Atlanta, GA

Are plaintiff attorneys who go after nuclear verdicts acting unethically? WSHB Atlanta partner, Kate Whitlock, will address this issue at the upcoming Federal Bar Association live-video broadcast entitled, "Defeating Reptile Tactics and Ethics in Reverse Reptile Strategies." The presentation will take place on December 2, 2022, from 12-2:50 pm EST.

The presentation, which gives attendees CLE credit, addresses the prevalent issue of nuclear verdicts and plaintiff counsel who push the envelope to achieve sky-high verdicts. The defense bar is actively working to develop creative strategies to counter Reptile Strategy. Kate will specifically address the ethical implications of seeking nuclear verdicts. When does zealous advocacy cross the line into unethical behavior? Is it ethical to transform a single plaintiff's case into a weapon targeting an entire industry? Is it ethical to prey upon the fears of jurors? Should courts sanction advocates who violate court orders on motions? Kate will delve into the potential ethical violations galvanized by plaintiff attorneys and explain what defense attorneys can do to combat Retile Theory and tactics in their everyday practice. Some of the topics to be discussed include:

  • Clients are entitled to zealous, but still ethical, representation
  • Simply legal may not be enough
  • Ethical rules require lawyers to consider broad implications of their actions
  • Using opposing counsel’s ethical and professional duties to effect good outcomes for clients

Kate Whitlock has dedicated her career to defending people accused of not doing their jobs right. Whatever the accusation, defendants trust she has their back. Kate works tirelessly to untangle complicated issues to protect her clients' reputations and livelihoods. She aims to resolve litigation or disputes promptly so that her clients can get back to focusing on what they do best – their work. A tactful negotiator and persuasive communicator, Kate is a force to be reckoned with in a courtroom or alternative dispute forum. She has tried more than 60 cases to verdict in state and federal courts. Her advocacy in the appellate courts is equally notable, often being hired by other lawyers after an unfavorable trial outcome. Most recently, she won a landmark case in the Georgia Supreme Court that changed how attorneys structure contracts for legal services. Outside of the courts, she represents clients in arbitration, mediation, and before licensing agencies. Her track record has earned her notable honors and widespread recognition by her peers.

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