Articles Tagged with law

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

I watched the first episode of “Monday Mornings,” the new television series on TNT created by David E. Kelley. Mr. Kelley has created or been involved in various series including Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Boston Public, Chicago Hope, Doogie Howser, M.D., LA Law and Picket Fences. This show involves five surgeons in a hospital and explores their professional and personal lives.

The reason I am writing a post on this episode is based on a scene involving peer review of one doctor’s case. The most common educational setting for this review and discussion is known as Morbidity and Mortality (“M&M”). This is where physicians discuss other doctors’ behavior or analyze an adverse event. The information gleaned during M&M is not discoverable in most states. The reason is to have open communication and enable doctors to learn from their mistakes and try to prevent future ones. Doctors are going to be less forthcoming with regard to errors they have made if what they say can be used in a medical malpractice case.

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Written by Patricia I. James**

Yesterday, I attended a Case Management Conference (“CMC”) (See Post # 3) in Riverside. I drove there. I know I should have made a telephonic appearance as did the two opposing counsel. However, it is so invigorating to get up at 5:00 a.m., hit stop and go traffic on the I-215, breathe in the exhaust fumes and just barely make it to court at 8:30 a.m. Nothing like that adrenaline rush.

Two things occurred at the hearing which were interesting, at least, to me. First, there was actually a court reporter at the hearing in Riverside. Although I have only attended two or three hearings in San Diego County since the cessation of court reporters, each time it has seemed strange to not see them. Now it seemed odd to see one. I guess the ax has not come down yet in Riverside County.

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Discretion: The only thing the following three articles have in common is that I read all of them on the same day.  The first two you will probably find sickening and the third should hopefully make you feel better.

Article 1: Lawyer for Newtown Shooting Survivor Seeks to File $100 Million Lawsuit, Published By Mary Ellen Godin, Reuters

Irv Pinsky, a New Haven-based attorney, has filed a claim with the Connecticut Claims Commission requesting permissionto file a lawsuit on behalf of an unidentified client, referred to as Jill Doe. (It appears that Connecticut, along with California and probably every other state, requires that a claim be filed to request permission to file a lawsuit against the government).

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Written by : Patricia I. James **

Summary: You have medical insurance. You go to the emergency room because you need immediate medical care. It is your understanding that the doctor will accept whatever your insurance pays. Well, in somewhere between ten and fifty cases, Dr. Jeannette Martello did not and instead went after the patients for the full amount.

The source of today’s Post is an article entitled “State Suing Doctor Over Billing Tactics” published by Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times. It states that Jeannette Martello is a plastic surgeon who worked under contract to provide on-call emergency services at Huntington Memorial Hospital’s (“HMH”) emergency room.

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Please, do not buy a pet. Adopt a pet.

Written by: Patricia I. James**

My eighth Post concerned taking care of your health and my next one was about my colonoscopy. My last Post was about veterinary malpractice and now this Post is about, among other things, a puppy lemon law. Time will tell if these follow-ups are going to be a trend.

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Take charge of your health care!

Written by Patricia I. James**

Today I present to you Walker v. Sonora Regional Medical Center. 202 Cal.App.4th 948 (2012). The basic issue was whether a hospital is liable due to its failure to notify a woman that she was a carrier of cystic fibrosis.

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Who said judges can’t be funny? Not me.

Written by:  Patricia I. James**

I refer you to the case of Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corporation, Inc., (S.D. Tex. 2001) 147 F.Supp. 2d 668. Granted, it does not involve medical malpractice. Further, the opinion was written by now former U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent who, according to various sources on the Internet, is serving a 33- month prison term which commenced June 15, 2009. Nonetheless, it is one of the funniest opinions I have ever read. And, having been asked this before, yes, it is a real case. I am just so glad that I was not one of the attorneys he lambasted.

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If you have any dirty laundry to air, make sure it’s first aired in your attorney’s office; not in court.

Written by:  Patricia I. James**

A motion in limine (pronounced limb-a-knee) is a pleading whereby counsel for each party tries to keep the jury from hearing something that they may never forget. Basically, it is a motion to keep from having to unring the bell which, of course, is impossible. Once you hear a bell ring, you cannot unhear it.

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It can be difficult asking for help. However, nip it in the bud. The possibility of a do-over may be non-existent.

Written by:  Patricia I. James**

I was sitting in court not too long ago, listening to the cases before me. On this particular matter, an attorney was making his appearance telephonically. If I recall the circumstances correctly, he explained that he had been ill and continued to be ill (and he certainly sounded like it on the phone) so he had missed timely responding to some requests for admissions that apparently gutted his client’s lawsuit. He had requested an extension of time from opposing counsel but opposing counsel had denied this request. (To be fair, it is possible opposing counsel had previously granted an extension or two but finally had to go forward). The granting of the motion that was then before the court, based on the failure to respond to these admissions, would result in the dismissal of his client’s case. The tentative ruling was to grant the motion.

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This Post is, hopefully, an interesting overview of a few types of hearings (don’t fall asleep yet), and a few days in the life.

Written by :  Patricia I. James**

I appear at my fair share of Case Management Conferences which is where the Judge either sends me to mediation or arbitration or, more likely in my cases, sets the case for trial. He or she also sets dates for the Trial Readiness Conference [FN1], discovery and motion cutoff and either sets the date for posting of jury fees and expert exchanges or says that they are set per code. [FN2] I also appear at various motion hearings including demurrers [FN3] and motions for summary judgment. [FN4]