Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

Disrupting Reptile Tactics in Med Mal Cases: Defense Strategies for Discovery, Witness Preparation, and Trial

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 Thursday, July 27, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss how to combat plaintiff's use of "reptile" theory and tactics in medical malpractice litigation, including a discussion of strategies to prevent witnesses from being manipulated into providing damaging testimony that admits liability.


Convincing a jury that the defendants--whether they are physicians, nurses, or medical facilities-- caused the plaintiff's injury by knowingly disregarding patient safety is the goal of reptile tactics in med mal cases. Outrageous verdicts emanate from juries that believe the defendants knew they violated their own safety rules but refuse to admit it.

Nothing compounds damages like the belief that a tragic injury could have been avoided if only someone had followed the alleged "rules." Losses resulting from a "near miss" typically feel greater than the same loss perceived as inevitable.

Policies and procedures often play a role in plaintiff's strategy, making limiting their discovery and use a defense priority. Defense witnesses must be alert from the start to avoid making forced errors and inadvertently admitting liability. They must be taught how to recognize the reptile "setup" in even innocuous questions.

Listen as this experienced panel of medical malpractice defense attorneys offers strategies and practices for defusing reptile theory and strategy.



  1. Reptile tactics in med mal cases
  2. Defense strategies
    1. Discovery
    2. Depositions
      1. Confirmation bias
      2. Anchoring bias
      3. Cognitive dissonance
      4. Hypocrisy paradigm
    3. Pretrial strategies to limit reptile
    4. Anchoring
  3. Developing trends


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How can counsel teach deponents to avoid answering reptile questions in absolute terms?
  • How can defense counsel remove the plaintiff's anchor?
  • How can defense attorneys spot and identify reptile tactics before they occur?
  • What are sources of information and additional instruction for combatting reptile 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

Lundquist, Lauren
Lauren M. Lundquist

Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan

Ms. Lundquist is an associate practicing in the areas of Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, Home Care & Hospice and...  |  Read More

Shimonsky, Karen
Karen M. Shimonsky

Managing Partner
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer

Ms. Shimonsky primarily handles health care defense litigation including both long term care cases and medical...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video