Epilepsy Talk

Judges reveal secrets for a doctor’s malpractice success | April 20, 2020

Exhibiting arrogance or defensiveness when testifying can quickly sway a jury against a defendant doctor, adds Judge Garcia, who provided trial insight with several other judges at the American Conference Institute’s obstetric malpractice claims forum.

When taking the stand, it helps to remain respectful at all times, refrain from acting combative, and demonstrate concern when discussing patients who were injured, he said.

Physicians should also be aware of how their attorneys are presenting themselves and interacting with legal parties.

Being rude to judges, litigants, or attorneys can have a negative impact on jurors’ view of that particular side, said Sandra Mazer Moss, a retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge.

Doctors have a critical role in helping court participants understand the medicine surrounding a case, notes Judge Mazer Moss, who also spoke at the ACI conference.

This includes properly preparing attorneys to speak about medical events and ensuring jurors clearly understand medical facts.

Health providers “can help explain procedures so that attorneys can understand and relay the information,” she noted.

“When you put a witness on the stand, they have to [clearly] explain how the procedure was done. It would help if the doctor had physical aids, PowerPoint [slides], or models.”

However, Judge Garcia stresses that physicians and their attorneys shouldn’t overly rely on technology during a trial.

He has presided over medical malpractice cases in which electronic equipment failed and caused long delays, he said. In some cases, the technology problems prevented plaintiffs or defendants from effectively presenting their arguments.

“To start a trial in such a fashion and see that jurors are not happy and that time is going by; there’s a valuable lesson” there, he said.

“Make sure you practice and try the technology ahead of time. [Technology] can be exceedingly effective, or it can be a disaster if it doesn’t work well.”

Another contributor to a successful malpractice case is the ability to tell a powerful story, Judge Garcia said.

In his experience, litigants who choose a central theme and weave that idea throughout the trial are most effective.

For example, the defense may open the trial by emphasizing that the case is about a patient’s bad luck, not bad medicine, and coming back to that point throughout the proceedings.

“Quite frankly, that’s what jurors like to hear,” he said. “They want to hear a story, so part of the preparation is trying to find the most important [piece] of the litigation and developing a story that can be a recurring theme.

The development of a theme is one of the most significant tasks parties can engage in, and it assists in the presentation of the claim or the defense.”

 

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By: Alicia Gallegos, Clinical Psychiatry News Digital Network Practice Economics http://www.clinicalpsychiatrynews.com/practice-economics/single-view/judges-reveal-secrets-to-successful-malpractice-trials/807957d2eed41e5f7d4c194b89c67ed4.html?email=ivan-oransky@erols.com&ocid=3425077&utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=ivan-oransky@erols.com&utm_content=cog140730_final&utm_campaign=Judges%20reveal%20secrets%20to%20winning%20malpractice%20cases

 


22 Comments »

  1. WOW!! That could also be why a lot of lawyers don’t like taking on “medical malpractice” lawsuits when it comes to epileptics as well. Thank you Phylis for the information 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — April 20, 2020 @ 10:59 PM

  2. The invincible power of American Medical Association & the sledgehammer of corporate insurance empires rising to protect the source of their financial empire & the oligarchies of their kingdom, litigating medical malpractice is certainly impossible to win in a court of law, without an insider whistleblower providing uncompromising evidence for the jurists to convince & prove the case without of shadow of doubt.
    Unfortunately, most victims of medical malpractice languish to death before their case made it to the court of law or settle the case out of court after decades of endless hearings to extend the court date, wrangling with corporate lawyers paid to silence the helpless victims of medical malpractice, therefore discouraging many more victims from making their case public & presenting their evidence to the court & jury that has been swarmed & manipulated by corporate lawyers determined to undermine the victims case.
    Obviously, the journey for equal justice got a long way to go before protecting & fulfilling the interest of all the peoples in society.
    Gerrie

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — April 21, 2020 @ 8:30 AM

    • Gerrie, here’s an article to illustrate your point…

      Who’s at Fault?

      https://epilepsytalk.com/2019/04/13/whos-at-fault/

      “It’s interesting that whenever a crime or harm is done to a person with epilepsy, or as soon as the person’s epilepsy becomes known, the accused are veiled in immunity.

      Any claims by someone with epilepsy that they have been physically abused are written off or ignored, stating that the person cannot function properly with their degree of epilepsy, and that additional treatment is necessary to prevent the incident from happening again.

      The degree of the outcome is basically irrelevant, from inflicted emotional trauma, to assault and battery, to robbery, kidnapping, rape, and murder.

      And, to add insult to injury, people with epilepsy experience these atrocities at a much higher frequency, because they are regarded as having something “wrong” with them.

      The results of the harm will most likely be often written off because the person had epilepsy. Therefore they don’t “count.”

      Even the number of witnesses, the degree of evidence, and the presence of law enforcement officials are basically irrelevant. Most people tend to turn their heads and pretend nothing happened.

      Well-documented cases with complete sets of video, don’t sustain punishment, legal action, correction, change in policy or even change in protocol.

