Tips and pointers for depositions

By B. Sonny Bal, MD, JD, MBA, and Randy R. Cowherd, JD As the defendant physician in a medical malpractice litigation, you should know that your deposition is critical in planning and executing a successful defense. Jurors are often shown a videotape of your deposition before you make your in-person testimony. This article offers some practical tips and pointers to help you prepare for deposition.

Before the deposition
Before meeting with your defense lawyer, review the chart thoroughly, including the relevant hospital records, lab data, radiographs, and related documents. Do not mark up, make notes, attach literature articles, or change the record; the patient’s attorney will question any modifications to the record.

Discuss the relevant literature with your defense lawyer, who will help research that information. Any research conducted on your own is subject to discovery by the patient’s attorney, and you will not want to produce materials that are unsupportive of your treatment and decision making.

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