FREE White Papers:
This 297 page book in PDF form describes practical risk management strategies to prevent medical malpractice claims, defend them or cushion their financial impact. The book draws its advice from the insights of attorneys and others who have been battle-tested in the arena of medical malpractice defense.
How A Medical Malpractice Defendant Can Assist Counsel in Disproving A Patient’s Claim of Medical Negligence.
This blog provides a succinct explanation of what a medical defendant can do to assist defense counsel in defending negligence allegations.
Five DVD Set:
Medical malpractice defense counsel may be able to keep the jury from hearing damaging information about a malpractice defendant, but only if you are honest with them beforehand.
Transcription of the Video:
Be honest with counsel. Everybody has skeletons in their closet or you might have concerns about the specific care. You need to talk to counsel and let them know what your concerns are regarding the case or if there is any particular skeletons in your closet that you are afraid are going to come out and affect your credibility. Why do you need to tell counsel that? Not because they are your psychiatrist and they are going help you work it out, help work out guilt feelings from long ago, but they may be in a position to block that information from ever going in front of the jury, okay? So you need to let them know about it ahead of time.
The question is, is it the Judge that hears those motions to exclude evidence? Yes.The judge makes the decisions on the law and what evidence the jury gets to hear. And so the example there is, that I put in the book, is that a defendant doctor fails the medical boards three times before he finally passes them. And so the doctor is embarrassed about that, right, and doesn’t want that to come out. Well, you know, if he doesn’t tell his counsel, then that issue may come up in front of the jury. The plaintiff’s attorney might ask the question all right, and say, “Didn’t you fail the boards three times?” And then, of course, defense counsel is going to jump up and say, “Objection!” And the judge might sustain it, but what happened? It’s already been heard. And so, think about that scenario where the defendant was not honest with counsel.
Now think about this scenario. The defendant has told counsel about this issue. The defendant files a motion in limine, which is a pretrial motion, with the judge and says, “Look judge, I ask that the other side be excluded from bringing in evidence that the defendant failed their boards three times. It’s not relevant to any of the issues and it should not be put in front of the jury because it’s unduly prejudicial. It’s only going to be put there to embarrass the defendant. It has nothing to do with defendant’s credentials.” And the judge grants that motion. Now the jury has never heard it, okay? But, because the defendant was honest with counsel, counsel was able to use that legal maneuver. And so that’s why it’s very important to be honest with counsel.
About the Author
Nadine Nasser Donovan, Esq. is a consultant/trainer for SEAK, Inc. She spent 18 years in the defense of medical professionals in medical malpractice actions and before medical licensing boards. She is also a Legal Writing Instructor at Boston University School of Law, and an Adjunct Professor at New England Law/Boston, where she teaches in the areas of medical malpractice and hospital law. She can be reached at email@example.com, or (617) 431-3390.