Legal Resources for Attorneys with Injured Clients
We believe in sharing resources and expertise with fellow members of the plaintiffs’ bar. To borrow a line from Benjamin Franklin, attorneys who represent clients with serious injuries “must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” That’s especially true in this age of constant attack on the rights of the injured from the insurance industry, the Chamber of Commerce and the interests of “organized money” (a term coined by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, himself a plaintiffs’ lawyer).
In the links below, you will find samples of briefs we’ve filed, closing arguments we’ve given, and books and articles we’ve written on various current topics. If something you need isn’t listed, give us a call. We probably can help.
Books for Attorneys
Winning Medical Malpractice Cases With the Rules of the Road™ Technique, by Patrick Malone (with Rick Friedman) (Trial Guides, 2012). Read reviews and order the book here. Listen to podcasts adapted from the book here.
Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability, by Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone (Trial Guides, revised and expanded 2nd edition 2010). This book has been praised by top lawyers as “must reading” for both experienced and novice trial lawyers. As one reviewer wrote: “Two brilliant lawyers, Malone and Friedman, who also happen to be brilliant advocacy writers, have written an easy-to-use, hard-to-undermine approach that will serve plaintiff’s attorneys in almost every kind of trial. This is not a book of small arms. It’s major artillery.”
Expert Witness Resources
- Secret Settlements: Unethical and Bad for Your Practice
- Medical Malpractice: Why Words, Values and Beliefs Matter
- Lessons for Trial Lawyers from Lincoln’s Greatest Speech – The Second Inaugural
- Medical Malpractice in Managing Diabetes
- Working with Experts in the Daubert Era
- Expert Witnesses and the D.C. Court of Appeals
- Boone v. Goldberg – Appellee’s Brief (This successful brief led to a ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals that physicians must inform patients about their prior experience, or lack thereof, in performing certain procedures, an important new aspect of informed consent doctrine.) Read the Maryland Court of Appeals’ decision here.
- Burke v. Groover Christie, et al. (This was the second appeal of this case which had resulted in a large verdict for our client. This appeal concerned how post-judgment interest is calculated in Washington, DC.)
- Burke v. Neurology Center; Burke v. Higgins – Joint Pretrial Statement (This case, which ended in a judgment for our client for over $5 million, involved the failure of a neurologist and radiologist to recognize the plaintiff’s risk for stroke based on abnormalities in her MRI scan and her symptoms.)
- Burton v. USA (A case about a physician failing to discuss the risk of pulmonary embolism arising from casts on the calf which immobilized the patient’s leg.)
- Plaintiff’s Trial Brief on Choice of Law (This brief, along with the reply brief, persuaded a federal judge in the District of Columbia to apply Maryland law to loss of consortium damages. The event causing the injury had occurred in D.C. but the decedent and his wife lived in Maryland, so we argued that Maryland law should apply. D.C. law would have allowed no damages for this element of loss.)
- Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief on Choice of Law
- Pretrial Order (The order reflecting the judge’s decision to apply Maryland law to the damages).
- Memorandum Opinion (The judge returned over $2 million in damages in this Federal Tort Claims Act decision.)
- Estate of Kurstin, M.D. v. Lordan, et al. (In order to avoid an empty chair argument being made by the non-settling defendant, the settling defendant assigned his contribution claim to the plaintiff, and we proceeded to trial only on the contribution claim, which we then won in a bench trial.)
- Brief of Apellees (This was our response to the argument of the non-settling defendant that the assignment of the contribution claim was illegal.)
- Appellate Decision (The appellate court upheld the trial court’s decision that the assignment of the contribution claim to the plaintiff was reasonable and allowed under D.C. law.)
- Fiedler v. Sibley Memorial Hospital — (In this case the defendant hospital employed a number of arguments to try to avoid designating a Rule 30(b)(6) spokesperson for deposition.)
- Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendant to Designate a Rule 30(b)(6) Spokesperson for a Deposition
- Defendant’s Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendant to Designate a Rule 30(b)(6) Spokesperson for a Deposition
- Plaintiff’s Reply to Defendant’s Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendant to Designate a Rule 30(b)(6) Spokesperson for a Deposition
- Opinion Compelling Defendant to Designate a Rule 30(b)(6) Spokesperson for a Deposition (The court rejected all of the defendant’s arguments including that the treating employees could be individually deposed and that it would require a privileged peer review investigation to answer plaintiff’s questions.)
- Haywood v. Medstar-Georgetown Medical Center, Inc. (A patient died of brain damage arising from respiratory arrest due to a hematoma in her neck that choked off air flow a few hours after cervical spine surgery.)
