What To Do After an Adverse Event
This section will introduce the principles of medical malpractice law and the types of real world circumstances that typically lead to such claims. You will be provided with a to-do checklist for when you are first apprised of an adverse medical event. We will also discuss how to best deal with the stress of being sued.
What the Plaintiff Needs to Prove
You will learn the essential elements of a medical malpractice claim so that you can understand what the plaintiff needs to prove and why.
How to Assist in Disproving That You Breached the Standard of Care
The faculty will demystify the legal definition of the standard of care in a medical malpractice case and explain how you can help your lawyer to disprove breach of this critical element, including the use of medical literature, standards, evidence-based medicine, and learned treatises.
How to Help Make Sure Your Lawyers Hire the Best Experts
On both sides of the case, the medical experts play a critical role in evaluating, proving, and disproving medical malpractice allegations. This section will discuss the factors that counsel takes into account in selecting these witnesses, and how you can help ensure that counsel retains the most effective expert witness on your behalf.
How to Make a Favorable Impression on The Jury
The ultimate decision maker in a medical malpractice case is the jury of lay people. In this segment, you will learn what jurors find persuasive from defendant physicians, what they do not find persuasive, what defense and plaintiff ’s counsel will do to make the best impression in front of the jury, and most importantly, what you can do to help.
Understanding and Enforcing Your Rights Under Your Liability Insurance Policy
We will teach you to understand your rights and responsibilities stemming from your liability insurance, including your rights regarding the selection of defense counsel and the implication of settlement clauses and indemnity and expense limits. We will also focus on what can and should be done should you face personal exposure beyond available policy limits.
When Should I Settle?
This section will discuss what kinds of events might spark settlement, as well as other factors that should affect your decision in this regard. We will also cover who decides when to settle, who has the authority to settle, and how cases are valued. Included will be a discussion of potential conflicts in settlement decisions, avenues of settlement such as arbitration and mediation, and the impact of settlement on your practice, reputation, and malpractice coverage.
How Plaintiff’s Lawyers Investigate Cases and What Makes Patients Sue
You will learn how plaintiff’s counsel evaluates and prosecutes medical malpractice claims. Included is a frank discussion of the economics of pursuing a malpractice claim, the selection of expert witnesses, researching the applicable medicine, conducting discovery, developing a theme of the case, evaluating potential damages and the likelihood of success on the merits, deciding when to settle, when to mediate, when to try, and developing a winning trial strategy.
How Defense Lawyers Defend Doctors in Malpractice Cases
This section will give you an insider’s view of defense counsel’s role in defending a physician accused of malpractice, including how defense counsel evaluates plaintiff’s allegations and selects appropriate defenses. You will learn defense counsel’s strategies, including the procedural and substantive avenues they pursue to resolve these cases in the manner most advantageous to their physician clients. Included in this discussion is the dynamics between defense counsel and the liability insurance adjuster, and how defenses proceed when there are multiple-named medical defendants.
How You Can Best Assist Defense Counsel
You will learn how to be an effective member of the defense team. You will learn how defense counsel evaluates and defends a case, how to assist counsel in investigation and preparation of the case, proper pre-trial and courtroom behavior and demeanor, and how to avoid potential pitfalls.
How to Be a More Effective Witness at Your Deposition
Physicians will learn the fundamental law of depositions, what plaintiff’s counsel is after at deposition, and how to be an effective witness on your own behalf at deposition, both on issues of qualification and the medicine involved. A physician who is able to persuasively and accurately describe her credentials, both in the curriculum vitae and in testimony, increases her credibility and benefits the overall defense of the case. Likewise, a defendant physician should be prepared to confidently and convincingly explain her care of the patient to the layperson without being defensive or condescending.
How to Be a More Effective Witness During Your Direct Examination At Trial
You will learn specific proven techniques on how to work with counsel to be an effective witness on your own behalf during direct examination at trial. Techniques to prepare to give your testimony will be explained, along with specific advice on how to be effective in front of the jury. These include a focus on demeanor and language, the proper use of visual aids, understanding the theme of the case and how to properly explain complicated medical concepts to the lay jury.
How to Be a More Effective Witness During Cross Examination
You will learn what plaintiff’s counsel is after during cross-examination and how to be effective during even the most aggressive cross-examinations. Physicians will learn the specific advanced techniques to thrive during cross-examination by plaintiff’s counsel, including how to properly prepare for cross examination, making concessions where appropriate, not being evasive or defensive, maintaining a calm demeanor, avoiding quibble, showing feeling, active listening and many more.
How To Avoid Getting Sued – Practical Risk Management Techniques
Although as a physician you can never completely eliminate the chance of being sued, there are ways to minimize your risk. This section will provide practical strategies that you can use to reduce the chances you will get sued, including superior communication skills with your patient, diligent and complete record-taking practices, employing competent and patient friendly office staff, dealing with adverse events, and developing specific office procedures regarding informed consent, follow-ups, and referrals.
The Biggest Mistakes Malpractice Defendant Physicians Make, And How to Avoid
Them You will learn the types of costly mistakes that you can make once you become a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit, as well as strategies and techniques you can use to avoid them. The discussion of mistakes will include not knowing your rights under your liability contract, altering medical records, giving the appearance of a cover-up by not promptly responding to patients’ records requests, discussing your case with your colleagues, not being adequately prepared for your deposition or trial testimony, thinking that defense counsel has a medical degree, not being responsive to defense counsel’s requests, keeping important facts about yourself or the case from defense counsel, and mistakenly thinking that the malpractice insurer has only your best interests in mind.