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  • $30.1 Million NYC - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $15 Million Manhattan - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $3 Million Queens - Wrongful Death Case
  • $5.5 Million Bronx - Birth Injury Accident
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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How does the Defense Prepare to Thwart Your Expert Witness

By Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. posted in Medical Malpractice on Sunday, April 05, 2015.

When a medical expert comes in to testify in a medical malpractice case on behalf of the injured victim, the defense lawyer will come armed with a stack of transcripts of what that medical expert has testified to in the past.

When a medical expert comes in to testify in a medical malpractice case on behalf of the injured victim, the defense lawyer will come armed with a stack of transcripts of what that medical expert has testified to in the past.

You need Medical Experts to Prove Your Case

When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you are required to have a medical expert who confirms that you have a valid basis for a case. After that when your case moves closer to trial, your lawyer will have to notify the defense that you have retained a board certified medical expert specializing in a particular field.

Your lawyer will also have to tell the defense, what exactly this witness will be talking about during the trial and what they will say on the stand. Your lawyer does not have to provide the name of the doctor, but will have to give the credentials of this witness to the defense.

Strategy of the Defense

However, the defense will use different types of computer software in order to learn the identity of this witness. In most instances, the defense will usually succeed in knowing who this medical expert is. After the defense has identified your medical expert, they will use technology, computers, perhaps an investigator to determine when and how many times this expert has testified before.

Then they will do everything possible to obtain transcripts of all the times this expert has testified. This is done because the defense wants to scour every piece of testimony, every single word this expert has ever uttered in court. They would like to determine if anything in the records is going to contradict anything that this witness is going to be saying in this case. The defense wants to dig up dirt on this expert and to use it to muddy the waters.

Hence, now if this is an expert that has testified many times before, the defense will literally acquire stacks of transcripts and will spend days and weeks going through those transcripts to determine whether there is something they can use to cross-examine the doctor or show that he is giving a contradicting testimony at the time of trial.

A Two Pronged Attached

When the expert has testified many times in court cases, the defense will usually find one or two key pieces of information they can use to delegitimize this witness that you have banked your case on. Alternatively, the defense can also find something that they can use as a collateral attack. This may not really focus on the issue that the expert is talking about in this case or the facts of the case, but rather something that has to do with the doctor personally. The focal point here is to level and undermine this person's credibility.

In fact, in both ways the defense is trying to mar the doctor's credibility in the eyes of the jury, so that his testimony does not count or amount to as much as you hoped it would.

This is why the defense will poor so much time in trying to seek and gather all those transcripts. This information will certainly be used to cloud your witness's testimony in the eyes of the court and the jury.

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Our client, a 5-year-old patient, receives almost $8 million in compensation from an NYC hospital in a medical malpractice claim won by Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolf. Representing the injured child with his team of legal and medical experts, Daniel Minc said, "It was great day for the family."

The case involved negligent care on the part of the hospital pediatric intensive care unit for failing to observe bleeding from a simple biopsy wound which caused neurological damage.

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