Category Archives: Voir Dire

Medical malpractice voir dire

Here are some random thoughts about jury selection in a medical malpractice case. Keep in mind these are thequestions one would consider asking in a "traditional" voir dire. In a Gerry Spence approach one would modify how these were asked by starting with one’s own feelings or experiences as a lead to asking the jury about theirs. However, these are few of the areas you might consider inquiring about as part of a general selection process.

A. ACCOUNTABILITY

  1. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE IDEA THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS?
  2. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT WE DO?
  3. HOW FEEL ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SHIRK THEIR Responsibility?WHY?
  4. SHOULD DOCTORS BE ALLOWED TO DO THAT?WHY?

B. MALPRACTICE

  1. WHAT DOES THE TERM "MALPRACTICE" MEAN TO YOU?
  2. AS OF RIGHT NOW, WOULD YOU EXPECT US TO PROVE THE DOCTOR INTENDED TO HARM SOMEONE BEFORE WE WERE ENTITLED TO A VERDICT?
  3. HAVE YOU EVER CHANGED DOCTORS? WHY?
  4. IF YOU WERE THE PERSON SUING IN THIS CASE WHAT KIND OF A JUROR WOULD YOU WANT ON YOUR CASE? WHY?

C. DOCTORS GENERALLY

  1. HAVE YOU EVER FELT A DOCTOR "PERFORMED A MIRACLE" IN TREATING SOMEONE?EXPLAIN
  2. DO HAVE APHYSICIAN? HOW OFTEN SEE ?
  3. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THEIDEA ABOUT WHETHER A DOCTOR IS MORE LIKELY TO TELL THE TRUTH IN A LAWSUIT THEN OTHER WITNESSES CALLED?
  4. WHICH IS THE MORE ACCURATE FOR YOU:

I SEE A DOCTOR ONLY WHEN Absolutely NECESSARY?
I SEE A REGULARLY AND OFTEN
I SEE A DOCTOR DOCTOR ONLY FOR AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL

5.ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU SEEN A DOCTOR THIS YEAR?

New Jersey plaintiff trial lawyer Dennis Donnelly suggests asking these questions in a medical malpractice case:

  1. Name the two persons you most admire
  2. Nametwo persons you least admire or in other words dislike
  3. When you learned you might be a juror on a med malpractice case, what was the first thing that came into you r head?

Los Angeles plaintiff’s lawyer Ned Good has suggested these questions:

  1. Would you sue a doctor or hospital for money damages for medical malpractice if the doctor or hospital was careless and that carelessness hurt you or your loved one? Why?
  2. Do you feel sorry for a doctor or hospital who is sued for medical malpractice? Why?
  3. Do you believe a doctor or hospital should or should not have to pay money damages to a patient if they were careless and that carelessness hurts that patient? Why?
  4. How do you feel about caps on damages for medical malpractice? Why?
  5. What amount do you think the cap should be? Why do you think this?
  6. Do you think when a doctor is sued for negligence he will always answer all questions under oath truthfully? Why?
  7. Do you think it is easy for a patient to get a doctor or nurse to testify that another doctor, hospital or nurse was negligent? Why?