Reptile Update Summer 2016

It has been approximately six months since our last Reptile case law update. We have been unable to find any Reptile-related case law or trial court order handed down since our last update, but we have located several recent jury verdicts and settlements referencing the Reptile, as well as some secondary sources on the subject:

The following is an excerpt from the recap of a jury verdict for the defense in a Kentucky medical malpractice case:

He referenced that some other lawyers (ones from Georgia) created a Reptilian guide to trying cases and that it is used by plaintiffs as a Bible of sorts. Moving from reptiles Nicholls finished that Chalhoub was a good doctor who cared about his patients and the community — he asked the jury to return a verdict telling Chalhoub he had done nothing wrong especially as the plaintiff had painted him as a liar.

From a recent article:

I have a slightly different, but not inconsistent, theory: fear sells. Readers are attuned to negative information for the same reason that the negativity bias is evolutionarily adaptive: you need to know about the bad stuff that might cause you harm. We cannot escape the reptile buried deep within our psyches.
SYMPOSIUM: Of Reptiles and Velcro: The Brain’s Negativity Bias and Persuasion, 15 Nev. L.J. 605.
And for another interesting analysis of the Reptile tactic, consider the following law review article for which we provide the following excerpt:
Let us begin with identifying some of the problems with finding the right place to start. For a factual narrative, the natural choice-the earliest event-is not obvious. What is the earliest event? In a personal injury case, is it the injury or the events leading up to the injury? Current books on the plaintiff’s side – Rules of the Road and Reptile – put the emphasis on the defendant and what the defendant has done before introducing the plaintiff. Even the natural “tell the story from the beginning” has many notable exceptions. We are well aware, especially with movies, of the technique where the story is not strictly chronological, but the narrative is shaped by flashbacks, which sharpen the understanding of the events as the chronology is resumed.
We will do our best to continue keep you posted on Reptilian developments. In the meantime, please feel free to share any information or materials that you run across.

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