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.
- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE IDEA THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS?
- HOW IMPORTANT IS IT WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT WE DO?
- HOW FEEL ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SHIRK THEIR Responsibility?WHY?
- SHOULD DOCTORS BE ALLOWED TO DO THAT?WHY?
- WHAT DOES THE TERM "MALPRACTICE" MEAN TO YOU?
- AS OF RIGHT NOW, WOULD YOU EXPECT US TO PROVE THE DOCTOR INTENDED TO HARM SOMEONE BEFORE WE WERE ENTITLED TO A VERDICT?
- HAVE YOU EVER CHANGED DOCTORS? WHY?
- IF YOU WERE THE PERSON SUING IN THIS CASE WHAT KIND OF A JUROR WOULD YOU WANT ON YOUR CASE? WHY?
C. DOCTORS GENERALLY
- HAVE YOU EVER FELT A DOCTOR "PERFORMED A MIRACLE" IN TREATING SOMEONE?EXPLAIN
- DO HAVE APHYSICIAN? HOW OFTEN SEE ?
- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THEIDEA ABOUT WHETHER A DOCTOR IS MORE LIKELY TO TELL THE TRUTH IN A LAWSUIT THEN OTHER WITNESSES CALLED?
- 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:
- Name the two persons you most admire
- Nametwo persons you least admire or in other words dislike
- 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:
- 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?
- Do you feel sorry for a doctor or hospital who is sued for medical malpractice? Why?
- 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?
- How do you feel about caps on damages for medical malpractice? Why?
- What amount do you think the cap should be? Why do you think this?
- Do you think when a doctor is sued for negligence he will always answer all questions under oath truthfully? Why?
- 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?