Going on vacation this summer and can’t quite leave the office behind? Consider loading up your phone or smartwatch with podcasts. Legal podcasting is growing right now, and there are many high-quality podcasts in the litigation and insurance defense fields to choose from.
Instead of dozing or listening to music during your vacation downtime, you might want to:
- Learn how forensic investigators are tapping into “smart home” data to find subrogation targets in fire damage cases.
- Learn how to prepare emotional or difficult witnesses for depositions.
- Learn how a pair of attorneys obtained a $26 million jury verdict against a municipality, the largest personal injury verdict in California in 2020.
- Learn the difference between ridesharing and traditional auto injury cases, and how to defend them.
You can’t earn continuing legal education credit for listening to podcasts just yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it soon.
The ABA’s Latest Entry: Litigation Radio
The American Bar Association came early to the podcasting game. With shows like Our Curious Amalgam, The JustPod, Law Student Podcast, Legal Rebels, Asked and Answered, and hundreds of other audio products from ABA sections and entities, the ABA has adopted podcasting in a big way.
A relatively new litigation podcast is Podcast Radio, developed by the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section. Litigation Radio episodes typically feature an interview with a newsmaker or expert followed by practice tips on litigation-related topics. Launched in May 2021, Litigation Radio has had a run of strong interview guests, most recently U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who shared the challenges and strategies pursued by House Democrats in their ultimately unsuccessful bid to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Co-host David J. Scriven-Young, a commercial litigation attorney at Peckar & Abramson in Chicago, said he’s pleased with the reception Litigation Radio has received so far. With Litigation Radio, Scriven-Young’s intent is to raise the ABA Litigation Section’s profile outside its current membership and to advance the section’s educational mission. It’s not a personal branding exercise, he said. “If your goal is to get new clients, then your podcast is going to be different than the one I’m hosting.”
Attorneys interested in marketing their practices with podcasts shouldn’t be afraid to give it a try. “Podcasting is a great way to get your name out there,” Scriven-Young said.
“As with any sort of marketing, if you want to succeed, you have to be consistent and have a good message,” he said. “And you really have to think about what you want that message to be.”
Scriven-Young doesn’t believe it’s possible to “Fail” with a capital “F” at podcasting. His advice: record a few episodes, gather feedback, and proceed accordingly.
“Try it and see how it goes,” he said. “If you fail, that’s all right. At a minimum you’ve learned something.”
Litigation Podcasts to Sample
Podcasts can be consumed while traveling, exercising, sitting at the breakfast table, or while drifting off to sleep. Podcasts mimic classroom lectures albeit without the chalk board or Promeathean screen. We’re all used to learning by listening to the human voice. And podcasts, with their indeterminate length, provide a luxurious canvas for attorneys to demonstrate their expertise.
Finally, podcasts are surprisingly intimate. They allow listeners to form strong connections with speakers, an attribute that makes them very attractive to marketers.
Below is a collection of worthwhile litigation-related podcasts. Most are interview-based shows, with a host discussing current events and extracting insights from a guest expert. All of them have a strong educational mission, embodying one of the best traditions of the legal profession: the generous sharing of knowledge for the benefit of fellow attorneys and the public at large.
David J. Scriven-Young, a commercial litigation attorney at Peckar & Abramson in Chicago, hosts this interview-based podcast exploring current events of interest to litigators. Launched in May 2021, Litigation Radio was developed by the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section. Topics treated so far include Zoom trials with federal district judges Marsha J. Pechman and Judge Thomas Samuel Zilly, attorney-client privilege, impeachment trials with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and discovering one’s purpose within the practice of law. Each episode concludes with practice tips from Darryl A. Wilson, corporate counsel at Tyson Foods Inc. in Fayetteville, Ark.
Recent episode: “Presidential Impeachment Trials.” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House Impeachment Manager in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, discusses his team’s trial strategy and reflects on the outcome of the Senate proceedings. Plus thoughts from co-host Darryl Wilson on how the use of artificial intelligence software to make employment-related decisions could create liability for discrimination claims. July 6, 2021.
Great Trials Podcast
Published on an ambitious weekly schedule, litigators Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey, partners at Harris Lowry Manton in Atlanta, host discussions with trial attorneys on strategies the led to success in cases they’ve tried to a judge or jury. The podcast examines trials from plaintiffs’ personal injury attorney perspective, and the cases under discussion are recent ones that resulted in substantial compensation to injured plaintiffs.
Recent episode: “Ryan Saba and Robert Karwin | Nicholas Tusant v. City of Hemet et al. | $25.6 Million Verdict.” Plaintiff-side personal injury attorneys describe the route they took to a $26 million jury verdict against a municipal government on behalf of a teenager who was struck by a truck at a crosswalk. The verdict was the largest personal injury verdict in California in 2020. July 20, 2021.
