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Rick Perry: Tort Reform Hypocrite

60 comments

Rick Perry: Tort Reform HypocriteRick Perry has been highly critical of the American civil justice system. Perry has lauded so-called "tort reform" in Texas and chastised the 7th Amendment's right to civil jury trial as "frivolous lawsuits" and referring to plaintiffs – those who bring a lawsuit – as "playing the odds and hoping for a jackpot jury."

But what does Rick Perry do when his presidential campaign fails to follow the rules to obtain enough signatures to make it on the Virginia presidential primary ballot?

Rick Perry uses the same civil justice he has chastised and Rick Perry sues the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot, and we hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support," said Perry communications director Ray Sullivan in a statement.

Perry's lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a state law that says those who circulate petitions to get a candidate on the ballot must be eligible, or registered, to vote in the state. Perry claims that the requirement violates his freedom of speech and association.

Source: NBC News

As Perry's lawsuit demonstrates, the 7th Amendment is the ultimate lynch pin for all other constitutional rights, which is why it's not just democrats and trial lawyers standing up for this fundamental freedom, but also constitutional conservatives who oppose attacks on 7th Amendment rights through tort reform.

What is your remedy if someone violates your constitutional rights to free speech? To religious freedom? To keep and bear arms? To contract? Or even to be on a Virginia presidential primary ballot? These are civil law (or civil justice) claims in which you take the bad actor (whether a person, a corporation, or a government) to court in order to have your rights protected.

But what happens when access to courts is limited? What happens when access to the courts is so lopsided that the average person cannot gain access? What happens when powerful lobbyists control the courts like they control other branches of government?

I applaud Rick Perry for recognizing the importance of the civil justice system in protecting his civil liberties. But such actions make his continued attacks on the civil justice system that much more hypocritical. The civil justice can protect Rick Perry's rights, but not yours.

The US Constitution is not something from which you can pick and choose. It applies in full. As patriots, we are bound to uphold it.

Freedom, liberty, and civil justice are issues our founders fought and died for. These are issues that should unite us as citizens rather than divide us as partisans. Join those on both sides of the political aisle in standing up for our Constitution and for preserving Civil Justice rights and accountability.

Read More:

[More on your 7th Amendment Rights]

[More on Rick Perry]

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison

Follow @BrettEmison on Twitter.

60 Comments

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  1. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Mr. Emison, you nailed it. Rick Perry continues to support state’s rights, but has the unmitigated audacity to sue the Commonwealth of Virginia. What a piece of hypocritical work. He is against frivolous suits in Texas, but feels free to sue Virginia because his name did not make it on the ballot. Does he take the time to consider the people in Virgina do not want him on the ballot? How many Texans’ rights were denied because he signed the Tort Reform Act in 2003 which allowed reckless negligent doctors to continue killing patients? How many innocent lives were taken because he appointed half the Texas Medical Board, including the president, Dr. Irve Zeitler, who failed to police after his own and thereby going against the TMB Mission of “protecting the health of Texans.” Governor Rick Perry’s arrogance and having the TMB in his pocket, makes getting accountability in Texas impossible. If someone wants to see the definition of hypocrisy in a dictionary, there ought to be a picture of Rick Perry.

  2. James D. Weaver says:
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    Mr. Emison is obviously ignorant of the law and various applications. Rick Perry is a Tort Reform advocate, which means he is not against law suites in general but tort suites which extort billions from corporations and the plantiffs receive little. This includes primarily class action law suites that have made our healthcare system too expensive for most Americans. You can reduce healthcare costs by at least 20% with tort reform. Don’t believe it, just look at Texas. Doctors are flooding in and hospitals are expanding. Do your homework Mr. Emison and check the facts. They don’t lie like most journalists.

  3. Brett Emison says:
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    James,

    I appreciate you reading, but it is your ignorance, not mine, which has been exposed.

    There are so many untruths littered throughout your comment that it will difficult to address all of them.

    You’re just flat wrong on the health care stats. Litigation costs add less than 2% (not 20% as you claim) to the overall cost of healthcare. You don’t have to take my word for it. Check out Consumer Reports if you want to check my facts (http://www.consumerreports.org/health/doctors-hospitals/health-care-security/who-is-to-blame-for-high-costs/health-care-security-costs.htm).

    More importantly, our 7th Amendment rights protect you and me if we’re injured by a negligent person, company, government, or even a doctor.

    Doctors are not flooding to Texas and the ones that are coming you probably don’t want – doctors like Dr. Konasiewicz who had been sued nine times for medical malpractice in Minnesota and publicly reprimanded by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice before fleeing to Texas where lax medical negligence rules permit him to practice on unsuspecting patients. (See – http://farmingtonhills.injuryboard.com/medical-malpractice/exposing-the-perils-of-texas-tort-reform.aspx?googleid=293100)

    For you – and Rick Perry – to be right, our Founding Fathers had to get it wrong. They didn’t. We don’t need a “big government” European-style civil justice system. We didn’t need to fight a revolutionary war if we were just going to revert to the British-style of justice in which there is no right to civil jury trial.

    We need a system in which the smallest among us has a voice equal to the most rich and most powerful. We need a system of justice that holds negligent actors – whoever they are – accountable. We need a system of justice that holds government accountable when it oversteps its bounds.

    What you and Perry don’t seem to understand is that when justice is denied for few, it is the many that suffer. You simply cannot close the courthouse doors for a few without affecting the rights of the rest of us.

    It is for that reason – and others – that we need the system of justice created by our Founders which is the greatest system of justice the world has known.

  4. Anna Mae Rooks says:
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    Rick Perry…isn’t he the loud-mouth touting the virtues of “states rights?” Now he is suing Virginia because he couldn’t find 10,000 people in the entire state to sign his petition to be on the ballot? Isn’t he the same oaf who rants about “frivolous law suits?”

    Sorry, Rick – you’re not in Texas now and all you have accomplished is to show the rest of the country what a true idiot you are. You should realize by now that you are Texas Toast and you will more than likely be voted out of office as governor. Your $10,000 monthly rent (plus upkeep) on your mansion, the cost to taxpayers being forced to pay your expenses as you expose your “intellect” to the rest of the country, your
    “retirement” pay, your greed and corruption has been exposed and we Texans are chomping at the bit to send you back to “N-Head” or Painted rock, or whatever rock you crawled out from under.

