Premises Liability: Successfully Rebutting Common Defenses, Focusing the Blame on Defense Conduct

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, December 18, 2020

or call 1-800-926-7926

The CLE webinar will discuss keys for successfully rebutting the most common defenses to personal injury claims arising from dangerous conditions in the workplace, business establishments, and apartment, condominium or hospitality settings. The program will explore how to stop the defense from shifting blame to the plaintiff and emphasize that alleged failures of the defendant threaten the entire community.


There are many different kinds of premises liability scenarios, including the unsafe workplace or business, negligent or deficient security, and the failure to warn of anticipated dangers. Despite different kinds of claims, the universal defense strategy is to shift the blame and focus away from defendants' duties and responsibilities to plaintiffs' alleged contributory fault, the purported intervention of third parties, or a lack of foreseeability of the injury-causing events.

There are many ways to overcome the defendant's attempts to make the plaintiff or others responsible, including flipping the defense's own themes and focusing on the defendants' duty to provide a reasonably safe place to work, live, or shop. Asking counsel's own fact and expert witnesses the right questions can expose weaknesses in the other party's case.

Demonstrating violations of statutes, industry standards, and best practices can demonstrate patterns of defendants' negligence and indifference to safety. Careful discovery and consistent adherence to a theme can demonstrate that defendants were, in fact, on notice of the dangerous conditions. Starting with a failure to properly assess dangers all the way down to how employees routinely cut corners can show that defendants' conduct deviated from safe practices every step of the way.

Listen as this experienced panel shows counsel how to not only stop the defense from shifting blame to the plaintiff but how to turn the defense theme in their favor. Defense counsel on the panel will also share their perspectives.



  1. Overview of premises liability
  2. Defusing defenses
  3. Contributory negligence
  4. Intervention by third parties, including criminal acts
  5. Countering "lack of foreseeability" defenses
  6. Preventing unfair apportionment


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • How to overcome the situation when the plaintiff had reason to know of hazardous conditions
  • What are the typical affirmative defenses for premises liability?
  • How can the plaintiff's counsel recognize the shift in blame and focus?
  • How can arguments on the unfair apportionment of blame be countered?


de St. Phalle, Eustace
Eustace de Saint Phalle

Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver

Mr. de Saint Phalle has established himself as one of California’s top personal injury trial lawyers, having...  |  Read More

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