feedback

159 – Sean Claggett – The Billion Dollar Ask That Birthed JuryBall

Sean Claggett is on a mission to change the way trial lawyers use data so they don’t leave billions on the table.

The author of JuryBall: The Big Data Revolution is Here, Sean, joins Michael Cowen to discuss how using focus groups and big data have helped him learn from early losses and helped his clients get what they deserve. “Asking for too much money is dangerous, but if you don’t ask for enough money, you lose too,” says Sean. Tune in as Sean shares what big data has taught plaintiffs’ lawyers and hear about two real-world examples of how he used big data to win large verdicts for his injured clients, including how he asked the jury for $1B.

Don’t miss out! Big Rig Bootcamp takes place on July 12, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at bigrigbootcamp.com.  

Featured Guest

Name: Sean Claggett

About: Sean Claggett is an established Las Vegas personal injury attorney and handles difficult cases across the country. Sean founded Claggett & Sykes Law Firm in 2005, and is the firm’s lead trial lawyer. Sean has also co-authored the book JuryBall: The Big Data Revolution is Here, along with Alicia Campbell and John Campbell. 

In 2017, Sean was recognized by his fellow trial lawyers of the Nevada Justice Association as Nevada’s Trial Attorney of the Year. In 2023, Sean and the Claggett & Sykes Law Firm trial team in New Mexico won a record $485 million jury verdict against a national healthcare company, Acadia Healthcare, Inc., for its involvement in placing children in a foster care home with a known sexual predator.

Company: Claggett & Sykes Law Firm

Connect: LinkedIn | Email

Episode Highlights 

[06:29] The First Win: Sean Claggett didn’t win his first personal injury trial. In fact, after he lost his first trial, he took a break from personal injury law. But when he re-entered the arena, he came up victorious. Hear about how Sean learned from his loss and used what he learned to become a winning trial lawyer.

[08:37] The Benefits of Focus Groups:  Focus groups allow plaintiffs’ attorneys to learn how the average juror feels not only about the specifics of a given case, but how they might feel about specific facts and items applicable to multiple cases. Regular focus groups improve an attorney’s understanding of how juries think and allow them to better advocate for their clients.

[13:13] Big Data: By compiling and analyzing information from focus groups, plaintiffs’ lawyers can craft better arguments and also learn the true value of a case. Knowing the value of a case increases the odds of a good recovery for clients, either through settlement or verdict.

[20:40] Helping Others Help Their Clients: Sean understands the value of teaching other attorneys how to use big data and other tools so that they can better represent their own clients. Sean and his team do a lot of consulting with attorneys on their cases to make sure everything is dialed in. 

[28:55] $485M Verdict for Foster Care Child: A child was raped while in the foster care system, and the foster care treatment facility knew of the rapes. Using big data to properly value the case, Sean turned down small offers and ultimately received some justice for his client in the form of a $485 million verdict.

[36:20] $38M Verdict in Child Death Case: Pretrial big data analytics showed a child death case to be worth $38 million with 27% comparative negligence. After applying those analyses to the España v. Republic Services case, Sean was able to get a verdict for exactly what the big data showed after rejecting smaller settlement offers.

Connect with Trial Lawyer Nation

☑️ Follow us on X, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.

☑️ Subscribe to Trial Lawyer Nation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube.

In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

Produced and Sponsored by LawPods.

158 – Malorie Peacock – A Case is About the Jurors: Winning a Tough Wrongful Death Case

In trial, you have to be ready and just accept the fact that things are never going to be perfect. They’re never going to go the way you planned it. 

In this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Michael Cowen and Malorie Peacock share their strategies (as well as the hiccups they overcame) from their recent $4M verdict on a trucking wrongful death case, where only 10% of the fault was put on their client for rear-ending a tractor trailer. They detail how they “armed their experts” so that the jury wasn’t skeptical of expert testimony in this expert-heavy case. They also share how they successfully minimized comparative fault, and how they presented damages in a way that made an emotional impact. The episode wraps up with a discussion on the value of the healing aspect of the trial process for clients. 

Don’t miss out! Big Rig Bootcamp takes place on July 12, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at bigrigbootcamp.com.  

Featured Guest

Name: Malorie J Peacock

About: Malorie J Peacock is a Partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. During her time with Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, Malorie has worked on numerous commercial vehicle, trucking, and wrongful death cases. Malorie brings close attention to detail, commitment to finding safety issues and areas of neglect, continued utilization of technology and cutting-edge visuals in cases, along with a sincere passion to help those who have been hurt, to each and every case.

Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock

Connect: LinkedIn

Episode Highlights 

[02:18] 30,000-Foot View of the Case:  A driver of an 18 wheeler ran over something in a roadway that disconnected her airlines to her braking system in her truck. The driver panicked and stopped her vehicle on a major highway in Dallas at 10pm at night. Michael and Malorie’s client’s son didn’t see her in the roadway, and unfortunately, ran into her and died. 