- Motion to Compel Defendant to Designate a Spokesperson for a Deposition (This motion argued that Medstar-Georgetown should designate a single representative to be deposed as to the corporation’s collective knowledge of the patient’s treatment.)
- Plaintiff’s Reply to Defendant’s Opposition to Motion to Compel Defendant to Designate a Spokesperson for a Deposition (The defendant had claimed that to designate a spokesperson would violate peer review privilege.)
- Order Granting Motion to Compel Defendant to Designate a Spokesperson for a Deposition (The judge found that although the peer review itself would not have to be disclosed by the spokesperson, the primary medical records used in the review were not rendered non-discoverable simply because they were used in the review.)
- Kipoliongo, et al. v. Tchabo, M.D., et al. (One of two twins died in utero approximately thirty minutes before delivery as a result of failure to vigilantly observe the fetal heart monitor.)
- Plaintiff’s Third Request for Production of Documents to Defendant Virginia Hospital Center (The nurse who was assigned to the fetal heart monitor claimed she had made handwritten notes during the procedure, and then entered them into the electronic system afterwards, subsequently getting rid of the originals. The plaintiff sought any notations made by the same nurse for other patients in the same time window.)
- Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Production of Documents from Defendant Virginia Hospital Center
- Order regarding Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery (allowing plaintiff to obtain audit trail data from another patient being treated by the same nurse)
- LeFlore v. Washington Hospital Center Corporation, Inc. – Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Protective Order (Filed in response to the defense trying to arrange ex parte meetings with physicians who treated the plaintiff subsequent to Washington Hospital Center.)
- Lemma v. Peter – Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Negligence as a Matter of Law (Filed in support of a motion to find a landlord negligent per se for a case of lead poisoning in an apartment building in DC.)
- Semsker, et al. v. Lockshin M.D., et al. – Third Amended Complaint for Wrongful Death – Medical Negligence(This case arose from the failure of a dermatologist to remove a mole which later turned into a malignant melanoma. The jury returned a $5.8 million verdict.)
Closing Arguments in Trial
We post closing arguments from trials because other attorneys tell us the transcripts are helpful to read to get ideas for their own cases, in arguing issues of both liability and damages. Here is a sampler:
- Boone v. Goldberg – During ear surgery the plaintiff’s brain was accidently punctured by a surgical instrument. The surgeon later denied that any error had occurred. The jury returned a verdict just under $1 million.
- Jones v. Prince George’s County, Maryland – A young man was shot and killed by an undercover police officer. Patrick Malone & Associates was able to collect $2.5 million for the decedent’s daughter and father.
- Semsker, et al. v. Lockshin M.D., et al. – The plaintiff went on five occasions for treatment to a dermatologist, but the physician left a mole on his back that later became a malignant melanoma from which he died. The jury handed down a $5.8 million verdict.
- Simpson v. Southwest Virginia Physicians for Women – A woman went in for amniocentesis of her unborn baby, but the procedure caused bleeding in the child. Ultimately, the girl was born with brain and kidney damage from anemia due to the unchecked bleeding. The verdict totaled $9 million for the mother and her daughter.
- Wood v. Surgical Associates Chartered – A man had surgery on his left shoulder, but during the procedure the nerves controlling his left hand were severely damaged. The jury in Maryland returned a verdict of nearly $1.5 million.
Medical Society Statements on Expert Witness Testimony
- American Academy of Dermatology
- American College of Emergency Physicians
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Society of General Surgeons
- American College of Legal Medicine
- American Medical Association
- American Medical Association
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- American Academy of Neurology
- American Academy of Ophthalmology
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
- American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
- American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
- American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- American College of Pathology
- American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
- American College of Radiology
- American College of Surgeons
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons
- American Urological Association
- American College of Physicians
- American Society of Anesthesiologists
- American College of Cardiology
- American College of Chest Physicians
- American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
- American Heart Association
- Society of Interventional Radiology
- American College of Medical Toxicology
- American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
- World Federation of Neurological Societies
- American College of Nurse-Midwives
- American Board of Plastic Surgery
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American College of Physicians
- International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals
- American Association of Thoracic Surgery
Cross Examination Transcripts
How does a smart, hard-working lawyer learn to become an effective cross-examiner? I’ve written a whole book on this, but here is one place to start: Read some of the transcripts I’ve collected here from excellent cross-examiners. These are real transcripts from real cases with real witnesses, and actual names are used whenever I can. Many books on cross-examination feature fantasy cross-examinations, or excerpts so heavily edited that you cannot tell what really happened in court. I believe in a reality-based approach, so beginning and intermediate lawyers can see how real cross-examinations play out. With many of the transcripts posted here, you will also see my running comments in brackets.
I will expand this list over time, so check back often.