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The law is not a "light" for you or any man to see by; the law is not an instrument of any kind. The law is a causeway upon which so long as he keeps to it a citizen may walk safely. -- Robert Bolt
Excerpted from Medical Malpractice, Third Edition, 25
by David M. Harney
Copyright 1993, The Michie Company, 1-800-446-3410
All rights reserved. Personal use only. No distribution or republication without prior permission from the publisher.
Checklist for direct examination.
The following is a checklist used by an attorney in our office in a recent case for examining medical experts on direct.
1. Name and professional address
3. Where licensed
4. Educational background:
a. Years of premed-where
b. Years of medical school-where
d. Years of residency
(2) What field-explain
5. Length of time you have practiced medicine since graduation
6. Special qualifications:
a. Articles published
b. Books written or contributed to
c. Papers delivered-where
e. Experience in this area
(1) Importance of practical experience
B. LOCALITY RULE
1. From training and experience generally, are you familiar with the standards of care to which medical practitioners are held regarding the facts involved in this case?
a. Tell us whether the standard of care for the problems involved in this case is relatively uniform throughout the United States.
b. From your training and experience are you generally familiar with what is regarded as appropriate and reasonable medical care for the type of medical problem involved here?
2. Have you made an effort to investigate generally the standard of care in this locality at the time of this case?
a. Talked with physicians?
b. Seen hospital?
c. Practiced in similar hospitals/clinics/communities?
d. Read dispositions of physicians familiar with this locality and case?
e. Seen hospital manuals/rules, etc.?
f. Had experience with similar nursing situations?
(1) Trained nurses regarding this kind of problem?
(The test: familiarity with standard of care in locality similar in geographical location, size and character from a medical standpoint.)
C. KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THIS CASE
1. What material has been provided you?
a. Hospital records
b. Depositions of key witnesses
c. Clinic records
2. Reviewed medical literature generally about this situation?
3. Examined plaintiff?
a. Dates, nature, tests
D. ROLE IN CASE
1. Were you asked to review facts of this case and objectively determine whether there was any departure from the proper standards of medical care involved here?
2. Did you do that?
3. Have you made such a determination?
4. Defendants have taken your testimony under oath (deposition) previously
5. Understand test of reasonable medical probability in giving opinions? Whether phrase used or not?
E. SUMMARY OF OPINIONS
1. Did you form an opinion whether the professional care rendered by [Defendant] in this case met the standard of practice for that locality at the time?
a. What determination did you make?
Note: Repeat for each defendant in case
F. REASONS FOR OPINIONS
1. Please explain to the jury your reasons for this opinion
a. What was not done?
b. What should have been done instead?
1. Do you have an opinion whether the care given was a contributing cause of the plaintiff's injuries?
H. AUTHORITATIVE BOOKS & ARTICLES
1. Are there any recognized medical texts or publications in this field that support your opinions?
a. Here see list of medical publications and ask if authoritative
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