The Litigation War Room
First published in March 2021, this interview-based podcast is hosted by business litigator Maxwell Goss, founder of Maxwell Goss Law in Birmingham, Mich. Episodes so far have touched on witness cross-examination, maximizing damages, the unique litigation issues arising from “business divorce,” and law practice marketing.
Recent episode: “The Art of the Bench Trial.” Aaron Phelps, a commercial litigator with Varnum LLP in Grand Rapids, Mich., discusses litigation strategies for bench trials, and details a multi-million dollar judgment for ERISA violations that he obtained on behalf of self-insured companies against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. July 13, 2021.
The Litigation Psychology Podcast
The Litigation Psychology Podcast, published weekly since early 2020, explores litigation issues arising at intersection of behavioral science and courtroom decision-making. This podcast features discussions among experts at Courtroom Sciences Inc., a consultancy that helps litigators fine-tune their trial strategies with human psychology, and attorneys and behavioral experts on a wide range of trial-related topics. Video and audio content are provided.
Recent episode: “How to Manage and Prepare Emotional Witnesses for Deposition.” Matt LaBeau, a partner at Collins Einhorn Farrell P.C. in Southfield, Mich., discusses the challenges arising from overly emotional or difficult deposition witnesses and what can — and can’t — help them. Also discussed: managing a deponent’s emotional needs during a Zoom deposition. June 4, 2021.
Best’s Insurance Law Podcast
The granddaddy of litigation podcasts, Best’s Insurance Law Podcast has published 181 episodes dating back to 2007. An interview-based podcast, guests drawn from AM Best’s network of Best Recommended Insurance Attorneys discuss current events and emerging trends in litigation largely from the perspective of casualty and property insurers. Recent topics include business interruption claims, wildfire claims, COVID-19 and “return to work” legal issues, workers’ compensation claims, and electronic discovery, and the impact on class action settlements on insurance claims. Episodes tend to be short in duration — roughly 10-20 minutes each. Hosted by John Czuba, managing editor for Best’s Insurance Professionals & Claims Resources.
Recent episode: “The Complexity of Rideshare Claims.” Guests Thomas Brown and Patrick Delong, shareholders at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin P.C. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., discuss the differences between regular automobile cases and rideshare cases and the types of claims that result from them. Some states have special liability laws for the rideshare industry; and the unique liability issues facing ridesharing companies have given rise to liability insurance policies tailored to their needs. June 10, 2021.
Trial Lawyer Nation
Publishing episodes since 2018, Trial Lawyer Nation is an interview-based, education-oriented podcast decided trial practice strategy and current legal issues for personal injury lawyers. An interview show, Trial Lawyer Nation episodes cover trial preparation, storytelling, jury bias, big data for trial lawyers, voir dire strategies, proving damages, and marketing personal injury law practices, to name a few. Hosted by Michael Cowen, a personal injury litigator and partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock in San Antonio, Texas.
Recent episodes: “Masked Justice: Parts 1-4” This multi-episode series of podcasts features litigators who tried cases under social distancing and health safeguards imposed on courtrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oct. 1, 2020, Oct.15, 2020, Jan. 15, 2021, March 15, 2021.
Butler’s Insurance Litigation Podcast
Butler’s Insurance Litigation Podcast is actually several podcasts combined into one offering: the Subro Sense Podcast, the All About Appellate Podcast, and other audio content from national litigation firm Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP. Interviews are rare; most of the content is delivered by Butler partners Aaron Jacobs, on subrogation issues, and Carol Rooney on appellate practice. Trial tactics, defending insurance claims, preserving error on appeal, and roundups of significant rulings and trends are discussed.
Recent episode: “Hey Google! Where did the fire start?” Representatives from SEA Ltd., a forensic engineering and fire investigation consultancy, explain how data collected from “smart home” devices can aid forensic fire investigations — and increase the chances of finding other parties with liability for the claimant’s losses. May 6, 2021.
Behind the Trial
This interview-based, occasionally published podcast brings its listeners insights and war stories from high-profile litigators and judges. Guests so far have included David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, Gary Naftalis of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, Diane Sullivan of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and noted federal district judge William Alsup. Behind the Trial is published by national litigation firm McKool Smith and Benchmark Litigation, a publisher of directories and rankings of litigation law firms and attorneys.
Recent episode: “Mike McKool.” Litigator Mike McKool, founder of national litigation law firm McKool Smith, and owner of 21 VerdictSearch “Top 100 Verdicts,” offers his views on the psychological levers that influence jurors and drive jury decision-making. May 18, 2021.