Posts tagged experts
Should a toddler's life ever be worth nothing

A few days before Thanksgiving a defendant corporation sends me the report of its expert accountant.  This person's job is to place a value on the life of a two and a half year old child who has died as the result of the negligence of others.

In our state the way we decide the "value" of loss of life under such circumstances is to project what the child would have grown up and earned during her life time.  Less what the child would have consumed.  The amount that is left over is called "net accumulations" and this cold calculation = value of the life lost.

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Trial Cross of a defense neurosurgeon: using paper cups, water and a raincoat

Prologue: Plaintiff had back surgery.  She had returned to work only just the past week, when she was hit hard by a bad driver.  Ultimately she needed a second surgery due to the crash.  The bad driver admitted fault and her company paid.  But she didn't have enough insurance.  So our client, Ms. P made a claim under her Underinsured Motorist Policy.  Which is what you are supposed to do.  Allstate, her insurance company, required her to sue them as that is what the UIM policy says has to happen.  Ms. P sued Allstate.  Then went thru Mandatory Arbitration.  But Allstate didn't like the verdict so they appealed it and forced a jury trial.  Their main witness was Dr. Blue, a retired neurosurgeon.  During the direct exam, he tells the jury that Ms. P's additional problems after the crash, are related to her pre-existing conditions that had been mildly strained.  He says her second surgery wasn't related to the crash.

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Deposition of a defense psychiatrist: doctor do you have a crystal ball

Ms. A is insured by State Farm with UIM. They do not want to pay the claim.  They hire this psychiatrist to do a records review. To help them challenge the injury claim.   Dr. P never meets or interviews Ms. A.   But being the God-like creature that he is, will testify that Ms. A somaticizes her injuries and has "secondary gain."   What this means in real people language - is that she is making the injuries up.   My job is to show that he is the one making things up.

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Deposition of a defense doctor - 3 months and you're cured part 2

Remember my defense medical doctor movie.  Perhaps you thought it was fictitious.  Or at least exaggerated.  Because after all it was writen in a huff.  Directly after the deposition.  Before it was transcribed.

Well, here is the actual transcript.  You be the judge.  What is funnier (more obnoxious): the movie or the real thing.

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Deposition of a defense doctor - the movie

Witnesses who make up crap - make my day.  Especially when they are defense doctors.  This one was so obnoxious that I made a movie in her honor.

Here is the set up.

A guy is careless.  Because of his carelessness, your head strikes an object.  Your neck hyper extends backwards.  You have never gone to the doctor for neck pain.  But after this happens, you have problems right away.  Your neck doesn't only hurt - it radiates pain down your arm and your hand is numb.

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Deposition of a wannabe life care planner

The wife lost not only her beloved husband of 34 years.  She lost her life helper.  Legally blind and with other health impairments, she depended on him to see for her. To take care of her.

We used a highly qualified life care planner named Tony Choppa to draft a plan of what it would take to provide the widow with help.  Specifically, the kind of help she needed from her dead husband.  Going to the grocery store.  Walking her to the bus stop.  Navigating the world.

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Cross exam wrestling match with a defense vocational rehab counselor

The expert witness is making my blood boil.   Direct exam is a pre-rehearsed script.  The defense attorney reads a question the expert spews back an answer.  They don't come right out and say so, but the inference is the client isn't working because either: a) lazy or b) hoping for lawsuit lottery.  They don't have to be so nasty.

Hand is on client's arm.  Whisper words of kindness from time to time.   Keep mask of pleasant person firmly on face.  Do not roll eyes.  Realize foot is tapping.  Become still.  Like a falcon.

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Direct exam of a medical expert

I'm on the treadmill watching Oprah.  She is interviewing Dr. Oz.   Their theme "5 lifesaving numbers."  He gives vivid easy to understand verbal answers.  He uses a video recreation.  He has a demonstrative aid.  I like it when he punches the plaque out of the artery.   It is really super.   Oprah is a phenomenal interviewer.  She channels the audience.  She “is” the audience in the moment.  Her goal is to educate and impress upon the audience, the importance of understanding and following Dr. Oz’s medical advice.

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