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How Many Exhibits Can I Use at Your Medical Malpractice Trial?

You sued your doctor.
For medical malpractice.
For causing you harm.

Your doctor denies all your claims.
Your lawsuit proceeds forward.
Discovery proceeds forward.

Pretrial question and answer sessions known as depositions take place.

Finally, after two long years, your case finally comes up for trial.
You're sitting in the back of the courtroom observing.
You're watching the jury get bored seeing me introduce one exhibit after the next.

It's one medical record after the next.
Another exhibit.
Another document.

Another anatomical drawing.
Yet another medical record.
This goes on continuously.

You're wondering if this ever stops.
Actually, you're wondering if there's a maximum number of exhibits I am allowed during your trial.

The answer is no, there's no limit to how many trial exhibits I can use.
Let's get back to basics.
What's an exhibit anyway?

It could be anything.
A document.
A photo.
An anatomical model.

It's anything that will help the jury understand what our witness is talking about.
It's anything that will help the jury understand our claims.
"Dr. Jones, please tell the jury what is contained in this medical record I've just handed you."

"Dr. Alpert, please explain to the jury what part of the anatomy that drawing represents. Are you familiar with this drawing? Have you used it to teach other doctors about the anatomy? Is the anatomy in that drawing relevant to this patient's claim and her injury? Tell us how..."

Keep in mind that when we use an exhibit, we have to identify it for the court stenographer.
It's for the benefit of anyone reading the trial transcript after the trial is over, such as an appellate court, if the case is appealed.
The judge will require that we use a system of numbering and lettering to identify a particular exhibit.

"Doctor, I'm showing you an anatomical model that we have marked as Plaintiff's Exhibit #1. Can you please tell the jury what this is?"

"Mr. Gonzalez, take a look at this paper, which is marked as Plaintiff's Exhibit #10. Is that your signature on that page?"
Interestingly in New York civil trials, any time the plaintiff (the injured patient's attorney) uses an exhibit or introduces an exhibit into evidence, the court will use numbers to identify those exhibits. When the defense uses an exhibit, it will be marked with letters, beginning with the letter A.

As you're sitting in the back of the courtroom watching your trial, the answer to your question is no. There's no limit and no maximum number of exhibits an attorney can use. He can use 50 exhibits. 100 exhibits. 500 exhibits. As many or as few as he needs to support your case.

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


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer