The patient claims her doctor violated the basic standards of medical care.
She claims that as a result of her doctor's carelessness, she suffered significant and permanent injury.
The defense brings in an expert to dispute the patient's claims.
The defense's medical expert claims their doctor did absolutely nothing wrong.
He also claims that whatever injuries the patient is claiming are not as bad as they say.
The defense lawyer questions his medical expert for two hours.
His testimony sounds convincing.
If that's all you were to listen to, you might actually believe the defense's story that they did nothing wrong.
Their medical expert sounds confident.
The defense's medical expert has testified many times before. He knows his way around the courtroom.
Things don't look good for the injured victim and her lawyer.
It's now time for cross examination.
The plaintiffs attorney stands up to begin his withering cross-examination.
This is often the most dramatic part of a trial.
We have been conditioned to believe, after watching TV shows and movies that it's relatively easy for an opposing attorney to make the person on the witness stand turn into quivering Jell-O.
Really good and experienced medical malpractice trial lawyers will always ask the following question...
“Doctor, tell me what records you reviewed in order to reach your conclusions.”
Why would it be important for an attorney to ask an opposing expert what specific records he reviewed?
It's critically important to have a clear understanding of what documents this physician reviewed in order to reach his opinions and conclusions.
The reason is that if the doctor's record review was incomplete, that might shade or alter his opinion of this case.
The argument is that if the doctor had been presented and taken the time to read all of the necessary and relevant records, then his opinions and conclusions would likely be different.