I’ve written before about my belief that your trial notebook (and deposition notebook) should contain basic check lists or outlines for every examination you conduct whether you are an experienced or inexperienced trial lawyer. All of my outlines are very simple and basic. For each examination I revise them to fit the particular situation involved. I use them as a reminder list to be sure I cover each point I need to cover. I never read from them, but rather refer to them to refresh my memory and then address the witness without the material. Here is a most basic direct examination outline for a treating doctor.
DIRECT – TREATING DOCTOR
1. Name – professional address
>plaintiff’s doctor? Asked you to tell jury about him?
(1) board certification/significance
4. Professional experience
5. Special qualifications –seeCV if any
B. EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF – See Clinic Records
1. Significancehow obtained
D. Physical EXAMINATION
1. Conclusions reached: x rays, medical illustrations etc
F. HOSPITAL CARESee Hospital Records
1. Significant entries:
(2) pain medication
G. BRACES/SPLINTS etc
1. Cane/walker/brace/cast – why & for how long
H. PRESENT CONDITION
1. Last exam – conclusions
1. Permanent injury?
2. Effect in future
(1) earning ability
(2) activity: walking, climbing, kneeling etc
(3) family life/activities
(4) loss of enjoyment of life: pain/discomfort
3. Future treatment required?
(1) nature/expense – reasonable probability
4. Life expectancy impacted?
1. Mechanics of how accident causes these injuries
2. Proximate cause of injury: reasonable probability
1. REASONABLE AND NECESSARY
1. Opinion re plaintiff honest or exaggerated/fake
2. Cooperative with you re treatment