Medical Malpractice?

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soullesswonder
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Medical Malpractice?

Postby soullesswonder » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:21 am

Does anyone have any knowledge about medical malpractice? Is this typically done in a boutique setting? Do lawyers specialize in malpractice, or do they have a broader focus on health care or general litigation?

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123xalady
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby 123xalady » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:31 am

soullesswonder wrote:Does anyone have any knowledge about medical malpractice? Is this typically done in a boutique setting? Do lawyers specialize in malpractice, or do they have a broader focus on health care or general litigation?


called ambulance chasers, often unscrupulous poppets. Grouped together they are pretty powerful peeps- controlling the democrats :(

Anonymous User
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:38 am

John Edwards was a medical malpractice attorney. This is what happens to you.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby soullesswonder » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:51 am

123xalady wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:Does anyone have any knowledge about medical malpractice? Is this typically done in a boutique setting? Do lawyers specialize in malpractice, or do they have a broader focus on health care or general litigation?


called ambulance chasers, often unscrupulous poppets. Grouped together they are pretty powerful peeps- controlling the democrats :(


ambulance chasers are chasing victims of auto accidents, not victims of malpractice.

Any actual information to share?

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SteelReserve
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby SteelReserve » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:51 pm

Does anyone have any knowledge about medical malpractice? Is this typically done in a boutique setting? Do lawyers specialize in malpractice, or do they have a broader focus on health care or general litigation?


I'm not sure I've ever heard of a firm dedicated solely to med mal. Instead, it will be a subset of a personal injury firm generally. PI firms tend to be smaller, with mostly partners and fewer associates. A "big" PI firm could be 20 lawyers total. PI associates are paid very little, but eventually get the chance to either be Partner or bring in a % of what they make in contingencies.

As far as the ambulance chaser remarks, you will need to get used to that stereotype. What many fail to realize is that plenty of biglaw associates slave away and dedicate their every limited breath on earth to defending tortfeasor corporate entities. In reality, there are sleazy people on both sides of the Plaintiff/Defendant divide.

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SamSeaborn2016
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby SamSeaborn2016 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:44 pm

SteelReserve wrote:
Does anyone have any knowledge about medical malpractice? Is this typically done in a boutique setting? Do lawyers specialize in malpractice, or do they have a broader focus on health care or general litigation?


I'm not sure I've ever heard of a firm dedicated solely to med mal. Instead, it will be a subset of a personal injury firm generally. PI firms tend to be smaller, with mostly partners and fewer associates. A "big" PI firm could be 20 lawyers total. PI associates are paid very little, but eventually get the chance to either be Partner or bring in a % of what they make in contingencies.

As far as the ambulance chaser remarks, you will need to get used to that stereotype. What many fail to realize is that plenty of biglaw associates slave away and dedicate their every limited breath on earth to defending tortfeasor corporate entities. In reality, there are sleazy people on both sides of the Plaintiff/Defendant divide.


I don't think I've seen any big firms that focus specifically on medical mal. for victims but I did notice that many of the firms I found with health law groups did seem to focus on medical malpractice defense or medical IP. I imagine the door can swing both ways.

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nealric
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby nealric » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:52 pm

It's a dying field in some states (Texas comes to mind). Low damage caps and minimum # of experts required before you can even file suit. If it comes to your state, tort reform could essentially kill your career in one fell swoop.

It also tends to be very capital intensive because you often have to front the cash for experts.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of a firm dedicated solely to med mal.


Nah, there are definitely medmal firms out there (although it may depend on how plaintiff friendly the state is).

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123xalady
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby 123xalady » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:04 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
123xalady wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:Does anyone have any knowledge about medical malpractice? Is this typically done in a boutique setting? Do lawyers specialize in malpractice, or do they have a broader focus on health care or general litigation?


called ambulance chasers, often unscrupulous poppets. Grouped together they are pretty powerful peeps- controlling the democrats :(


ambulance chasers are chasing victims of auto accidents, not victims of malpractice.

Any actual information to share?


its a moniker- not intended to be taken literally- and also a prevalent stereotype. Google "defensive medicine" and then "liability reform" and you should find a lot of answers.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby soullesswonder » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:27 pm

nealric wrote:It's a dying field in some states (Texas comes to mind). Low damage caps and minimum # of experts required before you can even file suit. If it comes to your state, tort reform could essentially kill your career in one fell swoop.

It also tends to be very capital intensive because you often have to front the cash for experts.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of a firm dedicated solely to med mal.