  5. jc says:
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    I am a big supporter of tort reform particularly malpractice. Nationwide, plaintiff attorneys lose 80% of their cases at trial. No other industry in America has an 80% failure rate. Typically it takes 3-4 years to get a malpractice case into court and should the plaintiff win, he only gets 45% of the award as greedy lawyers and the legal system scarf up the rest. Plaintiff attorneys like to point to the occasional case of gross malpactice, yet they hide from their own malpractice accounting for their 80% failure rate. I have personally witnessed gross plaintiff attorney malpractice which would make a doctor blush. This happens because plaintiff attorneys take no specialized training before they file these lawsuits. In truth, malpractice law is highly specialized and allowing any joe lawyer to file these cases is akin to allowing a family practicioner to do brain surgery. No hospital would allow that, yet the American Bar Association turns a blind eye when your average wills and divorce attorney files a malpractice case. Since the American Bar Association will not enforce any standards, we need a change – -to medical courts. Take away plaintiff attorneys ability to bilk unwitting patients and allow them to get speedy cost effective justice in an administrative court.
    Patients for Fair Compensation is a group which is currently proposing such legislation in Georgia and Florida to get rid of the “blame and shame” game and get rid of greedy and incompetent plaintiff attorneys.

  6. Anna Mae Rooks says:
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    Persistent little chap, aren’t you jc! From reading all your drivel, it seems more than likely you are a doctor who has had the bejabbers sued out of him numerous times for numerous offenses and now you have a chip on your shoulder. If you feel you have been harmed, you’d be the first to file a lawsuit, just like that hypocrit, Rick (Mr. Frivolous)Perry. Now, go ring in the New Year. If you’re lucky, maybe a bottle-rocket will blow that chip off your shoulder.

  7. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    jc, I am starting to seriously worry about you. If I were a betting woman, I would venture to say your wife, your kids and your dog ran away from home because they no longer could stand your persistent ranting.

    Do yourself a favor for 2102. Go on a vacation to one of those places they have in Nevada which are exclusive to men, and chill. It will be money well spent in your case.

  8. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    2012.

  9. jc says:
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    Cilla: Thanks for your suggestion. Cilla what I am trying to get across is that there are two victims in medical malpractice cases. Obviously there is the patient, but most doctors are just horrified that they might have done something wrong to hurt a patient, and the caring doctors that I know are affected just as much as the patients family. But to err is human and I just think that having medical courts which could quickly reach a decision in less time and at less cost would be helpful for the patient and the doctor. Medical Courts would not be good for plaintiff attorneys.

  10. Anna Mae Rooks says:
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    Here in Texas, many times there are more than “two victims”..the deceased and his/her family. As you know, my son lost his life due to the incompetence, gross negligence, and gross recklessness of TWO doctors and I will quote the finding of the Texas Medical Board: “The file involving Dr. Widman was reviewed by two Board Certified physicians…it was found that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations that lab results were withheld” Lab reselts were never an issue in my complaint). “The file involving Dr. Lindner was likewise reviewed by multiple experts….and determined that there is insufficient evidence .” Dr. Irvin E. Zeitler, Jr., DO, president of the TMB states “I personally performed an additional review of the files in question, in their entirety, and came to the same conclusions: there is insufficient evidence to prove a violation of those statutory laws regarding physicians.”

    MY REPLY TO ZEITLER: “Really Dr. Zeitler? From evidence contained in the file, it is clear that Lindner’s endoscopy was an unnecessary procedure as my son’s abdominal pains had already been determined to be CARDIAC-RELATED AND NOT gastrointestinal in nature. IF you read the medical records as you claim, surely this fact coild not have escaped your attention.” It is abdundantly clear that Lindner’s ONLY reason for proceeding with the unnecessary procedure was for monetary gain and he was more than willing to risk my son’s life by ignoring ALL the indications of the dangers to my son’s life.”

    I had a medical investigator review my son’s medical records. The following are exercepts from his report:

    “It was well documented that David Rooks suffered from many of the complications of Emery Dreifuss. He was known to have heart problems and was diagnosed with CHF….Despite all the findings that David Rooks’ abdominal pain was the result of his cardiac pathology, Dr. Lindner recommended an ELECTIVE esophagogastroduodenoscopy to rule out any gastrointestinal paathology…..David’s condition should have given pause to any clinic or healthcare provider in determining of any elective procedure is necessary or beneficial, with regard to the risks involved….In David’s case, his Dystrophy, his cardiac weakness, his wakened overall condition as described by Dr. Widman and his history of having had anesthetic and sedation problems, should have been cause for great concern. By itself, ANY oprocedure involving sedation or anesthetics in a patient with Muscular Dystrophy should automatically put any medical healthcare professional on guard…Unfortunately, the records provided do not seen to reflect any thoughtful approach by Dr. Lindner with regard to David Rooks. The record suggests that Dr. Lindner never even read any of the notes written by his fellow physicians, because he actually states that : HEART AND LUNG EXAM WERE FOUND TO BE NORMAL. This failure to appreciate David Rooks underlying disease and overall poor physical condition as well as the medical opinion and judgement of fellow physicians is an error of such significance that it is difficult to defend. David Rooks’ demise following this elective procedure could in all likelihood been presented by proper recognition of the underlying condition…and by proper safeguarding and monitoring the condition during and after the procedure. Unfortunately, the records do not reflect this happened.”

    The kangaroo court otherwise known as THE TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD could find absolutely nothing wrong with the “care” that killed my son.

    Keep checking the newspapers jc as I will soon be filing criminally negligent homicide charges against this “doctor”. The evidence is there and it speaks for itself.

  11. Anna Mae Rooks says:
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    jc, before you poste a reply, please realize that you do not know all the facts in this particular case. It would take many pages to disclose all the facts.

    Also, please be advised that many of us who have lost a loved one as a result of a preventable occurrence are NOT seeking monetary compensation. We demand justice. Just because a person has “MD” after his name should not give him/her a free pass to be reckless. My son was KILLED and his killer is no better than any other killer out there. The law applies to everyone, regardless of their profession.

  12. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Monetary gain was never a consideration either. All I wanted to know was why a 7 day post abdominal hernia repair with his medical records in the hospital’s computer data base system, was left to rot in the emergency room for 17 1/2 hours without receiving the basic standard of care. You being a doctor, know what the basic standard of care is, right jc? Maybe not. Dr. Javier Andrade didn’t. When my husband arrived to the floor, was crashing and burning. Mark was unfortunate because the ER is like a Russian Roulette game. One day you get a good and competent doctor, the next, you get Dr. Javier Andrade. This is what ER Russian Roulette is defined as. If you are lucky, you get to leave by walking out. If not, you get to leave in a stretcher to a funeral home. Are emergency rooms in this country so dangerous depending on which doctor you get, that medical people describe them as Russian Roulette? When one has a patient in the emergency room with underlying health issues, and presents himself/herself with acute abdominal pain, labs, x-rays or scans, or even all the above are taken to diagnose problems in order to treat. None were done. The Village Idiot was on duty that night and Dr. Irve Zeitler, president of the Texas Medical Board didn’t see anything wrong. Dr. Irve Zeitler and the rest of the board members could not find anything wrong because they all are too busy carrying Rick Perry’s jock strap around. Dr. Linder, the doctor who took care of Mrs. Rooks son, committed reckless,negligent homicide. He failed to get a consent for the procedure, he failed to tell David the possible consequences of the procedure,he failed to do his homework on David’s medical history because he was motivated by greed compounded by his arrogance. Dr. Linder proceeded with a a procedure against Mrs. Rooks wishes. She knew about David’s medical condition because she was his care giver and knew more about Muscular Dystrophy than most doctors and nurses in the medical field. She knew an elective procedure was not worth the end result at this particular point in time. She was right. If the procedure Dr. Linder wanted to do wanted to do was that of a life and death decision, Ms. Rooks would not be on this Blog. Life and death procedures are exactly what they are. There are no other alternatives except the end result, and taking a chance is better than not doing anything. David was not a candidate for any elective procedure because of the nature of his medical issues. Dr. Linder proceeded with the procedure in an underhanded manner by doing it anyway, to such a degree, that he even rescheduled it knowing Ms. Rooks would not be around to stop it. Re-scheduling was done at the doctor’s request. (There were no emergencies or back up exams that needed to be done that bumped David off his schedule).

