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In this 10-part series, experienced trucking attorney Michael Cowen shares useful information on trucking and commercial motor vehicle cases that will help you increase settlements and get better verdicts. This program covers the special nuances of truck accident cases and how they need to be handled differently than typical auto accident cases. Cowen shares the vital materials you need to gather to improve your case’s credibility, including training manuals, safety regulations, medical literature, industry standards, and more. Learn how to counteract defense stipulations, cross-examine experts, and find additional defendants to obtain full compensation for your client. This program also offers an in-depth look into some of the more common causes of accidents and what to look for in those types of cases, such as fatigued and distracted drivers.
Strategize for Survival: How Trucking Cases Differ From Auto Cases (27 Minutes)
This presentation discusses why truck crash cases cannot be handled the same way as auto cases, the biggest differences between the two, the typical experts used in trucking cases, and the time-sensitive evidence in a trucking case. Cowen also discusses why jurors think about trucking cases differently from auto cases.
Fortify Your Base: Using Anchors to Support Your Theory (29 Minutes)
Cowen discusses the importance of using anchors, from books to medical journals and white papers, to support the theory in your case and why it’s important to read the anchors used by opposing counsel. He also covers where to look for these anchors and how to layer them together for a compelling case.
On the Hunt: Setting Jurors’ Sights on Your Story’s Villain (22 Minutes)
This presentation covers the art of storytelling in a jury trial and how to cast the story’s villain in your client’s case. Learn what makes a compelling villain in the courtroom, as well as alternative villains you may want to consider.
Built to Last: Hiring, Qualifications, Entrustment & Retention (28 Minutes)
Cowen covers negligent employment cases and the question of “would a reasonably safe motor carrier have put this driver behind the wheel?” Learn what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) require of employers and potential employees. Cowen also discusses using studies to show why driving history matters when making hiring decisions.
Identifying the Weakest Link: Three Steps in Proving Negligent Training (18 Minutes)
What do you need to prove for gross negligence or punitive damages? Cowen covers the elements of a negligent cause of action and how they can apply to your client’s case. This presentation covers finding a safety rule that would have prevented the crash, establishing that the driver did not know the rule, and how to get the company to admit the rule. He will also cover the different types of training cases you may run into.
The Weary Traveler: Trying Cases Involving Fatigue (25 Minutes)
Drivers are prohibited from driving while fatigued by the FMCSR, and there are studies that prove how dangerous fatigued driving is. Cowen covers the specific rules that drivers are supposed to follow and the exceptions to these rules. Learn what records you can request to reveal whether a driver is actually taking their off duty time to sleep and how to identify the ways that electronic records are misused, or altered to hide driving time violations, to recognize the inconsistencies that reveal the cheating that is taking place.
Stay Alert: Trying Cases Involving Distracted Driving (23 Minutes)
Learn the different types of distracted driving that can lead to accidents, including visual, physical, cognitive, or a combination of the three. Cowen will show you how to identify distracted driving cases by looking for the lies in the driver’s story and physical evidence at the scene. Learn how to look for records that show that it is a pattern of behavior for the diver, and tie these distractions back to the training, policies, and monitoring put into place by the motor carrier
Brave the Elements: Overcoming Defense Stipulations (15 Minutes)
This presentation will go over how to overcome Arrington’s Estate vs. Fields aka “the McHaffie rule” when a trucking company “stipulates” to course-and-scope and the judge then dismisses direct negligence claims.
Snake in the Grass: Crossing Defense Medical "Experts" (43 Minutes)
This section covers the different techniques used when cross-examining defense medical experts and how to do so using their anchors. Learn how to flip information the defense likes and use it against them to prove your case. Cowen will also teach you how to use the information gained in your cross-examination in your closing arguments to remind the jury of the defense expert’s deceptive practices.
Tracking the Trophy Buck: Finding Other Potential Defendants (18 Minutes)
Cowen covers cases where either the broker or shipper may also be morally and legally responsible for the crash. Learn how to search for other potential defendants in cases where your client would not be fully compensated by insufficient policies.
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