Punitive Damages: The Lawyer’s Tool for Shaping Society

Sean Simpson

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Punitive Damages is a long overdue masterpiece written by a real trial lawyer for the right reasons. If there were ever a ‘tool’ or ‘guide’ for lawyers to follow in their efforts towards achieving full justice through prosecuting punitive damages cases, this is it. After more than twenty-two years of practicing law, reading this book taught me how to be better and accomplish more for the humans I represent. The more lawyers (and hopefully judges) who read this book, the better our civil justice systems will be. Thank you Sean for teaching and inspiring us!”

—Nicholas Rowley, has won billions on behalf of injured clients, coauthor of Trial by Human and Damages Evolving

 

In Punitive Damages: The Lawyer's Tool for Shaping Society, trial lawyer and author Sean Simpson shows that punitive damages cases are more common than most lawyers think. Simpson draws lessons from numerous successful cases to provide lawyers with strategies and tools to identify and win punitive damages across a variety of different case types.

From a car crash where a client’s Nissan Sentra is rear ended by a commercial vehicle to cases involving dog bites, premises liability, insurance bad faith, elder abuse, business torts, civil rights, construction site injuries, employment discrimination, consumer fraud, and more, Simpson demonstrates that the potential for punitive damages can be found in many cases most lawyers wouldn’t initially consider.

Simpson tackles the common hurdles that cause many lawyers to avoid or overlook punitive damages in their cases and presents strategies to show how to successfully overcome them. Drawing from a range of case studies, Simpson provides lawyers with battle-tested approaches to increasing their client's case value and defending society from corporate wrongdoing. Simpson also offers strategies for keeping punitive damages awards intact post-verdict, and he discusses how to apply many of the techniques for developing and arguing punitive damages to get bigger verdicts in cases where punitive damages are not an option.

Punitive Damages covers the following and more:

  • How to spot when you can apply punitive damages to your case
  • Strategies for successfully countering tort reform myths
  • How to know when you should (and should not) include punitive damages in your demand letters
  • Which insurance policies are more likely to cover punitive damages–and which are not
  • Techniques and examples that will help you push back against defense stonewalling and take your discovery to the next level
  • An analysis of past depositions that show steps you can take to lock in a punitive damages claim
  • How to use jury instructions and state laws to guide your investigation
  • How to make the best use of jury selection in a case where you plan to seek punitive damages
  • Strategies for opening statement, including how to avoid issues with the court
  • How to put the defendant on trial right out of the gate
  • Case studies showing how several successful punitive damages verdicts were built
  • Core concepts in punitive damages jury instructions
  • How to avoid common pitfalls
  • Strategies for closing argument
  • Specific techniques designed to help keep your punitive damages verdict intact
  • Tactics for increasing compensatory damages

In Punitive Damages, Simpson arms lawyers to do more than “joust at windmills” or seek “big money,” instead he offers a path to making things better for injured clients, and making society a better place.

Don’t become complacent with a status quo that lets corporate wrongdoing run rampant over clients’ lives. Punitive Damages shows ways attorneys can make a difference and work side by side with their fellow plaintiffs’ lawyers to keep corruption in check.

Paperback: 298 pages; 1st Edition (2024); ISBN: 978-1-951962-65-4
Publisher: Trial Guides LLC

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

  1. The Basic Steps
  2. Spotting Punitive Damage Cases
  3. Countering the Tort Reform Myth
  4. Demands, Settlements, and Mediations
  5. Dig Deeper for Facts Using Written Discovery
  6. Painstaking Depositions of Quasi-Criminal Deponents
  7. Getting From the Culprit to the Company
  8. You Only Get One Jury
  9. Opening Statement
  10. Reverse-Engineering Your Trial
  11. Closing Time! First Phase
  12. Closing Time! Second Phase
  13. Resisting Reduction Post Trial

Conclusion

Appendix

About the Author


 

What Legal Leaders Are Saying

Sean is the real deal. He clearly is battle tested and this book gives you the benefit of so much amazing experience and advice. I loved it.

— Michael Alder, trial lawyer, adjunct law professor, youngest winner of Los Angeles trial lawyer of the year, and has obtained over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements
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