CVN screenshot of Attorney Karen Koehler delivering her opening statement
On Thursday, February 4 at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific, Courtroom View Network will present a free webinar analyzing trial video from a $123 million jury verdict awarded to more than 40 plaintiffs in a historic consolidated trial stemming from a crash involving an amphibious "duck boat" sightseeing vehicle.
Attorney Karen Koehler of Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore, who served as lead plaintiff attorney at the trial, will for the first time in a webinar format tell viewers how she successfully juggled the many parts of presenting such a complex case to a jury, from the technical aspects of the product liability claims to the human challenge of conveying the cost and impact of such a wide range of injuries.
Koehler will be joined by an all-star panel of civil trial pros including:
- Koehler's co-counsel at trial and fellow Stritmatter attorney Andrew Ackley
- Artemis Malekpour of Malekpour & Ball Litigation Strategy. Artemis worked with Koehler and Ackley during the trial and is part of one of the most sought-after trial consulting firms working today.
- Randi McGinn of McGinn Montoya Love & Curry, a veteran personal injury trial attorney providing an outside perspective on the case.
Koehler and the panel will curate numerous video clips from the trial, which was filmed gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network. They will discuss key aspects of the trial ranging from Koehler's unconventional "captain's hat" opening statement to her direct and cross-examination of both lay and expert witnesses.
Viewers will get hands-on, actionable, practical advice that will inform tactics and strategy at your next trial, be it large or small. There will also be a full 30 minutes for Q&A with the panel following their 2-hour presentation, and likely a follow up "Part 2" webinar in the near future. Registration is completely free and open to the general public.
For background, the unique trial (which was technically not a class action), stemmed from an accident that occurred on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge in 2015, when a “Ride The Ducks” vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a tour bus. Duck boats are repurposed World War II-era vehicles that can drive on roads and also function as a boat. The crash left five people dead and more than 60 injured.
During her opening statement Koehler, at times donning a white nautical hat to take on the persona of a duck boat pilot, told jurors the crash was caused by a broken axle on the duck boat that could have been prevented, and the lack of a median divider on the road. The lawsuit included Ride the Ducks International and Ride the Ducks Seattle as defendants, in addition to the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Attorneys for the national and local Ride the Ducks defendants blamed each other for the crash during their opening statements, disputing the relevance of a 2013 service bulletin warning of potential wheel axle failures.
The mammoth trial that followed including testimony from more than 90 witnesses, including more than two dozen experts from both sides. The jury eventually assigned 67-70 percent responsibility for the accident to Ride the Ducks International and 30-33 percent responsibility to Ride the Ducks Seattle, while also clearing the city of Seattle and the state of Washington of all liability.
This free webinar offers the valuable opportunity for a masterclass in high-stakes courtroom tactics from a trial team that landed one of the most impressive and challenging personal injury verdicts anywhere in the country within the last 10 years.
Sign up today and watch live for free, or watch on-demand with a CVN subscription, along with numerous other past webinars and hundreds of gavel-to-gavel recordings of civil jury trials.