Last week I spoke in New Orleans to the state trial lawyers. On the program was Dorothy Clay Sims from Ocala, Florida. She has lectured extensively on cross examining doctors and has published books and material on the subject. Her website http://www.ocalaw.com has a lot of material and is a great resource as well. I recommend her publications and if you get a chance, I suggest you attend her seminar. Here are just a few of the many ideas she shared with the group on the important subject of cross examination of the defense medical expert.
º Check their CV for boards they claim membership in for "vanity boards." These are pay a fee and you are board certified groups.
º Research the internet for talks that aren’t included in the CV or subpoena them because you may find these are the talks that show their bias, like talks to defense groups
º Verify the degrees. You may find they the degrees are pay a fee and you get one or lacking in real quality
º With regard to defense medical exams, look for what the doctor omitted or was left out of the report. Note tests that are irrelevant. Have a written document in which the doctor guarantees his conclusions about not injuries are correct and is liable for any harm if wrong.
º Challenge him with questions using this phrase "What happens on a cellular level when… He or she will be usually unable to answer it.
º When the doctor claims "the accident was too minor to cause these injuries" try these approaches:
º Your client has lived _____ days without these problems, but somehow at this particular time, immediately after the collision the problems just spontaneously started?
º What are the odds that they spontaneously started vs the force of collision causing it?
º Ask the doctor the exact a) force of impact b) location of impact on client c) location of his body at time
º Ask him if at least initially the symptoms were due to collision. If he says yes, ask what month, hour, day minute they stopped being from impact and began to be from something else?
º Check for the code of ethics for the doctor’s speciality. Almost everyone has them and the AMA has a set. Look for provisions like doubts should be resolved in favor of the patient