When Good Doctors Get Sued - 2nd Edition
A Guidebook for Defendant Physicians Involved in Malpractice Lawsuits

An informed and well-prepared witness is a powerful adversary. This “how-to” handbook helps doctors and other healthcare professionals get ready for a deposition or trial by building and improving skills in the areas of listening, identifying potential traps, answering questions, and coping with litigation stress. If you find the legal system frustrating, idiosyncratic and intimidating, this handbook is better than two aspirin and a morning call. No doctor should face an opposing attorney without it.


WHY BUY THIS BOOK?

Facing a lawsuit is a frightening and confusing event in anyone’s life, but particularly so for doctors being accused of causing harm to those they are pledged to help. Often professionally embarrassed, angered by accusations of incompetence or neglect, and fearful of possible repercussions, many medical professionals believe they have few places to turn for the practical advice, help, and support they need during the litigation process. This book is intended to help fill that need.

At least some of the anxiety surrounding a lawsuit comes from uncertainty and confusion about the process. Defendant doctors have many questions: What is the best way to deal with aggressive cross-examination? What will I be asked at my deposition? Will I have to be in the courtroom during the entire trial? Who will be on the jury? Should I wear my scrubs or a suit? This book answers those and many more questions.


WHAT DOES THIS BOOK COVER?

This guidebook is not intended to be a primer on the legal system, nor does it give legal advice. It is a resource to help healthcare professionals be the most effective witnesses they can be at a hearing, deposition, or trial. Chapters cover such key issues as:

  • Basic anatomy of a malpractice lawsuit
  • Active listening for lawyer traps
  • When and why patients sue their providers
  • Answering difficult questions
  • Coping with the emotional toll of being sued
  • Preparing for and going to trial
  • The form and content of a deposition
  • Question and answer practice

Although the book refers to “defendant doctors” or “physicians,” the intended audience includes nurses, physician assistants, midwives, therapists, and others who have professional liability for patient care. The guidebook is also recommended reading for spouses and partners of defendants, expert medical witnesses, defense attorneys, insurance representatives, risk managers, and medical residents.


WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE BOOK

“ . . . an excellent instrument for physicians to prepare themselves to defend against malpractice lawsuits at a time when one in four doctors can expect to be sued. Well-written, instructional, timely, it is a solid primer that gives the physician a strong edge in the tricky, combative arena of malpractice litigation. This book is a potential resource for every practicing physician.”

- RICHARD ANDERSON, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Chairman of the Board, The Doctors’ Company

“ . . . a valuable guide for the physician involved in a malpractice lawsuit. Forewarned in forearmed and this little gem fulfills its stated purpose.”

- ROBERT F. GOAD, M.D.
Chief of Anesthesiology, Mason General Hospital

“This book teaches the physician and other health professionals, in a clearly written and well-organized guidebook, how to help their lawyer protect them from the real and imaginary dangers of the legal system.”

- RICHARD A. MORIN, M.D.
American Society of Addiction Medicine
American Boards of Psychiatry and Neurology

“I would strongly recommend [this book] to any physician who has been named in a medical malpractice case – and to anyone who has yet to be sued. The authors provide a wealth of practical advice that will enable physicians to negotiate the legal system successfully.”

- DOUGLAS W. LUNDY, M.D.
Review in AAOS NOW Newsletter (March 2008)
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

“[This book] will open a whole new window of understanding for medical, legal, and insurance professionals engaged in the business of medical malpractice.”

- PATRICIA C. BERGER
Consultant and Former VP of Litigation Management
Physicians Insurance

“Fast-paced reading that covers the basics in an easy-to-understand manner. The legal process is complex enough; Dodge and Fitzer have found a way to make the system comprehensible with pointed suggestions for success.”

PAUL M. LISNEK, J.D., Ph.D.
Trial Attorney and Jury Consultant

BOOK DETAILS

Price: $34.95
ISBN: 978-0977751112
PAGES: 169
COVER: Soft
SIZE: 6" x 9"
EDITION: Second (2015)

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Angela M. Dodge, Ph.D.

Angela M. Dodge is a litigation psychologist whose consulting practice is based in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State. She specializes in working on medical malpractice defense cases, and she has prepared over a thousand doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other care providers to give more effective and compelling testimony. Her expertise in assisting with jury selection, conducting pre-trial focus groups, and in preparing healthcare professionals for deposition and trial has earned her a solid reputation as a consultant and conference speaker. In addition to her practice, she is currently lead author on a series of handbooks on specific jury-focused strategies for contemporary trial practice.

Steven Fitzer, J.D.

Collaborator Steven Fitzer, J.D. is a respected trial attorney and senior shareholder of the law firm of Fitzer, Leighton & Fitzer, P.S. in Tacoma, Washington. In practice since 1976, his specialty is medical and legal professional liability defense. He has successfully defended hundreds of cases and worked with thousands of witnesses in his active practice, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals. Mr. Fitzer also serves as a pro tem judge.