Ranger J. Wiens and Tanya Ortega Rittger of Harris Personal Injury Lawyers Inc. will be featured presenters at the Trial Lawyers University (TLU) Conference in Las Vegas on October 27-30.

TLU has gathered over 50 of the top trial lawyers from across the country to train and educate other trial lawyers on every aspect of trial. The Conference consists of eight lecture tracks as well as 14 small group workshops covering expert depositions, taking and defending depositions, jury selection, opening statement structure, directing & crossing experts, closing argument and rebuttal. The conference offers an opportunity to learn from the most legendary trial lawyers as they share their unique perspectives, skills and experiences.

Their presentation will focus on litigating punitive damages and the McCall v. Coastline Distributing, Inc., et al. trial in San Luis Obispo that resulted in a more than $2.1 million dollar verdict against Defendants.

McCall v Coastline Distributing, Inc., et al.

Plaintiff (27 years old at the time of the collision) was rear ended by a bobtail style truck while stopped for a red traffic light. Defendant driver, Paul Ceja Jr., had a history of substance abuse and rehabilitation. Defendant’s father, Paul Ceja, hired him despite his prior dependence history to deliver products across the Central Coast. At the time of the collision, Defendant Ceja Jr. was under the influence of controlled substances as high levels of opiates and amphetamines were confirmed by a blood test after the collision. Coastline Distributing, Inc. knew of Defendant Ceja Jr.’s sordid drug history and nevertheless employed him with a conscious disregard for the safety of others on the roadway. Punitive damages were claimed against both Coastline Distributing, Inc. and Defendant Ceja Jr.

Plaintiff sustained cervical facet injuries. Plaintiff’s future treatment recommendations included radiofrequency ablation therapy (rhizotomies) every year for the rest of her life. There were no recommendations for surgery.  Plaintiff’s medical bills were $41,938.00. Defendants’ last offer was $29,034.44. Jury Verdict was $2,119,875.00. Total compensatory damages verdict was $1,059,938.00. The punitive damages award was also $1,059,938.00. 

Ranger and Tanya will cover the following topics: 


  1. Opening Philosophy
  2. Opening- Framing the Case
  3. Opening Presentation
  4. Opening Damages


  1. Closing Philosophy
  2. Closing – Start and End
  3. Addressing bad facts in closing such as “clean MRI cervical spine”, subsequent fall off a horse, physical therapy records that showed 95% improvement six weeks after the collision  and large gaps in treatment.
  4. Closing Analysis
  5. Rebuttal
  6. Closing – Punitive Damages phase

Tickets for the in-person event are available through the following link: https://events.bizzabo.com/TLULIVE

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