    Is justice in Texas no longer available for citizens and only the rich and powerful can buy it?

  13. jc says:
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    Cilla and Rooks: Thank you for providing a more complete explanation of your problems with the medical system. Cilla, I can think of no legitimate reason why your husband was left in the ER with nothing done. I have NEVER seen that happen. In fact, in the decades I have worked, if a test is ordered and not reported to the ER in a couple of hours, the ER is on the phone asking where the results are. Rooks, you are right in that a muscular dystrophy pt requires additional consideration before a procedure. I don’t understand why an elective procedure would be done without informed consent and I would not do it. In this case, even if you had given informed consent, I would require doing the endoscopy in the hospital with an anesthesiologist doing the anesthesia. For whatever reasons, no one sat down with either of you and explained what went on, which I think in unacceptable. But there is another side, to the medical/malpractice issue which I am going to post.

  14. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. JC – You’re comments are concerning to me on a number of levels.

    First, your initial comment came at 7:49 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Other comments you have submitted came on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. These posts are telling about your priorities. While I appreciate your readership, I would hope you have something better to do with your family and friends at Christmas and New Year’s Eve than leave comments around the internet.

    Second, your comments are filled with misstatements and untruths. Plaintiff’s attorneys do not lose 80% of their cases at trial. If that were the case, there would be no plaintiff’s attorneys left as they could not withstand the financial devastation that accompanies a trial loss 80% of the time (most could not withstand more than 2 or 3 trial losses in a short period of time). Moreover, this “statistic” ignores the fact than more than 90% of cases settle — that is the parties negotiate and reach an agreement as to the value of the case without a trial. That means more than 90% of all cases have such significant merit that the parties mutually agree to resolve their differences outside of court. An open civil justice system is crucial to provide an incentive to settle for both plaintiffs and defendants. Without the possibility of victory and/or defeat at trial, there is virtually no incentive for parties to negotiate their claims to arrive at a settlement both sides can accept.

    Attorneys are regulated by state bar associations. While the ABA proposes model rules, it is up to each state bar association to implement the ABA suggested rules or to implement its own. Bar associations do a very good job of regulating our profession. Courts and judges do a very good job of identifying meritless litigation and offering defendants an opportunity to be free of frivolous lawsuits through a motion to dismiss or summary judgment.

    There are not two victims in medical malpractice cases. There is one. A driver who runs a red light and smashes into another vehicle and injures or kills its occupants is not a “victim”. He is a tortfeasor. A doctor who negligently injures or kills a patient is not a “victim”, he is a tortfeasor. Our system of justice ensures that those who injure or kill another accept responsibility for their conduct and return the actual victim to as nearly whole as our legal system can provide.

    Our civil justice system and open access to courts is a fundamental civil right endowed by our Creator and included by our Founding Fathers in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is a fundamental right that cannot be usurped and should be not lighted waived.

    Our society exists based upon rules that require responsibility for one’s actions, whether that person is a doctor, lawyer, teacher, law enforcement, or even the government. Without an open civil justice system, the weak are preyed upon by the strong and the poor are preyed upon by the rich. Our civil justice system is our great equalizer where citizens can stand up and say “I have been wronged” and are provided an equal playing field with the most powerful people and corporations in the world.

    These rules should not be changed lightly. These rules should apply to all. There should not be different rules for a select few.

    Third, you seem to acknowledge that medical mistakes occur – admitting that medical care described in other comments was “unacceptable”. Yet you refuse to acknowledge that such negligence can and should be addressed by courts. You are correct that “to err is human.” That is precisely the reason that we need a strong civil justice system to ensure that when one errs he or she accepts responsibility and is held accountable for such conduct.

  15. jc says:
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    Brett: According to Scott E. Diamond, a malpractice attorney in Pennsylvania, in 2009, 154 malpractice cases were tried and 23 results were for the plaintiff, for an 85% FAILURE RATE FOR THE PLAINTIFF ATTORNEYS. Similar statistics are common throughout the USA. 70% of cases brought against doctors are dropped with no payment pre-trial. What these two statistics say is that there are an awful lot of frivolous malpractice suits brought in the USA which have no merit and our court system takes forever to dispose of them.
    There is no excuse for suing a doctor for 6 years for an innocent typographical mistake made on a report which the doctor was not responsible for and for which the report made no difference in the patients outcome. There is no excuse for suing a doctor without an affidavit of merit. Doctors that get sued for these things are as much victims, as the malpractice patient and the doctors have no legal recourse. So a doctor being sued frivolously is a victim just like the patient. He has to go thru the malpractice suit. He has to shut down his office and pay his office staff, he has to sit in the court room listening to the plaintiff attorney disparge his reputation. And that doctor gets nothing when he is found innoncent of malpractice, which ocurrs 80% of the time. The ABA has done a terrible job policing the legal profession. In medicine, to get hospital privileges to do surgery or read x-rays or read pathology slides, you have to show residency training and certification. In Law, from what I see, you pass the state bar licensing exam and the next day, you can file a malpractice lawsuit. If the ABA were running hospitals, like they monitor lawyers, they would let interns do neurosurgery! Cilla Mitchell and Rooks both should know what happened to their loved ones. If they got a malpractice attorney to take their cases and proceed, it would take 3-4 years before they would find out. The current system is not used in any other country but the USA and is unacceptable. Cilla and Rooks should be able to take their claims to a medical court and have the claims impartially reviewed and the doctors should be reviewed. It would take 6 months to gather the information and the agony would be over. That is what Patients for Fair Compensation is all about.
    Brett, I feel that there may be financial motivations from attorneys more than civic reasons for continuing the current malpractice system.

  16. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. JC – you wrote: “Brett, I feel that there may be financial motivations from attorneys more than civic reasons for continuing the current malpractice system.”

    You’re wrong. I don’t practice medical malpractice law. I have no financial stake in the medical malpractice debate. I have a huge stake in seeing that our constitution is upheld; that wrongdoers are held accountable; and that everyone – including doctors – play by the same rules on an equal playing field.

    You write as if malpractice victims file only frivolous lawsuits. That is simply not correct. You have not provided source links for your “statistics” so I have no way of verifying your data, but it is hard to believe that 70% of malpractice suits are settled without trial and without any payment on behalf of the defendant physician. Here’s why: attorneys who represent injured people are not paid by the hour. Lawyers who represent people are only paid if they win. Not only that, but lawyers who represent people must finance the costs of the litigation – meaning the lawyer pays the filing fee, pays for medical records, pays for treating physician time, pays for expert witness time, pays for depositions, pays for travel, pays for evidentiary diagnostic tests, pays for trial exhibits, pays for mediation fees, etc. Lawyers who represent people are only reimbursed those expenses if there is a recovery – that is, if there is a settlement or a jury verdict that is executed and paid.

    The simple fact is that attorneys who file frivolous claims do not stay attorneys (or at least plaintiff’s attorneys) very long.

    You also said that “Cilla and Rooks should be able to take their claims to a medical court and have the claims impartially reviewed and the doctors should be reviewed.” What do you think happens at trial? Each side prevents evidence. The judge and jury hear the evidence impartially and render judgment in the form of a verdict. If it is clear the case has no merit, the defendant may be released from liability in the form of a dismissal, summary judgment, or directed verdict.

    Dr. JC – your arguments and your reasoning are circular, contradictory, and illogical – according to your “statistics” on the one hand, there is a malpractice crisis requiring complete overhaul of the civil justice system while on the other medical malpractice claims are at an all-time low and doctors win 85% of the cases.

    You will not convince me of your position and I will not convince you.

    Let me end my participation in this particular debate by saying: Doctors should be held accountable under the same rules as everyone else. Dr. JC, “I feel that there may be financial reasons from [doctors] more than civic reasons for [abandoning] the current malpractice system.”

  17. jc says:
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    Brett: I do not believe that our court system impartially adjudicates malpractice cases at all and a lot of those who have experience with it agree. Judges may be nice people and wear black robes but they are incapable of making basic medical decisions. They will let outside “experts” with no medical knowledge or support say outrageous things in their court room for the plaintiff. Judges have no way of knowing whether what a plaintiff’s expert says is patently false or not. Much of this “expert” testimony is little more than fraud so the “expert” can collect a big fee from the plaintiff. These people have no accountability. The plaintiff’s lawyer may lose the case and some money, but he can’t be sued by the defendant (innocent) doc for frivolous litigation. You are also wrong when you say that doctors should be held to the same rules as everyone else. Well, brokers, worker’s comp cases, and utility cases are all arbitration cases. Doctors are held to higher standards than all these groups including lawyers! Yep, check out “loss of a chance” a doctrine in law adopted in several states that significantly changes the causation portion of malpractice law and only applies to health care professionals. I want medical courts because I want to cut out the lawyers (plaintiff and defense) and the years that it takes to resolve a legitimate claim so that the patient and doctor can get on with their lives. New Zealand has a system which throws these cases in with worker’s compensation and it works for them. . .why not for us? P.S. My earlier comment about how derelict the ABA is regarding monitoring lawyers is right on because you did not answer that point. So the point is worth repeating – -If the ABA monitored hospitals and doctors like they monitor lawyers, they would let interns do neurosurgery.

  18. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. JC – as I said before, you’re so off base it is pointless to continue this discussion. You ignore logic and evidence to further your delusion. Have a good evening.

  19. jc says:
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    Brett: Actually you are the one ignoring reality. The statistics that I have given you are right on, even from a plaintiff’s attorney. You have said, with all the costs, if plaintiff lawyers filed frivolous lawsuits, they wouldn’t be doing it for long. You are also right. There is a good plaintiff’s law firm in Ohio and their lawsuits are right on and they win a high percentage – -they are experienced and know what they are doing. But most lawyers don’t have the expertise to handle malpractice suits just like most doctors don’t have the expertise to do neurosurgery. It is these inexperienced lawyers that file the frivolous lawsuits. The 70% of cases that are dropped and the 80% of malpractice cases that are lost are because of incompetent inexperienced lawyers that should not have taken the case in the first place. When these inexperienced lawyers do take a legitimate case they screw it up for their client most of the time. I once saw a doctor screw up a case really badly and a young woman died! During the deposition, the doctor lied. A competent lawyer would have won millions. This case was dismissed because of an incompetent plaintiff attorney. This is why I support medical courts because the American Bar Association will do nothing to prevent incompentent plaintiff attorneys from filing these malpractice suits.

  20. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. JC – You continue to ignore reality and expose your misunderstanding. As I stated before, the American Bar Association does not regulate the practice of law. Each state bar association regulates the practice of that state’s attorneys.

    The ABA, however, does promulgate model rules which are routinely adopted by state bar associations. One such rule is Rule 4-1.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Model Rule 4-1.1 requires that “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”

    State bar associations are very good about regulating such conduct. Judges may evaluate the lawyer’s performance during litigation and require the lawyer to associate more experienced counsel if the lawyer fails to competently represent his or her client. The client may disengage an incompetent attorney and report such incompetence to the state bar for disciplinary action, which is taken very seriously by state bar associations.

    There is simply no basis for your assertion that the problem is inexperienced or incompetent lawyers. This is simply another attempt to change the subject. Even if this were the case, it would not justify rejecting the greatest civil justice system in history — it would simply require additional oversight of attorneys by courts or bar associations.

    You further undercut your original complaint by admitting that cases with merit are sometimes lost. Just because a plaintiff loses a case does make the case frivolous.

    This is another example of your circular and contradictory reasoning. First you talk about caps on damages or elimination of hedonic damages. Then you blame the legal system. Then you changed the subject to talk about workers’ compensation and banking. Then you wanted medical courts. Now, the problem is incompetent lawyers.

    When one argument fails, you simply try to move the goal posts.

    Perhaps the problem is not the Founding Fathers. Perhaps the problem is not the 7th Amendment right to civil justice in America. Perhaps the problem is not the American civil justice system (as opposed to the British, or Australian, or European systems of justice to which you espouse). Perhaps the problem is not judges across the country. Perhaps the problem is not the competency of trial lawyers across the country. Perhaps the problem is not injured victims who have had their lives ruined or prematurely ended. Perhaps the problem is not with the orphaned children or childless parents.

    Perhaps, dare I say, the problem stares at you when you gaze into the mirror.

    I said two comments ago that I would be done with this debate. I am. I’m sure you’ll want the last word, and you may have it.

    Good night, sir.

  21. jc says:
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    Brett: Talking about changing the subject- -in your final analysis you blame me for complaining about the malpractice litigation system, a system which is routinely excoriated by the medical profession, and the general public. Tell me, how often does a judge require more experienced associate legal council? Have you ever seen it happen and if so how often per year. Many clients are poorly educated and simply mad at their doctor – -do they ever complain to the state bar association and does the bar association ever take action, if so how often. I saw a case of gross legal malpractice where the lawyer missed the SOL on two physicians and sued the wrong guy and failed to depose a key witness such that his case was worthless and was thrown out. I never saw any sanctions against that lawyer and the judge refused to allow a countersuit by the innocent doctor. So those sanctions and legal reviews you talk about are a bunch of bu#s#.+. they never occur and are simply on the books so that lawyers, like you, can say, we review lawyers and require that they adequately support the legal system. Have you ever personally called up the state bar association and reported a lawyer who you did not feel was adequately representing his client? You lawyers are all big on accountability, well how about allowing doctors to countersue lawyers for frivolous litigation? You say that my numbers are all wrong and that we have the greatest ligation system on earth. So if plaintiff attorneys file malpractice lawsuits and lose then why shouldn’t the defendant doctor have the right to countersue them for a new cause of action “frivolous litigation”? Come on Brett, don’t you think that lawyers should take accountability just like doctors? Let a jury decide whether the lawsuit was legitimate or not and if not the plaintiff lawyer has to pay the docs lost wages, legal expenses and possibly punitive damages. I bet that would decrease the malpractice cases by 50% overnight. Brett, you say that most suits are meritorious, so allowing a doc to countersue would not be a significant hassle to plaintiff attorneys because they always file meritorious lawsuits. Tonight when you look in the mirror Brett, why don’t you think of my proposal.

  22. Mike Bryant says:
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    Dr Cox, I see you are at it again. So previously you wrote :
    “This fact was obtained from my own personal observations along with the personal experiences of a malpractice attorney who works with my group.”
    So does your legal supervising now include expert witness work for plaintiffs?
    It is interesting how your rants never change, no matter how many times you are shown to be wrong, but the more you write, the more we see behind the initials you lurk behind.

  23. up arrow

    JC is a frequent visitor and never provides any substance to back up his facts.

    JC, you mentioned you had “never seen” someone left in the ER. Now you have: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25475759/ns/health-health_care/t/caught-tape-hospital-patient-left-die/

  24. jc says:
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    Bill: I gotta say, in my personal experience I have never seen a patient neglected in ER and left to die. Thank God, Cilla’s situation and the video that you sent happened at St. Elsewhere. But just as astonding as these cases are the dumb cases that I have seen plaintiff attorneys try and present, like the one where the woman sued because her husband had a vasectomy and she got pregnant because the vasectomy was performed on the wrong man!

  25. jc says:
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    Mikey: With the stupid things I have seen plaintiff attorneys do, I think I should write a book, “How to practice malpractice law gooder” to help some of you poor malpractice lawyers. Here are some helpful hints: Interview your expert before you depose him because it can be very embarrassing if the defendant ends up reading your expert witnesses deposition in court because the favorable testimony so favors the defense. Remember that a medical mistake has to actually CAUSE injury to the patient. If a patient has been told to take a drug or have surgery and the patient does not take the drug or have the surgery and has a bad result, the doctor may not be the one to blame. If you don’t have a case after depositions, maybe you should drop the case instead of wasting more money and proceeding to court. These are some helpful hints that may help the legal profession practice law gooder.
    They are on the same level as idiot lawyers saying that to reduce malpractice doctors should practice medicine better and reduce mistakes.

  26. Mike Bryant says:
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    Dr Cox, that is the oddest comment that I have ever seen you write. They really aren’t supported by the experience that you have written about in the past. What was it 20 cases that your clinic has been around? Then there is the two where you lied to the person or maybe their remaining family about your own malpractice. So I think you are making up cases. Instead of explaining why you are working with the Plaintiff attorney in Pennsylvania.

  27. jc says:
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    Mikey: I am not working for the plaintiff attorney who I site in Pennsylvania. The statistics I site from Scott E. Diamond are simply statistics which he wrote on his web site. You are free to look at his web site yourself. In nearly 3 decades of practice, I can think of only 2 patients in which I made a mistake who may have died as a result. The family did not ask me and I did not lie to anyone. So, Mike, have you won every case you have handled and had a good result 100% of the time? With the interactions that I have had with lawyers, I cannot believe that you have never made a legal mistake. When a lawyer loses a malpractice trial, is there a report sent to the state bar association or does the court in any way sanction that lawyer? Do your legal malpractice rates go up if you lose a case? If I lose a malpractice case, it is reported to the National Practicioner’s Data Bank and it stays on my record forever. Does that happen to lawyers who lose a malpractice case?

  28. up arrow

    “When a lawyer loses a malpractice trial, is there a report sent to the state bar association or does the court in any way sanction that lawyer?”

    Yes. In fact, even if you do not lose the malpractice case–or even if there is no malpractice case at all–the state bar can and does sanction attorneys after investigation on so little as a client complaint.

    “Do your legal malpractice rates go up if you lose a case?”

    If you commit malpractice, sure. Seems like you are confusing “losing a case” — that is, a bad outcome for the client — with “committing malpractice.” Just as there can be bad outcomes in medicine that are not the doctor’s fault, there can be bad outcomes in a lawsuit that are not the lawyer’s fault. The client has a right to try and make a colorable claim, and we have juries to decide if they are right (assuming they get past the hurdles of finding an attorney willing to invest in the case, a motion to dismiss, and a motion for summary judgment).

    There really isn’t much difference between the professions on this level, and we aren’t enemies. Only insurance companies benefit from making it seem like we are.

  29. Brett Emison says:
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    Bill – excellent points. And your conclusion is spot on. I don’t have anything against doctors and doctors shouldn’t have a problem with lawyers.

    We all play by the same rules that were set up by the founding fathers. Insurance companies manipulate the system to push for special interest legislation that limits our civil liberties, reduces our freedoms, grows government, and increases our tax burdens… and doesn’t lower health care costs.

  30. jc says:
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    Bill: Actually there is significant difference in liability between the two professions. In Ohio, lawyers do not have to contend with “loss of a chance”. This is a new way the legal profession gets to unfairly screw doctors. The way it works is if a doctor makes a mistake in a case, it used to be that the mistake had to be the proximate cause of the injury. (More than 50%). With “loss of a chance” the Ohio Supreme Court has thrown out 200 years of tort law principal and if the mistake was 1% responsible for the injury, the patient collects. I believe the Ohio Supreme Court screwed up the malpractice law because they were embarrassed with the high rate of failure by the plaintiff attorneys at trial. Ofcourse this rule does not apply to the legal profession, only to doctors.

  31. up arrow

    JC, thank you for your feedback. I note you left unaddressed the issue that insurance companies play doctors and lawyers against each other for outrageous profit (outrageous not because of how much profit they make, but because of their demonstrably-false claims that they must raise rates because of “lawsuit abuse”).

    As to loss of chance doctrine, first, this is not “new,” it was decided in 1996 in Roberts v. Ohio
    Permanente Medical Group, Inc., (1996), 76 Ohio St.3d 483, 484, 668 N.E.2d 480.

    Second, you should be aware that these claims: (1) still require malpractice by the doctor, not just a bad outcome; and (2) the jury still evaluates causation.

    Finally, these can be abhorrent cases well worthy of recovery. Imagine having a child with a deadly disease and a doctor totally fails to diagnose it despite clear indica–that is, commits malpractice–and the doctor’s (insurance company’s) response is, “the disease killed him, not me.” That’s what this is about.

  32. jc says:
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    Bill, thanks for bringing up an interesting point regarding insurance companies. Politicians and plaintiff attorneys always point to insurance companies as the ones driving malpractice rates. I disagree. In Ohio, we capped hedonic damages and I personally saw my malpractice rates drop about 40% in the last 5 years. But this is nothing compared to Texas. Texas has inacted more significant tort reform. A colleague of mine, in the same speciality pays only 40% of what I pay in Ohio for similar malpractice coverage. Now the malpractice companies in Texas are not 250% better at investing the premiums than the malpractice companies in Ohio. So the difference has to be that in Texas they have to have better malpractice laws than in Ohio (At least if you are a practicing physician.) I do not agree with everything malpractice companies do, and they do have a financial stake in the status quo, but I believe their underwriting has to have some relationship to the underlying state malpractice enviornment.

  33. Jc says:
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    Brett: I disagree with your views on “loss of a chance”. This is a gross miscarriage of justice against Ohio physicians visited upon them by the Ohio Supreme Court. For 200 years, tort law required that you have to prove negligence and the negligence has to be the proximate cause of the injury (greater than 50%). This standard applied to doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and every profession. In 1996 4 people in black robes met in the back of the Ohio Supreme Court and arbitrarily changed that standard for one group of professionals – – doctors! Lawyers, like you, can no longer say that they are subject to the same malpractice standards as doctors because as of 1996, doctors have a much higher burden. The OSC did this without any public hearings or comments and made a real mess of tort law. A doctor who admits negligence now has to prove that there was absolutely no chance that the patient would have recovered absent his negligence, which is an impossible standard to meet. Any medical expert, for the defense, will always qualify his remarks on the witness stand stating the there is a remote possiblity that the patient could have recovered absent negligence and by saying that, loss of a chance always comes into play. Wide application of this principal will unfairly tilt the odds in the plaintiff’s favor. Tennessee does not allow “loss of a chance” So two doctors from different states doing the same negligent act with the same results could have drastically different legal outcomes. Loss of a chance produced such bizarre outcomes that it was thrown out by the South Dakota legislature. I have contacted my state representative and the OSMA to get rid of it here in Ohio, too.

  34. jc says:
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    Brett&Mike&Bill: You know that I think the current malpractice litigation system stinks and that I am for medical courts with medical professionals and fast quick justice without the unnecessary legal overhead. One of the problems with the current litigation system is that the medical experts plaintiff lawyers hire are often frauds. This explains why doctors are so infuriated about frivolous lawsuits and lawyers say they never file frivolous lawsuits and why docs win at trial 80% of the time. How is a plaintiff lawyer or judge supposed to know that the medical expert is a fraud? I believe the plaintiff lawyers pay a big fee to these guys and they walk off with the fee regardless of the verdict. I believe that medical experts should be held accountable. Why not enact laws which state that the medical expert is practicing medicine and the defendant doctor could sue him for malpractice if he knowing gives false information? This would help plaintiff attorneys out because they would get truthful expert testimony and would not waste time and money chasing frivolous cases. It would help help docs out in that we would not be frivolously sued. Go ahead plaintiff attorneys, tell me why it is not a good idea to hold medical experts accountable.

  35. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox — You’ve done it. I must admit, you’ve got me on with this. You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT and I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU that it is “a good idea to hold medical experts accountable.”

    In fact, it is such a good idea, legal mechanisms in our civil justice system have been in place for decades to do just that.

    Initially, before an expert witness (medical expert or any other expert) is permitted to testify, the party offering the expert’s testimony must show that the expert’s qualifications and his opinions are appropriate. Different jurisdictions go about this in slightly different ways. The federal courts and some state courts have adopted what is known as the “Daubert” standard. Under the Daubert standard, the expert is not permitted to testify and his opinions are prohibited unless the expert can show (1) whether the theory or technique can be (and has been) tested; (2) whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication; (3) the known or potential rate of error; and (4) the theory’s general acceptance.

    This analysis is not made in a vacuum. The other side is free to challenge the expert’s qualifications and present evidence as to why the expert’s opinions are not supported by the evidence and should not be presented to the jury.

    If, somehow, an expert is permitted to testify and does so falsely, the expert can be prosecuted for perjury and jailed. I practice around the country, but in my home state, “a person commits the crime of perjury if, with the purpose to deceive, he [or she] knowingly testifies falsely to any material fact upon oath or affirmation legally administered, in any official proceeding before any court, public body, notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths.” Mo. Rev. Stat. 575.040. In Missouri, perjury is a felony.

    So yes, this is an area in which we agree. Experts – and all witnesses – should be truthful and should held accountable for offering false testimony. And they are.

  36. jc says:
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    Brett: Thank you for answering the previous question regarding expert witness qualifications and quality of opinion. Unfortunately, “Daubert standards” are rarely enforced by judges. Consequently a lot of “expert witnesses” get thru the system and testify, ususally with disasterous results for the plaintiff.
    I truly think this is the reason why 80% of malpractice cases which go to trial are defense verdicts. My solution to this problem is to make expert witnesses accountable to the defendant doctor for fraudulent testimony. So the “expert” gets up there and provides false testimony, if it results in an adverse verdict for the defendant, then the defendant can sue the medical expert for malpractice. I believe that would be a fair effective way of preventing this legalized fraud from taking place. Please tell me why that would not work.

  37. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox – There’s simply no basis for your assertion that “‘Daubert standards’ are rarely enforced by judges.” Daubuert standards are enforced all the time.

    Perjury is already a felony. There is no further disincentive to lie under oath that would be effected by a civil action on top of that. If the threat of jail is not enough to dissuade a witness from perjury, why would a mere civil claim be any more effective?

    Dr. Cox, there is simply no reason we need to abandon the system created by our founders and followed for more than 200 years. Our founders knew what they were doing.

