Life as a Medical Malpractice Attorney: What's In and What's Out?

Posted on 09-08-2015 by
Tags: Trending News & Topics

If you have been following our series focusing on a “day in the life of a medical malpractice attorney” you now know the myriad amount of considerations to guide you through decisions that would help you prevail, regardless of whether you sit on the plaintiff or defense side of the table.

According to this LexisNexis White Paper – Life as a Medical Malpractice Attorney – Motions in limine can be used to keep information out, but they can also tell you what will be admitted. A preliminary ruling on issues that appear close to the line alerts the court that they will be raised and allows the court to provide guidance in advance. It’s not unusual for each party to file in excess of 10 in limine motions in a case.

“You need to know what your strategy is going to entail, and not have a flow chart that says, ‘Well, if the judge stops me here, then I’ll go to this.’ You’ve got to know the key evidentiary rulings that you’ll actually encounter before the jury’s even brought in,” advises Brandon Bass of The Law Offices of John Day in Tennessee.

When it comes to whittling down the jury pool, asking yourself these questions can help:

  1. Does the juror understand that the plaintiff has the burden of proof and that the burden is “more likely than not”?
  2. Can you come up with a catchy phrase for the medical issue that will get people talking and help them understand the science?
  3. Has the juror lost a loved one or known anyone who has undergone a similar procedure or treatment? Despite the sympathy over the tragedy, can the juror still find for the defense? Or, similarly, if the doctor was just doing his best, can the juror still find for the plaintiff?

The last word

When it comes to closing arguments, you can artfully summarize the facts and testimony, but, for a plaintiff attorney, one of the most common mistakes is failing to ask the jury to award a specific amount of damages. Don’t worry that the jurors will think you are greedy. They already do. But if they find in your client’s favor and have no point of reference, the award could be inadequate.

And, one of the most common mistakes is failing to ask the jury to award a specific amount of damages.

Download the complete white paper via SlideShare >>

If you found this article to be of interest, you may be interested in the following LexTalk posts:

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