Trials & Litigation

Plaintiff Lawyer's 'Reptile' Book Bites Back at Wrongful Death Trial

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A $95 trial strategy book co-authored by attorney Don Keenan and a jury consultant apparently was intended to help plaintiffs lawyers maximize their clients’ awards.

But the book, titled Reptile: The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff’s Revolution, also proved helpful to the defense in a recent DeKalb County, Ga., wrongful death trial handled by Keenan concerning a fatal gang shooting in a movie theater’s parking lot.

Defense lawyers not only read the book but quoted from it during the trial, contending that Keenan was using the “Reptile” strategy in seeking to scare the jury into awarding higher damages, says the Fulton County Daily Report. After less than four hours of deliberation, the jury ruled for the defense.

“You’ve got to be careful what you put in writing,” defense attorney Matthew Moffett tells the legal publication. “We knew the arguments he was going to make, because the arguments were in print.”

Keenan, however, says the strategies outlined in his book are much different than the course he pursued at trial. He plans to appeal.

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