      And so the blame goes to the victim. (Are they insinuating that we’re all nuts?)

      This resulting denial of “equal protection under the law” is an additional abuse.

      It’s sad to know, the very “authorities” who swore to protect, serve and save our lives, can be as deadly as the epileptic seizures we are forced to live with, everyday.

      Elsewhere, this country would call such abuse as crimes against humanity.

      In most states, having a seizure is technically illegal, and while prosecutions are not many, they do happen.

      When prosecutions happen, many states only allow the insanity defense, which strongly implies that the government itself regards epilepsy as a form of mental illness, in addition to the prejudiced public.”

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 21, 2020 @ 10:03 AM

      • Everyone has a boss!!!!! SOMEWHERE!!!!! Could you imagine if ALL THE EPILEPTICS (just of NORTH AMERICA) were to ALL STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT TOGETHER what will happen then? Are we all going to be seen as “INSANE”?! Lol I remember one time I was told “I had a fit”. I ended up telling the person “TRUST ME!! If I had a fit EVEN I WOULD REMEMBER THAT IN A SEIZURE!! Epileptics DO NOT HAVE “FITS” WE HAVE SEIZURES!!!!! Just like anyone could end up having I any fall or banging their head anywhere (even just a little bit)”. Lol some of us are just lucky enough not be able to “initially feel or remember the fall, but our bodies sure do!! As they sometimes take days/weeks to heal up”. Most of those seizure happen not on account of our negligence or fault, but because of the doctor/neurologist/epitologist/ or pharmacy changing our medications without with telling us or our knowledge until we catch it!! Thanks you for the article Phylis 😊👌

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — April 21, 2020 @ 10:31 AM

      • Any fall can lead to a concussion, unfortunately. Of course with us, it can be even worse. Exasperating an already delicate balance.

        RE: Falling and concussions.

        You may like this article Kathy:

        Have You Had A Concussion?

        https://epilepsytalk.com/2014/03/30/have-you-had-a-concussion/

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 21, 2020 @ 11:02 AM

      • I’m going to read that article!! Thank you Phylis 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — April 21, 2020 @ 4:06 PM

      • Yes Phylis, your article exactly describes my point, the injustice & social negligence imposed upon & against the helpless victims of medical malpractice seeking protection in the court of law that claims to stand for & represent “equal justice for all”.
        As if Epilepsy is not tormenting enough many patients have to bear & live with everyday, the wanton social negligence & criminal injustice imposed upon & against the helpless victims of medical malpractice seeking justice for the crimes committed against their safety & wellbeing makes the ordeal, illegitimate death sentence to the voiceless victims of medical malpractice & injustice, deprived & denied equal protection under the law.
        Unfortunately, the abuse will continue to be tolerated until independent oversight committees, consisting of victims of medical malpractice & law enforcement agencies investigate through the history of the medical institutions, each & every criminal case of medical malpractice, before searching for justice in a court of law that does NOT represent neither stand for “equal justice for all”.
        It’s long overdue for the society that stands for “equal justice under the law”, to account for the unjustified stigma & criminal deprivation of many voiceless victims of medical hardships are forced to accept.
        Thanks to the selfless sacrifices of your precious time, resources & deep information on EpilepsyTalk, your power of advocacy for victims of epilepsy will certainly lead into more enlightened society, making this world a better place to live for all human kind.
        Gerrie

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — April 22, 2020 @ 4:15 PM

    • Yes!! Your are SO RIGHT GERRIE!!!!! ESPECIALLY about the undermining the victims or in this case “THE PATIENTS”!! I swear I have never went like this before until “my pharmacist” (in my case) not the doctor (of course except for the last neurologist I seen in December who still hasn’t got back to my family doctor!!) who just “OUTRIGHT WOULD NOT LISTEN TO ME”!! Then it seemed as though I LOST OVER A MONTH!! And got an infection for 1.5 MORE MONTHS!!!!! Yes my family doctor caught it as well as my pharmacist AFTER I DID FIRST!! Then they tried to switch it back (when they caught it) and also immediately tried to switch me back, but it still isn’t the “BRAND NAME” medication I WAS TAKING!!!!! Even my pharmacist NOW seems to be VERY ATTENTIVE WITH ME!! After he caught it as well. I had no choice but to shrug it off and “chalk it all up to experience”.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — April 21, 2020 @ 10:17 AM

      • Bad experience at that. Especially since they had your records and were negligent.

