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Trial by Ambush: The defense lawyer flips out when I call a medical expert to the witness stand in this medical malpractice case claiming that I didn't give him timely notice I was calling this witness.

In a medical malpractice case in New York, did you know that I have an obligation to notify my opponent that I'm bringing in certain medical experts to testify on our behalf?

This is a legal requirement.

I have to provide my adversary with notice that I have retained a board-certified medical expert who will be supporting our claim at trial.

What exactly is notice?

Notice is simply notifying my adversary that I have an expert coming in to testify.

More importantly, how much time do I actually have to give my adversary to tell him I have an expert lined up ready to testify?

Is one day sufficient notice?

Do I need to give him 60 days notice?

Each judge has their own quirky rules to establish when an attorney must notify the other side that they have retained an expert.

It is never a good idea to notify your opponent at the 11th hour, immediately before he is scheduled to come into court and testify.

It is a very risky maneuver to hold off until the night before and claim any type of excuse about why you did not provide this information earlier.

A judge has the option to fine and sanction an attorney who disregards his court rules.

One extreme option the judge has for an attorney who violates this rule is to simply prevent the expert from testifying.

That could have a devastating effect on that lawyer's case.

Some judges even require you to notify your opponent before your case is put on trial calendar.

These notice requirements are designed to prevent trial by ambush.

Trial by ambush simply means that while the case is on trial, witnesses are called to testify and your opponent never has an opportunity to do any research or prepare a proper and thorough cross-examination.

This puts the opponent at a disadvantage.

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


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer