"Doctor, when was the last time you testified on behalf of an injured patient?"
Here's the scenario...
This is a medical malpractice trial.
Here in New York.
The patient claims her doctor was careless.
The patient argues that her doctor's carelessness caused her injury.
The patient claims her injuries are permanent.
The defense disagrees.
The defense disagrees with virtually everything we are claiming.
The defense claims that their doctor did absolutely nothing wrong.
The defense argues that even if their doctor did something wrong, it was not the reason why you suffered injury.
The defense also argues that even if their doctor did something wrong and caused you harm, your injuries really are not as bad as you claim to be.
During the course of your trial, the defense brings in a medical expert to explain to the jury why they believe your doctor did nothing wrong. After being questioned by his own attorney for a while, it's my turn to cross examine this medical expert.
One of the things I'm trying to show this jury is that this medical expert, hired by the defense, is biased.
I'm trying to show the jury he is being less than truthful.
I need the jury to understand that this doctor only reviews medical records on behalf of doctors and hospitals.
I need the jury to understand that this doctor only will come in and testify on behalf of a doctor or hospital who has been sued.
My research reveals that this doctor has never testified on behalf of an injured patient. Ever.
In the span of 25 years, the only testifying he has done has been on behalf of doctors and their insurance companies.
The jury needs to know this.
The jury needs to know why he has never testified on behalf of an injured patient.
The jury needs to know that this doctor may be biased.
The first time I asked this question to the defense's medical expert, I was blown away by his response.
I thought by asking this question, the doctor would have to admit that he has never reviewed a case on behalf of an injured patient.
Instead, the expert's response took me by surprise.
Instead of simply admitting that he never testified for an injured patient, he turned the tables on me quickly.
He said" I've never been asked by any plaintiff's attorney to review a case on behalf of an injured patient."
There was no way for me to prove or disprove that statement.
Another answer I received from a medical expert when I asked a similar question was "I have often reviewed cases on behalf of an injured patient, but have not yet been called to testify on their behalf."
Again, this makes the medical expert seem less biased.
There are some medical experts who, for whatever reason, refuse to review records and testify on behalf of the other side.