Nah, there are definitely medmal firms out there (although it may depend on how plaintiff friendly the state is).


Texas still has the same number of payouts as they did before the caps - they just don't have the big paydays. Frivolous lawsuits, however, have been cut significantly.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/355/7/734-a

EDIT: FWIW, I'd prefer to work on the defense side of these cases, with an eye towards possibly moving into hospital legal counsel.

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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:54 pm

I believe that most lawyers who do med-mal work tend to specialize in that field, and most who do so will tend to specialize in either plaintiff or defense work. I know one attorney whose practice consists of med-mal defense and legal malpractice defense.

In California, where there is a cap on some damages, ( pain and suffering awards are limited to $250k ) there are still large awards for lost wages, injury, loss of consortium, etc. Some lawyers specialize in a particular type of injury ( e.g. neonatal injuries ).

One unsavory element to the field involves nuisance suits that are settled for $29,999, because in California, any pre-trial settlement below $30 k doesn't need to be reported and made public, and it's easier and cheaper for the defense to settle for that amount than to go to trial. Some lawyers seem to specialize in these small suits. Of course, that's not to say that some lawsuits aren't justified.

Why not ask around for someone in your area who does the kind of work you're interested in
( i.e. plaintiff or defense ) and ask them about their field. If all else fails, try the yellow pages.

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pany1985
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby pany1985 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:02 am

I've heard it's very difficult to get started in that field, since the cases are so expensive (tons of discovery, expert witnesses, etc.) and you're just losing loads of your own money until you finally win the case (assuming that you will eventually win the case).

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nealric
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:43 am


Texas still has the same number of payouts as they did before the caps - they just don't have the big paydays.


Right- which means the $$$ going to medmal attorneys has shrunk significantly.

Some lawyers specialize in a particular type of injury ( e.g. neonatal injuries ).


Yep, they LOVE anything having to do with infants. Damages are huge if someone has an entire life to live, and juries are always sympathetic towards babies. This is why ob/gyn medmal insurance is through the roof.


It seems most medmal cases of any significance come down to a battle of the experts. Not my cup of tea, but I guess whatever floats your boat.

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RonSantoRules
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby RonSantoRules » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:19 pm

Attended a panel on this the other day (health law panel). General consensus was that most health law lawyers that are general counsel at non-profit or for-profit hospital work as transactional lawyers in firms before moving over to work for hospitals. Not sure if Med Mal is the way to go if that is what you want to do.

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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:06 pm

You do realize most medical malpractice is complete BS and a large part of the reason healthcare is so expensive? I question your motives, perhaps unfairly, when someone asks about things like this.

gettinin10
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby gettinin10 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:11 pm

I know that a med mal lawyer lives up the street from me...he has two s550's another mercedes, and people come to his house to wash his cars...

inspires me to be a lawyer everyday

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childersa
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby childersa » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:17 pm

edited
Last edited by childersa on Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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childersa
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby childersa » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:20 pm

Also, if you are looking at general counsel type of jobs, medmal probably isn't the best area. Health law is a vast area of the law that covers everything from medicare and medicaid fraud to HIPAA, STARK law and anti-trust. Any medmal issue that arises at the hospital level is going to be farmed out to a boutique firm, the issues handled by in house counsel is going to be more on the transactional side (medicare/medicaid payments, Stark and anti-kickback laws, HIPAA, anti-trust, and other corporate law type matters).

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NayBoer
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Re: Medical Malpractice?

Postby NayBoer » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:00 pm

I have limited experience to share. Used to work at a midlaw firm (~80 attorneys) that had a health law practice group. They had the newest offices and equipment in the firm. Represented insurance companies and the like, so pretty strictly defense-side. I've also worked in my current job on cases for a firm (~200 attorneys) with a medical defense practice group. Both are "full service" midlaw type firms in secondary markets (large Western cities, but not LA or SF). Neither is remotely a boutique; could not tell you if this is representative of the larger market.

From what I can tell, it's just a specialized subset of litigation. Although expertise in health is not uncommon from what I've seen (e.g. nurses becoming lawyers) it doesn't seem to be at all an industry requirement. I'm pretty sure that the practice groups had enough work to keep busy and didn't have to dip into general litigation or other practice areas; they seem to both stick with medical defense.

I couldn't tell you how specialized they get, but it seems like from their respective websites one of the groups exclusively handles medical negligence and the other covers a lot of the business/transaction/regulatory work as well as litigation.




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