        There’s simply no excuse.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 21, 2020 @ 10:55 AM

      • I agree. It’s is aggravating trying to be able to find a lawyer who would take my case! However if I were to find one I would jump on it in a flash!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — April 21, 2020 @ 4:05 PM

      • Yes Kathy,,, Undermining the patient is the best mechanism to cover up the medical malpractice of the “health care establishments” who are NOT willing to be held accountable for their inappropriate practice.
        Therefore, it’s always good to stand up & speak out against the corrupt system, making profit at your expense.
        Furthermore, having close family members or friends on your hospital bed side who can stand up to the abusive establishments & speak out for you is very important shield that I learned hard lesson the very hard way, when I was struck with another grand mal seizure & handcuffed to hospital bed by the very “professional medical staff”, who came to rescue me from my medical hardship.
        Therefore, make sure to include your emergency contacts in your hospital files & medical cards you carry with you for immediate notification for your family members to protect you.
        Best wishes!
        Gerrie

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — April 22, 2020 @ 5:20 PM

      • Thank you very much Gerrie 😊. If I had never had a rag shoved in my mouth (as a teenage when I did have a grandmal and end up in the hospital) and then tied to the bed by the nurses (yes hands and legs) plus actually remembered it all I may not even have any problems now with any healthcare professional or healthcare facility now. However I often find even some of our family members are too naive or unsure if they should believe us or not!! In my case THANK GOD some of my REALLY GOOD FRIENDS are now nurses and my husband and best friends get an automatic call or message from my watch now if I have a seizure. So it’s even comforting to me that I know they can pretty much get to me anywhere I’m at!! Lol even though it has triggered a couple of times without my knowledge. I know one time my best friend and I were with my aunty and biological reproducer in a restaurant in the city. My friend knew (from me) to please not leave me alone with them if I get sick. Sure enough I got sick and had a seizure. As I came to I have to admit I was SO GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL to be in the arms of my friend holding me and talking to me!! 💕. On the flip side though my aunty and biological reproducer were very hurt. Later on they asked me why I don’t trust them when I have a seizure? I told them “because you never believe me or what I say to you afterwards. And you always make it a big scene, get upset and make lots of noise. That hurts in more ways than one.”

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — April 22, 2020 @ 5:33 PM

      • Geeze, your experiences mirror Gerrie’s. What a sin. 😦

        Like

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 22, 2020 @ 5:47 PM

      • YES!! THAT IS NOT GOOD!! I have actually asked the “Epilepsy Association of Calgary” if there was ANY WAY they can make it possible for “EPILEPTICS” to be able to have a “FACE TO FACE” or “ONLINE” meeting with the police, EMT’s, doctors, nurses, and neurologists with us “EPILEPTICS” so WE CAN POSSIBLY speak and teach and tell them ourselves “from the horse’s mouths” how they can BEST HELP GAIN KNOWLEDGE OF EPILEPSY from us on their own? So far NOBODY HAS STEPPED FORWARD!! That is REALLY SAD!!!!!!! However my friends and doctors in the medical profession where I live are ALWAYS WILLING AND WANTING TO LEARN, LISTEN AND TEACH everyone from all sides of society. 😊💕🦅❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — April 22, 2020 @ 5:58 PM

      • Kathy, I’m sorry to read about the tormenting experience you have been through.
        I’ve been in your shoes & can relate & deeply understand your condition, questioning the integrity of medical establishments, loyalty of family members & frustrating struggle to control your seizures.
        Therefore, you’re NOT alone.
        Our resilient determination to overcome formidable odds has brought us this far, therefore keep staying strong.
        Best wishes!
        Gerrie

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — April 23, 2020 @ 2:20 PM

      • Thank you Gerrie 😊💕. Yes it can be challenging I won’t lie. Lol I think that’s why I’ve kind of been know to be a bit or a rebel sometimes with a disguise and when I’ve had enough without a disguise 😆. Things are good most of the time, but I will admit there are days when I know it’s probably best to leave me alone. The nice part is my husband and children have all kind of come to know when I’m not up to par based on “my intolerance” sometimes. As for my extended family I’ve learned to keep everyone at arms length, however the medical professionals seem to always wanting to know everything. So I just wait for them to ask me first then I’ll answer them and occasionally TEACH AND TELL THEM as well. I really enjoy Phylis and her group as well!! Because sometimes it’s just NICE TO BE WITH OTHERS WHO ARE IN THE SAME SHOES AS ME!! Lol makes me feel human without explanation 😊🙏🏼🦅😘💕

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — April 24, 2020 @ 4:52 PM

  3. I have never stopped being awestruck by how utterly victimized I have felt in my dealings with people in the medical profession and epilepsy. The general public is still in the dark ages, generally, but doctors? Lawyers are another thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by skolly9 — April 21, 2020 @ 7:13 PM

  4. To say they’re in the “dark ages” is being polite IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 21, 2020 @ 7:57 PM

  5. I AGREE!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — April 22, 2020 @ 8:12 PM

  6. My grandma worked in the local hospital for 17 years as a janitor. She used to tell me “if you ever want to REALLY KNOW HOW SOMEONE IS DOING talk to the nurses!! Because their the ones with the patients 24/7 NOT THE DOCTORS!!”. Until my friends became nurses themselves I was VERY HESITANT to talk to them. However I VERY QUICKLY REMEMBERED THEIR STILL HUMANS WITH LOTS OF HEART, CARING AND COMPASSION!! And MY FRIENDS!!!!! 😘🙏🏼🦅💕😘

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — April 22, 2020 @ 8:16 PM


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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