[07:15] Rehearsing Jury Selection and Opening Statement: In order to be seamless and avoid using a bunch of notes, you have to practice, says Malorie. Michael explains how they used the rehearsals to test their advocacy. Did people understand them? Was their story persuasive? Was their theory convincing? These rehearsals were right before trial and separate from the focus groups they did on the case.

[10:39] Challenges in Jury Selection: Due to the Court’s orders, Michael and Malorie couldn’t talk about the facts of the case and they couldn’t even say it was a trucking case or a wrongful death case. The judge was also still following COVID restrictions, so with social distancing between jurors and Michael and Malorie speaking from a podium, it was difficult to connect with jurors. However, they pivoted their strategy and made it work. 

[21:05] The First Witness: Michael and Malorie called the defendant driver first. “We couldn’t call her a liar,” says Michael. “The jury needed to, through the course of the trial, come to their own conclusion that she was not telling the truth.”

[24:52] Strategy for an Expert-Intense Case: With all the expert testimony, Michael and Malorie didn’t want the jury to think ‘well, they’re just saying whatever they want because they paid them.’ To avoid that, Michael and Malorie armed their experts with anchors and testing. 

[27:15] Demonstrating Airbrake Function: Michael and Malorie did their own testing where they got an 18 wheeler with a tractor and a trailer, and they pulled an airbrake when it was going 50-something miles per hour to show that it would not just make the truck immediately come to a stop, contrary to the defense’s story.

[31:54] Motivating the Jury to Award Damages: Malorie explains how you want enough witnesses to tell your story, but not so much that it’s emotionally exhausting for the jury, because if you exhaust the jury then they get annoyed with you.

[39:53] Comparative Fault Argument: Michael shares his unique approach of comparing the time each party had in the accident, which helped minimize their client’s percentage of fault.

[42:08] Damages Presentation: Malorie vividly describes her method of illustrating damages by physically tearing a picture of the deceased, to symbolize the persistent pain experienced by the parents.

[44:43] The Healing Aspect of Trial: Michael and Malorie touch on the healing aspect of the trial for the client, emphasizing the importance of clients being heard and validated.

Connect with Trial Lawyer Nation

☑️ Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.

☑️ Subscribe to Trial Lawyer Nation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

Produced and Sponsored by LawPods.

157 – Przemek Lubecki – Focus on Process and Human Connection for Trial Success

Many people hate losing. Trial lawyers are no different. But can ignoring the thought of winning or losing a trial actually increase your chances of victory?

In this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Michael Cowen hosts attorney Przemek Lubecki of New Orleans law firm Morris Bart. Michael and Przemek cover many topics, from embracing the performative aspect of trial, making connections with jurors, and how focusing on the process instead of the outcome can lead to wins at trial. Przemek also shares a story about one of his proudest verdicts, the CEVA case.

Don’t miss out! Big Rig Bootcamp takes place on July 12, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at bigrigbootcamp.com.  

Featured Guest

Name: Przemek Lubecki

About:  Przemek Lubecki was born in Poland and practiced law in Chicago before landing in New Orleans. Przemek has tried over 100 cases to verdict, and his practice focuses mainly on personal injury lawsuits. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University, and was a Golden Gloves boxer in Chicago after earning his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2005.

Company:  Morris Bart

Connect: LinkedIn

Episode Highlights 

[01:39] Get to Know Przemek: Przemek is a Polish political refugee who came to New Orleans via Chicago. He worked hard for a law degree, passed the par, then sat first chair at trial the day after being sworn in as an attorney. Hear why being a trial lawyer is Przemek’s American Dream.

[08:23] From Defense to Plaintiff:  After cutting his teeth with an insurance defense firm in Chicago, Przemek moved to New Orleans and began doing plaintiff’s work. Being a plaintiff’s lawyer “is a lot harder then I even had anticipated,” he admits, but is also profoundly rewarding.

[11:36] From the Ring to the Courtroom: Applying philosophies from sports psychology and the experience of being an amateur boxer to being a trial lawyer has helped Przemek shift his mindset in a way that sets him and his clients up for victory.

[13:45] The People Connection: Being able to connect with jurors on a human level will give any lawyer a competitive edge. Valuing those connections has allowed Przemek to get comfortable being uncomfortable so he can adjust and adapt to adversity during trial. 

[20:55] Helping Others Develop Skills: Working with colleagues to develop important trial skills together is a great way to both hone your own skills and share your knowledge with others. Just learning a little bit every week can be helpful. “I’ve got guys that have made tremendous progress and they’re going to be killers when they get into the courtroom just by putting in a little bit of work every week,” says Przemek.

[23:31] Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome: Focusing on the outcome during trial will increase your anxiety. Instead, focus on the process and on making human connections and the victories will follow. 

[30:51] The CEVA Case: When asked to share one of his proudest verdicts, Przemek focused on a case against trucking company CEVA. He describes the reprehensible behavior by the defense, how he made exemplary damages palatable to the jury, and how he was ultimately able to secure an eight-figure verdict for his client.