  38. jc says:
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    Brett: I appreciate your answer. But the facts remain that at trial plaintiff lawyers lose 80% of the time. In was doing a procedure which failed 80% of the time, I would be trying to improve things. So apparently “dauber procedures” and possible perjury do not work very well. So what would be wrong with states passing laws to allow defendant docs to sue medical “experts” if there is an adverse decision because of the “experts” testimony? Why should these medical “experts” get any more immunity from civil litigation than the doctor? I would think that plaintiff attorneys would embrace this idea because they would be more assured of getting accurate testimony and because they could then participate in the litigation process against the “expert witness”. Please, I am asking why I am wrong with this analysis.

  39. Brett Emison says:
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    “Please, I’m asking why I am wrong in this analysis.”

    Dr. Cox — I’ve explained over, and over, and over why your analysis is wrong. Though you keep repeating yourself, it is not necessary for me to do likewise.

    Enjoy your evening.

  40. jc says:
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    Brett, I gotta tell you, if my profession had an 80%
    failure rate, you had better believe that the medical profession would be doing something about it. I am just astounded that you would be happy with an 80% failure rate and call it the “Best System in the World” The fact is that “Daubert standards” have not reduced the 80% failure rate.
    I have never heard of one medical expert witness charged with perjury in the USA during a malpractice trial and I challenge you to produce one example where a planitiff’s medical expert has been sent to jail under those circumstances. (Kind of scraping the bottom on the barrel on that one Brett.) If you cannot come up with any examples the readers can come to their own conclusions about how effective perjury is for medical experts.

  41. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox,

    I believe you when you say “I gotta tell you…” You tell me the same thing over, and over, and over. Just because you repeat something doesn’t make it true. The facts are what the facts are… and the true facts support my position.

    Good night, doc.

  42. jc says:
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    Alright Brett, give me one instance in US history where a plaintiff’s medical expert has been convicted of perjury and sent to jail. Just one, Brett. – -If you cannot give one instance than it never happens and you lied to the blog to get your point across. This is a common occurance, plaintiff lawyers say things like, our state bar regulates us, the judges can appoint co-council if they do not feel that we are properly representing people, etc,etc,etc, and it never ever happens because the bar associations and judges will not enforce those rules. So you might as well not have them. They are just on the books to give plaintiff attorneys talking points so they can justify pillaging society with frivolous litigation.

  43. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox,

    You’re logic is flawed. If I am not aware of an expert being convicted of perjury doesn’t mean it has never happened.

    You asked for one example. Simply Google “medical expert convicted perjury”. In less than 5 seconds, you’ll find this link regarding Dr. Edmund Chein (http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/373/978/474264/). From the reported opinion: “At the instigation of the trial judge in the personal injury trial, he was charged in California state court with four counts of perjury and convicted of three.”

    Wrong again, Dr. Cox. Enjoy your afternoon.

  44. jc says:
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    Brett:Well, I gotta tell you, you did get the part right about Dr.Edmund Chein being a medical expert for a plaintiff and getting convicted of perjury. He was a medical expert in an accident case. He was not a medical expert in a malpractice case. He was the only medical expert convicted of perjury that I found when I googled it. We were discussing malpractice plaintiff medical experts and it does not really seem on point to me. I will leave it to the readers of this blog to determine whether you or I was right about medical experts never getting convicted of perjury.

  45. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox,

    That’s an easy one. You said, “give me one instance in US history where a plaintiff’s medical expert has been convicted of perjury.” I showed you one within 5 seconds. I’m right. Have a good night.

  46. jc says:
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    Brett: When googling your last case I found out that the Supreme Court supports expert witness immunity from civil liability. So a plaintiff attorney’s medical expert witness could get up on the stand and state that the “moon is made of green cheese” and collect a fee and go on his way. There is no accountability for medical expert witnesses, it is all free money. Judges will throw up there hands and say, “I’m a judge, how am I supposed to know what is correct or incorrect expert testimony”. This is a basically unfair system and one of the reasons I favor medical courts instead of the current legal system.

  47. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox,

    Wrong again. Again refuted in less than a minute on Google.

    While, perhaps, there may be civil immunity under the common law, “[i]f a witness lies on the stand or in deposition, the witness may be prosecuted for the crime of perjury. All witnesses at all times, irrespective of immunity claims, are subject to perjury charges if they lie in sworn testimony.” Edward P. Richards and Charles Walter, 19 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine #2, 107-109 found at LSU Law Center’s Medical and Public Health Law Site (http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/ieee/ieee33.htm).

    In addition, some states (including Louisiana since at least 2002), permit a malpractice claim against an expert witness for negligent preparation for trial. (http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/evidence/Marrogi.htm)

    Good night, doc.

  48. jc says:
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    Brett you have said earlier that you do not handle malpractice cases and I believe you. In my experience no prosecutor will ever take a malpractice case and prosecute the expert witness. That is far far out there. Theoretically it maybe could happen, but criminal prosecutors would always refuse to prosecute. This gets back to your idea of accountability, you want to hold the doctor accountable. So when the doctor wins his case, as he does 80% of the time, who can the doctor sue to recover the time and money that he has lost because he has had to close down his office and now his malpractice rates have increased? Accountability is a two way street and I think the medical expert and the plaintiff attorney should be liable for those loses.

  49. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox,

    Again, you’re just simply incorrect. I showed you the citation to experts being criminally prosecuted and convicted of felony perjury, but you insist that “in your experience” a prosecutor will never prosecute an expert witness. It doesn’t matter if it’s a medical malpractice case, product liability case, mass tort case, legal malpractice case, or simple negligence case. If a witness lies, it’s perjury and he or she will be prosecuted.

    As for the rest of your comment, if you want those things, the answer is simple. Move to England, where they have the English and all the things that inevitably go along with it, like socialized medicine, higher taxes, and fewer freedoms.

    As for me, I like it here just fine. I’ll take the American Rule.

    Good night, doc.

  50. jc says:
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    Brett: The statistics don’t lie. Plaintiff lawyers lose 80% of cases, thousands of malpractice cases are filed each year, yet you can only site one perjury case which was not involved in malpractice where there was a conviction. This is a theoretical possibilty which has no practical application. A problem in the USA system is that judges will not enforce the law against plaintiff attorneys or their clients. American Democracy is based upon making things better for future generations. That is why I am strongly in favor of junking the current medical malpractice system in favor of medical courts with swift justice and adjudication of cases and get the damned lawyers and judges out of the system, they have no medical knowledge and only mess things up. In Texas, they have gotten rid of a lot of this by changing their tort laws and doctors have come into the state and lawyers have left. That is why Texas is number one in job creation.

  51. Brett Emison says:
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    Dr. Cox,

    I know why you think you’re correct. You’ve offered the same explanation over and over and over again. But your presumptions about the system are simply incorrect. Just because you repeat the same mantra over and over and over, doesn’t make you any less wrong than when you started.

    I’m not willing to turn my back on our Founding Fathers, patriots who died defending this nation, and more than 200 years of history to scrap the greatest civil justice system known to man and replace it with the European-style English Rule. If you want to live under an English Rule, you know where you can move.

