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CROSS EXAMINATION: WHY ASK DOCTOR ONLY SHORT LEADING QUESTIONS?

In a medical malpractice case here in New York, why would I ask the doctor that you have sued at trial only short leading questions? You want to know the answer? Come join me for a moment as I share with you some terrific information. Hi, I'm Gerry Oginski. I'm a New York medical malpractice and personal injury attorney practicing law in the state of New York. When I question the doctor that you have sued and now he is on the witness stand, I will have an opportunity to question him as if it is cross examination. In all likelihood, I will be the one who calls him to the witness stand.

                                    Something you should know is that typically when an attorney calls a witness to the witness stand, they're basically vouching for that witnesses' credibility except in the case of a medical malpractice matter where I am now calling to the witness stand the doctor that we have sued. Now, the law allows me the opportunity to question this doctor as if he is a hostile witness. Why is that? It's because he truly is an adversarial witness. He cannot be expected to give favorable testimony, especially since we have sued him.

The law allows me the opportunity to question him as if this is cross examination. I'm only going to be asking the doctor short, leading questions. I never want to give the doctor an opportunity to go ahead and explain and say, "Doctor, tell us what happened? Doctor, tell us more. Tell us exactly what happened," and now that gives the doctor a wide open opportunity to turn to the jury and begin telling his story on and on and on, he can go on for as long as he wants. Instead, I want to be able to tell my client's story to the jury through short leading questions.

"Doctor, isn't it true that on this date my client, Mrs. Jones came into our office with the following complaint?" "Yes." "Now, on that day, you examined her, isn't that true?" "Yes." "Your examination consisted of doing A, B and C, isn't that true? "Yes." "During the course of your examination you found the following, one, two and three. Isn't that true?" "Yes." "You determined that you were going to treat my client in the following manner. Isn't that right? You were going to prescribe certain medications for her, isn't that correct?" "Yes."

"It was your intention to have her return to the office in two weeks time, isn't that right?" "Yes." What am I doing? I'm asking short, leading questions that simply call for a yes, no, I don't know or I can't answer that question. I never, ever want to give the doctor the opportunity to explain. You should know that when I'm done questioning the doctor, his own lawyer will then get up and now the doctor will have an opportunity to explain everything because his defense attorney will now go ahead and say, "Doctor, tell us what happened on this first visit. Tell us what happened next. Why were you doing this? Why did you prescribe this treatment?"

Why do I share this quick information with you? I share it with you just to give you an insight and an understanding into what goes on in a medical malpractice trial here in the state of New York. I understand and I recognize your watching this video because you likely have questions or concerns about your own particular matter. If your matter did happen here in New York and you're thinking about bringing a law suit and you have questions that need to be answered, what I invite you to do is pick up the phone and call me. I can answer your legal questions.

This is something I do every single day and I'd love to chat with you. You can reach me at 516-487-8207 or by email at [email protected] That's it for today's video, I'm Gerry Oginski. Have a fantastic day.

To learn even more, I invite you to watch the video below...