Preserving Evidence in Trucking Injury Cases: Motor Carrier Certificates, Engine Control Module Data and More

Crafting Spoliation Letters, Securing Key Documentation, and Challenging Evidence Destruction

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 (in 4 days)
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

This CLE webinar will discuss best practices to preserve critical evidence in trucking injury cases. The panel will explain the components of an effective spoliation letter, key pieces of evidence needed in trucking accident cases, and strategies for challenging the destruction of evidence after a spoliation letter is issued.


Immediately preserving evidence is crucial in trucking accident cases. Truck drivers and motor carriers are legally obligated to maintain certain driving records for a prescribed period of time. These documents contain critical information that can help prove negligence, including evidence of driver fatigue or an overloaded tractor trailer. Counsel must request these documents quickly because waiting too long after an accident can doom a case.

The best way for personal injury lawyers to protect and secure key evidence is to issue a preservation of evidence letter—also called a spoliation letter—right away. The spoliation letter requires trucking companies to preserve critical evidence that they might otherwise destroy. Failure to preserve documents and information in response to a spoliation letter could result in an adverse ruling, discovery sanctions or criminal liability for the trucking company.

A carefully constructed preservation letter can help personal injury attorneys prove “notice” in a later spoliation claim over missing evidence.

Listen as our panel of experienced trucking injury litigators examines legal and practical strategies for preserving key evidence in trucking accident cases. The panel will discuss documents and information that should be requested in the spoliation letter and best practices for leveraging the preservation letter in future disputes over missing evidence.


  1. Key evidence in trucking injury cases
    1. Motor carrier certificates and filings
    2. Downloaded data from the engine control module
    3. All documents required by federal law (driver’s qualifications, driver’s logs, etc.)
  2. Drafting a comprehensive spoliation letter—best practices
  3. Challenging the destruction of evidence—key considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What types of evidence should personal injury attorneys request from truck drivers and trucking companies immediately following a trucking accident?
  • What are some best practices for personal injury attorneys when drafting spoliation letters?
  • What tactics should personal injury attorneys use if they believe evidence has been destroyed in violation of a spoliation letter?


Peter Kestner, Atty
McEwen & Kestner, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Mr. Kestner has extensive experience with truck accident cases, both as a private attorney and representative for trucking insurers. Prior to founding his law firm, Mr. Kestner served for 10 years as a claims adjuster and litigation manager with one of the largest tractor trailer insurers in the U.S. He now uses this defense experience to represent individuals injured by the negligent acts of trucking companies. Mr. Kestner has also served as personal counsel to policyholders in disputes with their insurers as well as serving as an expert witness in insurance litigation matters. He sits on the Executive Committee of AAJ’s Interstate Trucking Litigation Group, he is the Amicus Committee Chair for AAJ’s Interstate Trucking Litigation Group and its Special Project Director.

Michael J. Leizerman, Managing Partner
Leizerman & Associates, Toledo, Ohio

Mr. Leizerman’s entire caseload consists of catastrophic truck crash claims, including a recent settlement of $34 million and recent verdicts of $16 million, $13.2 million and $11 million. He was the first Chairman of the American Association for Justice's (AAJ) Trucking Litigation Group. He is the co-founder of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys and author of the three volume treatise Litigating Truck Accident Cases.

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Customer Reviews

I liked the practical and specific tips.

Natalie Lyons

The Cannon Law Firm

Great content, including everyday examples, provided by each speaker.

Tim Reed

Duncan Firm

The webinar was well-presented, interesting and informative.

Randi Saul-Olson

McKinney, Wainwright & Saul-Olson

The relevance of the material and impact on the PI practice area was greatly appreciated.

Derek M. Baroumes

Baroumes & Bruen

Overall, a very good presentation. For my practice, the presentation was relevant and highly informative.

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Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin

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