  52. jc says:
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    Brett we live in a global economy. Our legal system is an oddity which penalizes someone because they have been accused of a tort in court. You lose because you have been accused, regardless of the outcome. Ofcourse you support that system because it supports the lavish lifestyle of plaintiff attorneys who have no accountability to the doctor who has been falsely accused. For some odd reason, you do not feel that the doctor who has been falsely accused and dragged thru a malpractice trial is a victim. Anyone who has gone thru that emotional tragedy would disagree with you. I feel that the courts are strongly biased against doctors and we still win 80% of the time. Finally, plaintiff attorneys lose 80% of the time and when they do win, it takes years of litigation and the plaintiff attorneys then grab 50-55% of the award. No other industry in America has such a dismal track record. It has to be changed.

  53. Brett Emison says:
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    So, Dr. Cox, this is about money to you. Not justice. Not equality. Not freedom. And certainly not about accountability.

    As with many of your beliefs, that you “feel. courts are strongly biased against doctors” simply does not make it true.

    You may feel that the sky is yellow and not blue, but that does not make you correct.

    I don’t support the justice system because of some lifestyle. How can you say such a thing? You don’t know me. You haven’t seen my practice or met my clients. I take great pride in helping my clients – none of whom asked for their fate. All of whom had their lives stolen from them by someone else’s fault.

    You talk about “lavish lifestyles of plaintiff attorneys.” You know how I know your statistics are wrong: If plaintiff’s lawyers lost 80% there wouldn’t be any left. The would all be flat broke. You can’t lose 4-out-of-5 cases and feed the cat, much less live a “lavish lifestyle”. Take a step back and consider what you’re saying. A medical malpractice case takes tens – or hundreds – of thousands of dollars for a plaintiff to litigate through trial. That money is advanced – and risked – by the lawyer. If the plaintiff loses the case, not only does the lawyer not get paid a fee, the lawyer also loses the hundreds of thousands of dollar advanced to fund the case.

    You don’t have to worry about bad plaintiff’s lawyers, they don’t stick around too long.

    I’ve told you why I support our civil justice system. It’s the best the world has ever known. Our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. Our Founding Fathers fought and died for our civil justice system and believed it to be the cornerstone of a free society and limited government.

  54. jc says:
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    I would hope the US justice system was not built so that John Edwards and Bill Larech could build new castles. There is no difference between the biasis of courts with judges who went thru law school and support their buddies and medical courts with docs who have buddies who are defendants. Judges always favor plaintiff attorneys because they supply re-election money. The only difference between medical courts and our current legal system is that patients and doctors will not have to go thru legal hell to get a settlement and more settlement money will go to the patient instead of greedy plaintiff attorneys.That is why I support medical courts and with Obamacare, that is where we will be going.

  55. jc says:
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    Brett, you said that if plaintiff attorneys lost 80% of the time they would be flat broke. Well, you are wrong. Plaintiff attorneys may not win often but when they do, they win big. A cerebral palsy baby is good for $8-10 million when the sympathy factor is added in. Win one of those a year and scoop up $4-5 million in legal fees and you can easily afford to file 20-30 other malpractice suits and try and extort money from some doc and his sucker malpractice company. That kind of money also pays off lots of Democratic politicians and judges.

  56. Brett Emison says:
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    “A cerebral palsy baby is good for $8-10 million when the sympathy factor is added in.”

    Dr. Cox – I have tried to be respectful in our discussion. I’ve tried to reason with you. I’ve cited you facts and studies that refute each of your arguments. I’ve been patient with your circular and ridiculous logic. But this quote from your latest comment shows your true colors and, frankly sir, you disgust me. How dare you.

    With respect to your example, that baby is a human being. His parents and siblings are human beings. That baby’s normal life, future, accomplishments, marriage, children – everything stolen from him. His parents lives turned upside down. And you reduce this child to dollars and cents and say he’s worth $x “when the sympathy factor is added in.”

    I pray to God that you never know the suffering those families go through ever day.

    As for me and you, I’m done with this discussion. You sicken me.

  57. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    jc, I have refrained from making comments between you and Mr.Emison because I am NOT a lawyer or a doctor and know when to keep my opinions to myself due to my considerable lack of knowledge in the subject matter.

    But, as a nurse, I can tell you, describing a baby or any baby with chronic and debilitating health issues as leverage for gain, is despicable.

  58. jc says:
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    Oh get off your high horse, Brett, the monitary aspect of this is exactly how plaintiff attorneys look at things. Cilla can even attest to the fact that no lawyer would take her husband’s case because it did not “pay”. Where were the alturistic attorneys in that case. Why didn’t those attorneys take the case for free so that Cilla would have some piece of mind. If you truly “cared” about the patient, you would support medical courts instead forcing the patient thru years of legal hell to receive partial compensation. Plaintiff attorneys are always looking for that big “score” so they can finance further malpractice litigation. Who knows, they may hit the jackpot again. Over this page, I have given you real examples of screw ups by plaintiff attorneys, I have demonstrated total dereliction by the American Bar Association in establishing training standards for malpractice attorneys, this is reflected in an astounding 80% trial failure rate, a failure rate which is unmatched in American industry. Medical science has proven that most cerebral palsy incidents occur in utero and there is nothing the doctor can do to prevent the tragic outcome. But charliton lawyers like Sokolov Law come in to make a quick score off of someone else’s misery. Your hypocracy disgusts me. I pray to god that you are never sued unfairly and forced to go thru legal hell.

  59. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    All being said, I realize I will never get accountability or justice through the judicial system. This is a given. Took long enough to realize this considering I always thought the common man would at least have the law behind him when in the right.

    How very naive and misinformed many of us are, including myself, especially when it came down to “nut cuttin” time and one had to navigate through an endless maze of silent walls leading nowhere, much like the poor hamster on his wheel by himself, just running, without an end.

    But there is an end. There is always an end, especially when the hamster finally realizes he needs to get off that wheel.

    Now the hamster will find his own brand of justice and finally get peace of mind.

  60. jc says:
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    Cilla: There are a few bad doctors out there. But the hypocracy from plaintiff lawyers is hard to stomach. On these pages, I have heard the plaintiff attorneys scream about how unfair medical courts would be. But their courts, presided over by a “judge” who is a lawyer who is supposed to be impartial because he wears a black robe, well that is what we fought the Revolutionary War for. Plaintiff lawyers want everyone to be held accountable but when they lose 80% of their cases, that accountability should not extend to them. The losers are the doctors and you, the patient. I used a poor example with the child born with cerebral palsy, but who really benefits from years of legal hell, the patient, the doctor or the plaintiff attorneys. We need to be working to a more just system which compensates patients who have been truly harmed and disenfranchises plaintiff attorneys.