sizable verdicts.

Reptilian-type tactics are showing up throughout each phase of litigation, including discovery, opening statement, direct- and cross-examination, and closing argument. Attorneys must understand how to identify reptilian tactics and develop strategies for combating them.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the growing use of tactics described as reptilian in litigation and how counsel can challenge these tactics throughout the course of the case to increase your client's chances of success.



  1. Reptilian tactics in litigation: history of theory and current trends in its use
  2. The particular application of reptilian tactics in employment cases
  3. Defense strategies: from discovery through closing argument


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the underlying basis for the strategy often described as reptilian?
  • How are plaintiffs' attorneys leveraging so-called reptile tactics to influence jurors' view of their cases?
  • How can defense attorneys counter the increasing use of reptilian tactics?


Broda-Bahm, Ken
Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm, Ph.D.

Senior Litigation Consultant
Persuasion Strategies

Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm has provided research and strategic advice on several hundred cases across the country for the past...  |  Read More

Rhoades, Nicole
Nicole Rhoades

Davis Rothwell Earle & X├│chihua

Ms. Rhoades has been a litigator all 18 years of her career. She has tried and arbitrated numerous cases in Oregon and...  |  Read More

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