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Personal Injury Litigation: Proving or Disproving Non-Economic Damages

Calculating Damages, Conducting Voir Dire, Preparing Jury Instructions

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 Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide personal injury practitioners on how to best argue for (or defend against) an award of non-economic damages. The panel will discuss various trial strategies, including calculating damages, conducting voir dire, and preparing jury instructions.


When a plaintiff can prove a defendant's liability in a personal injury case, he or she can potentially recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are awarded based on monetary losses suffered because of an accident. Non-economic damages are more subjective and may include pain, emotional anguish, humiliation, reputational damage, loss of enjoyment of activities, or worsening of prior injuries.

Attorneys must be well-skilled in preparing the jury to understand why or why not to award non-economic damages under the law. As early as the opening statement, plaintiff's counsel can begin to condition the jury to award substantial money or not for pain and suffering.

Throughout trial, attorneys should strive to use the exact words found in the standard jury instructions to lay the groundwork for why non-economic damages should (or should not) be awarded. The argument for or against damages will be harder to refute when the jury follows the law precisely as the judge instructs.

Listen as our distinguished panel guides personal injury attorneys on how to prove (or disprove) a non-economic damages award. The panel will discuss best practices for calculating damages, conducting voir dire, and preparing jury instructions in advance of trial.



  1. Methods for calculating non-economic damages
  2. Factors that impact juries on whether or not to award non-economic damages
  3. Considerations for hiring expert witnesses
  4. Best practices for plaintiff and defense counsel when arguing for or against non-economic damages


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • How are non-economic damages calculated?
  • When arguing for or against non-economic damages in court, what factors have had an impact on juries?
  • What key factors should counsel consider when recruiting expert witnesses?


Burden, Jack
Jack P. Burden

Backus Carranza & Burden

Mr. Burden is a Martindale Hubbell AV Rated litigation attorney with practice emphasis in products liability, premises...  |  Read More

Theisen, James
James K. Theisen

Hupy and Abraham

Mr. Theisen has more than a decade of experience, he’s handled insurance defense litigation, subrogation and...  |  Read More

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