Preventing Amygdala Hi-Jack at Deposition in the Reptilian Era


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 OTHER for WA state)

It is exceptionally rare that a defense witness “wins” the case through his or her deposition testimony. Indeed, it is far more likely that the testimony of the defense witness will “lose” the case during the deposition. Mock jury data clearly illustrates that a witness who consistently “pivots” or preemptively tries to “beat the questioner to the punch” to score points for the defense at deposition is often described as “dodging” and “sidestepping” questions. The witness brain is inherently wired to defend itself in the face of an adversarial examination and unfavorable case facts. That defensive survival response, resulting from subcortical amygdala activation (Amygdala “Hi-Jack”), comes in the form of forced explanations designed either to defeat the questioner (fight), reframe the issue or “put lipstick on a pig” (flight), or pivot to a different issue (evade). A witness’s ability to control emotion depends on having the capacity to modulate negative emotional responses through cognitive-emotional strategies, which will be covered in this program. Additionally, this program will also include the very latest updates on the plaintiff Reptile Revolution efforts across the country, and the various defense methods being used to defeat it at every phase of litigation.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   What the amygdala is and how it “hi-jacks” defense witness testimony at deposition and trial
•   How to identify and prevent amygdala hi-jack with key defense witnesses
•   Juror perceptions of witness “pivoting” vs. embracing conduct and facts during examination
•   Objectives of fact vs. expert witness testimony
•   Key updates on the latest Plaintiff Reptile Attorney tactics and methods

Date / Time: November 18, 2020

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

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•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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Original Broadcast Date: February 25, 2020

J. Thaddeus Eckenrode, Esq. is the founder, managing officer and chief trial attorney of Eckenrode-Maupin, Attorneys-at-Law, a boutique St. Louis-based insurance defense firm practicing in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. He focuses on the defense of high-stakes and complex tort litigation in both state and federal courts, with an emphasis in the areas of medical malpractice, civil rights (correctional medicine), wrongful death, nursing home and product liability litigation.

Mr. Eckenrode has completed over 90 jury trials to verdict in various courts throughout the states of Missouri and Illinois. He carries the AV “Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in both Best Lawyers in America and SuperLawyers in the areas of Medical Malpractice Defense and Personal Injury Defense, and was the 2018 St. Louis “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Medical Malpractice Defense. Many of his defense verdicts have been among the state’s annual “Top Defense Verdicts” as listed by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, including the #6 Defense Verdict for 2016 and the #4 Defense Verdict in 2018. He likewise has argued a number of noteworthy cases on appeal in both state and federal appellate courts.

Tad is a 1980 graduate of Siena College in Albany, New York, and a 1983 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He has authored a number of articles published in various national legal and professional publications, as well as a book chapter on issues related to correctional medicine and civil rights claims. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and seminars across the country., and is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, American Society of Healthcare Risk Management, and was the national lead chair of the Medical-Legal Committee of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance.

Tad began practicing law as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Franklin County, Missouri, where he handled several hundred bench trials and got his first jury trial experience, taking a half dozen cases to verdict.

Dr. Bill Kanasky is recognized as a national expert, author and speaker in the areas of witness preparation and jury psychology. He provides top-quality litigation research and consultation to defense counsel involved in civil lawsuits. Bill has expertise in all aspects of litigation research and consulting, including:
• Witness Preparation: Special proficiency in pre-deposition and pre-trial witness effectiveness training, particularly with corporate executives, healthcare professionals, foreign-born witnesses, and 30(b)(6) witnesses.
• Trial Science: Expertise in all aspects of jury research, including research design, sampling methods, multivariate statistical analysis, and juror profiling; also skilled in juror questionnaire and voir dire development, jury selection, opening statement construction, case strategy analysis, and persuasive visual aid creation.
• Settlement and Mediation Science: Expertise in early case assessment, empirical damages prediction, and witness effectiveness assessment.

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Section I. Trial attorneys who practice in the areas of medical malpractice, commercial liability, product liability, trucking and transportation, construction, and premises liability

Section II. In-house counsel and insurance claims specialists

Section III. How to identify and prevent amygdala hi-jack with key defense witnesses

Section IV. Juror perceptions of witnesses “pivoting” vs. embracing conduct and facts during examination

Section V. Objectives of facts vs. expert witness testimony

Section VI. Key updates on the latest Plaintiff Reptile Attorney tactics and methods