Some thoughts about examinations at trial
Here are two unrelated suggestions. The first involves a case where there is a minor with serious injuries and the importance of calling the guardian as a witness so the jury is aware any recovery is protected for the minor under court supervision. The second is simply an outline for use on cross examination in malpractice case where abnormalities were not promptly acted upon. This is a one page outline of how one mightorganize the primary points you want to make supplemented by more detailed questions.
When we represent a minor we want a guardian appointed or a legal representative who can be called as a witness at trial. Our objective is to let the jury know that any verdict in favor of a minor for damages will be under court supervision and protected for the minor’s interests. Here is a basic outline of the direct examination of a guardian or legal representative.
- You are the guardian approved by the court to act on behalf of the minor Bryce in this case?
- Your role is to protect and supervise any money the minor may receive through a verdict in this case and to represent the minor’s interests in this trial?
- You were appointed by the superior court in this matter?
- You were appointed even though the parents are competent to have this role because you are experienced and qualified in management of a minor’s estate?
- What are your qualifications and experience in this role?
- Exactly what is your role as guardian?
- How are you paid?
- What is the role of the court in the supervision of a minor’s estate and your work?
- Is any money received by the minor child devoted exclusively to the child?
- How is the money protected?
Here’s is an example from an actual case of a one page summary of the primary points I wanted to make in cross examination of the defense witnesses. It’s intended as a reminder to keep me focused on the key points as the case unfolds
❑NURSES SHOULD HAVE TOLD MOM OFCONCERNS THEY TOLD DIRECTOR OF NURSING & DR. CORRIELL
❑NURSES SHOULD HAVE NOT TURNED OFF MONITOR
❑NURSES SHOULD HAVE NOTIFIED DOCTOR W/I 40 MINUTES AFTER SHE WAS PUT BACK ON MONITOR
❑NURSES SHOULD HAVE TOLD Dr. CORRIELL ABOUT TAPE Abnormality AT 4:30
1.MEMBERS OF MEDICAL TEAM:
(a)MUST WORK TOGETHER
(b)HAVE SHARED Responsibility
(c)MUST HAVE GOOD COMMUNICATIONS
(d)MUST FOLLOW SAME RULES
2.SHOULD BE NIPPED IN BUD – NOT ALLOWED TO GET OUT OF HAND
(a)CASE OF TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
(c)NOT OK TO “SHRUG SHOULDERS”
3.HOSPITALIS A PLACE WE GO TO GET CURED NOT INJURED
2.DOCTORS & NURSES ACTED Like THEY WERE THROWING AHOT POTATO AROUND AND NO ONE IS WILLING TO CATCH IT
3.THE BUCK STOPS WHERE?
4.IGNORING OBVIOUS WARNINGS LIKE: EVERYONE SEEING A FIRE, BUT NOT ONE CALLS THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
5.THIS WAS LIKE: SEEING A CRIME BEING COMMITTED BUT NO ONE CALLS THE POLICE