Connect with Trial Lawyer Nation

☑️ Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.

☑️ Subscribe to Trial Lawyer Nation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

Produced and Sponsored by LawPods.

156 – Sonia Rodriguez – Incredible Settlements Come From Being Ready for Trial

Like crashes, luck is predictable. If you want to get “lucky” and get multimillion-dollar settlements regularly, then you have to put in the time and do the work.  And it also helps to have the right mindset and strategy for your case.

In this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, host Michael Cowen is joined by his partner Sonia Rodriguez. Tune in as Sonia explains the shift in mindset that led to her getting three multimillion-dollar settlements in the past six months on tractor trailer cases. Sonia and Michael also discuss the three things you need to get a big result on a big case, why you need to understand the sunk cost fallacy and Pareto Principle, and how (and why) Sonia gets ready for trial from the first deposition.

Don’t miss out! Big Rig Bootcamp takes place on July 12, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at bigrigbootcamp.com.  

Featured Guest

Name: Sonia Rodriguez

About:  Sonia Rodriguez, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is a partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. Sonia has represented only plaintiffs for nearly 20 years, and she practices in the areas of personal injury trial and appellate law. Beyond the practice of law, Sonia has provided unwavering support to a number of important civic and community causes, including the Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the SAISD Foundation.

Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock

Connect: LinkedIn

Episode Highlights 

[01:48] Terrific Results for Clients: In the last six months, Sonia has gotten a $5M settlement, a $5.89M partial settlement, and a $7M settlement.  Sonia credits her recent success to a “philosophical shift” in how she approaches her cases. 

[04:27] The Right Mindset: To get multimillion-dollar settlements in tractor trailer cases on a regular basis, “you have to absolutely believe that these trucking companies, if they are not training their drivers and they’re not properly vetting them, it is absolutely reckless,” says Sonia. 

[08:46] Big Results on Big Cases: Michael and Sonia talk about the three things you need to get a big result on a big case: creativity, commitment, and courage. Michael emphasizes how creativity and commitment go hand in hand because “everyone can dream about it, but actually doing the work to put it into reality is a whole different story”.

[12:10] It’s Not Just Luck: With the settlements that Sonia has gotten recently, some remark that she’s “lucky”, but Sonia is quick to share that it’s not luck, but rather a lot of hard work and time commitment. 

[20:19] You Have to Take Some Cases to Trial: “If you always take the last offer, the word gets around,” says Michael. Insurance companies keep databases. They know: What were the offers? What did you settle for? When did you settle? Michael’s been told that some of the excess insurance companies won’t even fully engage you until two weeks before trial. 

[22:00] Don’t Blink: “You can’t go say: I’m trying the case because I want them to raise their offer. You have to say: They’re not offering fair money. So I’m going to go try this case. And I trust the jury to give me fair money. And then when you do that, sometimes they come around and offer fair money,” says Michael. 

[24:43] Ready for Trial = Big Settlements: Sonia is getting ready for trial from the first deposition, from creating compelling visuals to thinking about vocabulary which will be used with the jury.  In the event a case doesn’t settle, she’s ready for trial. But the mere fact that she’s ready for trial has led to incredible settlements.

Connect with Trial Lawyer Nation

☑️ Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.

☑️ Subscribe to Trial Lawyer Nation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

Produced and Sponsored by LawPods.

155 – Big Rig Bootcamp – Your Gateway to Mastering Trucking Litigation

For trial lawyers seeking to level up in their trucking law practice, Cowen’s Big Rig Bootcamp is an unmissable opportunity.

In this bonus episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, host Michael Cowen is joined by Isabella Santellan, marketing director at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock to preview Big Rig Bootcamp. At Big Rig Bootcamp, you’ll take a deep dive into the trucking industry’s intricacies, including how companies use telematics (Michael’s firm bought a telematics system and currently has an expert on the road using it now!).  

The seminar will also show Michael’s strategies for how to put on the most persuasive direct expert testimony from a liability expert, show how you can make the insurance company pay when they claim there’s no coverage (or find other sources of recovery), discuss when to do (or not do) an inspection of the vehicles, and more!  

Don’t miss out! Big Rig Bootcamp takes place on July 12, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at bigrigbootcamp.com.  

Michael’s firm is growing! Cowen Rodriguez Peacock is looking for 2 mid-level associates with 3-5 years of civil litigation experience.  Listen to the episode for more information on how to apply!

Featured Guest

Name: Isabella Santellan

About: Isabella Santellan is the Marketing Director at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. She was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Isabella earned her B.B.A in Business Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is currently working on her M.B.A at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. As the Marketing Director, Isabella runs the firm’s social media, helps plan events, and works to ensure they provide an unforgettable experience to everyone they work with. In her free time, Isabella enjoys traveling, golfing, and spending time with her family. 

Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock

Connect: LinkedIn

Connect with Trial Lawyer Nation

☑️ Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.

☑️ Subscribe to Trial Lawyer Nation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

Produced and Sponsored by LawPods.