Defending Punitive Damages Cases and Preventing Runaway Awards: New Approaches
Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A
This CLE course will discuss how to give the jury reasons not to award punitive damages even if it ultimately decides the client caused the alleged harm and should compensate the plaintiff. The panel will discuss important pre-trial considerations, legal protections available to the defendant, and crucial decisions to be addressed at trial. The panel will also discuss using Federal Rule of Evidence 407 to counter the plaintiff's perennial "send a message" theme.
- Finding and telling the defendant's story
- Focusing on the "why" of the defendant's actions
- Countering plaintiff's likely strategies and themes
- Deciding whether to bifurcate
- Strategic use of pretrial motions and objections
- Building the defense with jury selection, jury instructions, and anchoring
- Using appellate and punitive damages experts
- Introducing subsequent remedial measures under FRE 407
The panel will review these and other issues:
- Why do motions to dismiss or for summary judgment usually fail?
- How can defense counsel give the jury a reason not to award punitive damages?
- Why must defense counsel, when punitive damages are alleged, think like a plaintiff's lawyer?
- How can anchoring be used effectively?
- How can counsel use FRE 407 to show that punitive damages are unnecessary?
Kathryn S. Lehman
King & Spalding
Ms. Lehman is a member of the Tort Litigation and Environmental Group. She has experience in individual plaintiff... | Read More
Ms. Lehman is a member of the Tort Litigation and Environmental Group. She has experience in individual plaintiff actions as well as mass tort actions. Ms. Lehman has represented a wide range of public entities as well as private entities in the medical, food service and transportation industries.Close
Mitchell K. Morris
Mr. Morris is a member of Butler Snow’s litigation department and practices within the Product Liability, Toxic... | Read More
Mr. Morris is a member of Butler Snow’s litigation department and practices within the Product Liability, Toxic Tort and Environmental and Commercial Litigation groups. He regularly represents clients in high-exposure traumatic injury, wrongful death, intentional tort, environmental, pharmaceutical and complex commercial matters, and has served as national punitive damages counsel to a Fortune 250 transportation company. Mr. Morris also devotes a significant part of his practice to combatting fraud and abuse in mass and class actions. He represents clients nationally, and has appeared in state or federal courts in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, New York, and California. Close