Graduates Now Accredited “Nuclear Verdicts Defenders,” Endorsed by University of San Diego School of Law
SAN DIEGO (July 13, 2022) – Following four immersive days of training, demonstrations, and group exercises, 18 defense attorneys from around the country have become the first graduating class of the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute, the only advanced trial academy designed specifically for the defense bar.
Held June 23-26, 2022, at the U.S. Grant in San Diego, the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute was uniquely developed to teach defense attorneys how to stop Nuclear Verdicts® based on the strategies first set forth in the #1 best-selling book by Robert Tyson, Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All.
Also known as “runaway” jury verdicts, Nuclear Verdicts® are indicative of a jury that deviates from the court’s instructions and fail to limit its considerations to the evidence presented at trial. Nuclear Verdicts® generally exceed $10 million, but the term encompasses any verdict which disproportionately favors noneconomic damages over economic damages given the facts of a case. Through a psychology workshop, expert panel discussions, small group activities, and demonstrations, attendees – all defense trial attorneys – practiced and learned advanced trial skills for defusing juror anger and defending against astronomical jury verdicts. Upon graduating, each attorney received accreditation as a “Nuclear Verdicts Defender,” a certification endorsed by the University of San Diego School of Law’s Office of Graduate Programs.
“I had a great experience working with Bob Tyson and his excellent team at their recent Nuclear Verdicts seminar,” posted Mercury Insurance Managing Attorney Brian Plummer on LinkedIn.
Attendees ranged in experience levels, firm sizes and locations, according to Robert Tyson, author and managing partner of civil defense law firm Tyson & Mendes, who pioneered the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute and served as a key speaker throughout the event.
Tyson & Mendes is equipping the defense bar with strategies to go head-to-head with evolving plaintiff’s bar tactics for Nuclear Verdicts®. The plaintiff’s bar has collaborated for decades, holding educational retreats, studying juror psychology, and continuously morphing trial tactics to secure astronomical civil jury verdicts. The Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute is the first trial academy solely for the defense, paving the way to change the culture of the defense bar and turning the tide on taking back justice.
“Our goal with the Institute is to change the way defense lawyers across the country are trying high-stakes jury trials,” Tyson said. “This intensive experience taught them how to stop a nuclear verdict from happening and allowed them to practice and perfect these methods. While about half of attendees were from California, we also saw attorneys from as far away as New York, Virginia, and Texas.”
Led by an esteemed faculty of legal defense experts, featured speakers at the Institute included:
Robert Tyson, a noted trial attorney and author of Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All. He is especially known for his groundbreaking work on Howell v. Hamilton Meats, a reverberating decision that set the stage to save insurers and corporate defendants over $10 billion each year – reshaping personal injury litigation across California.
Linda Lane, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. A certified faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, she now teaches trial advocacy skills and experiential advocacy practicum at USD School of Law.
Jennifer Staples, an associate professor and associate director of clinical training at Alliant International University, and a licensed clinical psychologist with an emphasis on social justice advocacy.
The faculty also included experienced Tyson & Mendes trial partners Lynn Allen, Codie Dukes, Daniel Fallon, Jacob Felderman, Allison Lawrence, Edward Leonard, and Susan Oliver.
According to Tyson, the Institute is a vital training tool for the defense industry to combat rising social inflation and the evolving tactics employed by plaintiffs’ attorneys intended to incite juror anger and drive up damage awards.
“With the average jury award continuing to skyrocket, it is well past time for the defense industry to change the way it tries cases,” he said. “By graduating from the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute and becoming an accredited Nuclear Verdicts Defender, attendees now have the critical skills needed to defuse juror anger and achieve justice for all – not just creative plaintiffs’ attorneys and their clients. Attendees learned not only what the most effective methods are but also how to employ them at trial.”
The second annual Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute is tentatively scheduled for summer 2023. For more information and to subscribe to receive updates, visit nuclearverdictsdefense.com.
About the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute
Based on the principles in the best-selling book, Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All, the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute is the only trial academy developed to teach defense attorneys how to stop Nuclear Verdicts® – large, unsubstantiated jury awards that typically exceed $10 million. Through psychology workshops, expert panel discussions, small group activities and demonstrations, attendees practice and learn advanced trial skills for defusing juror anger and defending against astronomical jury verdicts. At its conclusion, each attendee receives certification as a Nuclear Verdicts Defender, an accreditation endorsed by University of San Diego School of Law’s Office of Graduate Programs. The Institute is hosted by nationwide civil litigation and insurance defense law firm Tyson & Mendes LLP. For more information, visit nuclearverdictsdefense.com.