Thoughts from the desk of Bob Tyson

This is the second in a series of brief interviews with speakers, presenters, moderators or panelists at the Claims and Litigation Management 2020 Annual Conference, which is being held March 18-20 in Dallas, TX. You can register for the event here.

This interview features Bob Tyson, Partner, Tyson & Mendes.

  1. What is your role at the 2020 CLM Annual Conference?I am speaking at the CCO Mini-Summit before the opening of the Annual Conference and presenting on a session, The New and Improved Defense Playbook – A Fresh Look to Combat Nuclear Verdicts.
  2. What can attendees expect to learn from your presentation at the 2020 CLM Annual Conference?
    I have written a book on the subject, called “Nuclear Verdicts: Defending Justice For All.”  It is the first book ever written for the defense on how to avoid runaway jury verdicts, or really on anything. All of the books to date have been to help plaintiff attorneys obtain large verdicts. We will focus on solutions to the problem of nuclear verdicts. The solutions will include specific ideas for what claims professionals and their defense attorneys can when preparing for trial and in trial. Contrary to popular belief there is nothing we can do about nuclear verdicts because of social inflation, lack of tort reform, litigation funding, attorney advertising, liberal judges, etc., there are many things we can do right now. First, figure out what might get a jury angry about your case and then figure out a way to defuse this anger. You must show the jury you care. You care about the plaintiff, you care about what happened, you care about your fellow citizens, you care about justice, for all.  Attendees will learn how to accept responsibility for something in every single jury trial. That you must give a defense number in every trial. You must have a theme. You must personalize the corporate defendant. You will also learn how to argue the biggest component of a damage award in nuclear verdicts, noneconomic damages. Defense lawyers simply do not know how to argue noneconomic damages.
  3. What do you see as the biggest challenges/opportunities for the Insurance Ecosystem in the next 5 years?Reigning in nuclear verdicts. Verdicts over $10 million dollars have skyrocketed in the last ten years. There is no end in sight. The insurance industry has spent the last 10 years focused on recovering from the Great Recession. Insurance companies have instituted all types of systems to manage expenses. It is time to manage indemnity.
  4. What is the best piece of advice you have for someone building an insurance career?More. Do more. You have chosen a profession, not a job. To be a success, you have to push yourself. You have to do more. When you want to go home, or go to bed, or quit, do more. The harder you work the more you will learn and get out of your profession.
  5. Besides your own session, what are you most excited about at CLM 2020?

    Meeting old friends!  It is a great time to reconnect. Best industry event of the year by far. 

About Carly Burnham

Carly Burnham began her insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. She got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how she fell in love with the industry. She saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. When Carly moved to Des Moines in 2010, she decided to commit to the industry, and she completed her CPCU in one year finishing it in 2012 and attending commencement in New Orleans. She completed her MBA at Iowa State University in 2014. During this time, she and Tony founded a Gen Y Associate Resource Group at Nationwide in Des Moines. After they had both left Nationwide, Tony recruited Carly to co-author and manage She has the difficult task of keeping his constant flow of crazy ideas focused and helping to flesh them out into useful articles. Carly enjoys sharing knowledge and ideas about the future of the industry and finds the website a good outlet for this passion. Carly is involved in the the CPCU Society Underwriting Interest Group. She also writes "Next Wave" a monthly column in the "Perspectives" section of Best's Review.

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