Like many defense attorneys across the country, Robert Tyson of Tyson Mendes in San Diego has paid careful attention to the rising tide of so-called “nuclear” verdicts, where juries render awards far beyond what a case would typically be valued at.

When Tyson talks about the outsized awards, and what might be driving them, he sometimes sounds frustrated. That’s because he doesn’t think the defense bar has been doing enough to counter what many court watchers described as emerging tactics from the plaintiffs bar aimed at getting jurors to “punish” defendants and tether their deliberations on ever higher numbers.