The introduction of “Reptile Tactics” (Ball and Keenan, 2009) has been associated with a noteworthy approach to cross-examination of witnesses by plaintiffs that is particularly relevant in the context of the present discussion. Ball and Keenan have operationalized a system of phrasing and structuring cross-examination questions that lulls the witness into a state of complacency and induces the witness to agree to broad and general “safety rules” that ultimately trap the witness into admitting malfeasance or negligence by virtue of the violation of such rules.
In this article understand:
- Why the Reptile approach has been so effective
- The economic impact of the Reptile Theory with examples
- The implications for clients, litigators, and insurance companies
- How to protect clients from falling victim to Reptile attacks
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Michael G. Martin
Attorney, Graves & King LLP
Shannon M. Skelly
Litigation Paralegal, Charleston, South Carolina