What’s Your Verdict? Potential Pitfalls in PL Defense (A Mock Trial)

Dax Watson will moderate a panel called “What’s your verdict? Potential Pitfalls in PL Defense (A Mock Trial)” at the 2017 PLUS Conference, November 1-3 in Atlanta. As the name suggests, this is an interactive panel, and audience members will act as the jury.

Watson is the managing partner at Lipson Neilson Cole Seltzer & Garin in Phoenix, Arizona, and said he primarily practices real estate professional liability defense work. He mainly represents real estate brokerage companies and professional liability companies.

When Watson began teaching continuing education classes for lawyers, he wanted to teach them in a way that would be fun and interactive for his audience. He feels that people learn more and absorb information better when they’re involved in their learning, and teaches most of his classes as mock trials.

This mock trial will be a malpractice case against an estate planning attorney. Members of the panel will be the actors in the trial, and the audience will break into jury pods and decide the case. The panel will then discuss the juries’ decisions and each jury will see how their verdict differed from the other juries’.

Watson hopes to bring a fun atmosphere to the panel through the use of over-the-top actors and jokes throughout the trial, but at the same time hopes the audience learns a lot during the panel and leaves with a lot of new and useful information.

“I think it would be really nice if they learned from this panel what it is to actually be in a trial,” Watson said. “What I think they’re going to learn is that the trial process is somewhat unpredictable…and what is stunning about it is how you can have four different juries and you can have four different results, and I think that’s what’s going to be very interesting for them to see.”

Watson believes this panel will be especially beneficial to underwriters and claims professionals, as well as anyone on the insurance side of the business, because they are likely less familiar with the trial process. He hopes they learn that because there are real people deciding the case and the verdict could go any way, that there is no surefire way to predict the outcome of a case- no matter how hard they might try.

Watson hopes to put a unique spin on both his panel and the mock trial by making it fun and interactive while still being informative, and hopes that people leave his panel having had fun.

“This is geared towards laughing, smiling, and learning. The jury trial itself will be fun, we will interject jokes, we will have over-the-top actors, but at the end of the day, you’re going to sit there, and you’re going to have to decide a case, and you’re going to be stunned as to how your fellow audience members saw the exact same jury trial and came up with a different opinion,” Watson said.

Don’t miss this great panel, as well as the many other educational and networking opportunities at the 2017 PLUS Conference… register now!

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