Politics thread

Typical El Presidente Random Thoughts type stuff

Who should be the President of the United States?

Barack Obama
6
15%
Sarah Palin
2
5%
Tom Brady
16
39%
Other
17
41%
 
Total votes : 41

Postby Old Scratch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:27 pm

Chikezie wrote:Are lawyers positioning lobbyists to encourage lawmakers to enact laws that limit a plaintiff's damages in a malpractice suit against an attorney? Not to me knowledge, no.


Because such a thing is patently silly. What would a plaintiff do, bring a suit in civil court against a lawyer for beating his or her brains in in court? Or would a plaintiff bring a suit against his own lawyer for being shitty (i.e., I hired a shitty attorney, help me sue this shitty attorney (i.e., non-deep pockets in order to recover---what?---money you "expected" to win in a suit?)? Besides, in criminal cases, such a thing is already done through the appeals process.

Chikezie wrote:Or is that doctors? We got on this topic discussing tort reform, so that judgments against doctors could be capped, no?


No, to determine why doctors these days order a plethora of tests.

Chikezie wrote:I used the medical school example as something the medical insurers/industry can do to try and help their own cause instead of just trying to pass laws. I don't know how we turned this to lawyers and law schools.


Do you actually think that the reason there are so many medical malpractice suits today is because medical schools have somehow "slacked off," standards-wise?
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Postby Guest » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:30 pm

Okay, we were talking about different things then.

And to answer your question; you tell me why there are so many medical malpractice lawsuits. You will tell me that they are the result of an overly litigious society and greedy lawyers. Someone else will say that there are more shitty doctors practicing medicine today. I will tell you that it's somewhere in the middle and passing legislation to cap damages in such cases is more difficult than it appears on its face.

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Postby Old Scratch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:43 pm

Chikezie wrote:And to answer your question; you tell me why there are so many medical malpractice lawsuits. You will tell me that they are the result of an overly litigious society and greedy lawyers. Someone else will say that there are more shitty doctors practicing medicine today. I will tell you that it's somewhere in the middle and passing legislation to cap damages in such cases is more difficult than it appears on its face.


I have nothing against lawyers, in general. But I think we can use Occam's Razor here: doctors order a plethora of tests so their decisions, if questioned in court, can hold up to intense scrutiny, and that's the fault of lawyers (and an overly-litigious society). Personally, I find it hard to believe that in this technical age, with so many advances in digital technology and in basic life sciences, our doctors are getting worse, and therefore have to rely on a multitude of tests simply to diagnose.
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Postby MCA » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:46 pm

There are a multitude of reasons for why utilization is what it is in the health care industry.

Malpractice law is absolutely part of it even though the ambulance chaser chickieezie doesn't believe it.
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Postby Guest » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:50 pm

OS, I never doubted your reasoning behind why doctors order so many tests. I agree with that.

But can we agree that it doesn't stop at ordering tests? These doctors need to be able to evaluate and make an informed judgment based on the results and it's this judgment at times which will result in cases against them. In that regard, their skill set is important.
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Postby Old Scratch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:00 pm

Chikezie wrote:But can we agree that it doesn't stop at ordering tests? These doctors need to be able to evaluate and make an informed judgment based on the results and it's this judgment at times which will result in cases against them.


True, but let's not forget that measures (i.e., plans of action for the treatment of disease/malady) themselves don't always lend themselves to agreement among physicians, so it's easy for lawyers to find chinks in certain measures they can exploit in court . . . and then it's up to the jury, i.e., laymen, to have to sort the whole thing out. What happens then? The preponderance of evidence, general consensus among physicians, etc., in other words, quasi-objective criteria the lawyerly can use to sway the layman in court.

I have no problem with reading a doctor the Riot Act for gross negligence---nail the bastard who went out of the operating room to cash a check to the wall. My issue is with those lawyers who niggle in court because pursuing medical malpractice constitutes their primary business plan.
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Postby Guest » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:04 pm

Agreed.

The exact point you make in your second paragraph is precisely my stance why legislative damage caps would be highly problematic.
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Postby Old Scratch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:09 pm

Chikezie wrote:The exact point you make in your second paragraph is precisely my stance why legislative damage caps would be highly problematic.


Forget about problematic; I feel they're downright anti-Constitutional.
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Postby SeanT » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:16 pm

Any viable attempt at tort reform would likely have to focus on the gatekeeper aspect of weeding out bullshit cases ASAP and/or increasing the risk of the risk reward equation. I remember MA has the tribunal system, although I didn't do Med Mal defense work until after I left Boston, so I don't know how effective it is. In terms of increasing the risk, as it is now a plaintiff/attorney only stands to lose time and expenses (expert fees etc) if they lose. A lot of times the pot odds weigh in favor of bringing the suit. If a plaintiff (or their attorney) were responsible for the defendant's legal fees if they lost for example, there would be much less incentive to pursue questionable claims.
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Postby Guest » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:22 pm

SeanT wrote:If a plaintiff (or their attorney) were responsible for the defendant's legal fees if they lost for example, there would be much less incentive to pursue questionable claims.


This goes for pretty much every civil suit imaginable; it would free the court system up considerably.

Think then about the impact of jury awards. Mind boggling.

And then reverse it; if the defendant is liable and refuses to settle out of court, should they be responsible in whole for the jury award AND the contingency attorney fee for the plaintiff? I could see that argument being made.
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Postby SeanT » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:25 pm

I'm thinking strictly with med mal cases to start, and maybe only if you reject the tribunal or whatever system you have in place to weed out the BS cases (such as continuing with the case after an unfavorable tribunal award in MA- I think you have to post a bond for court costs now but not attorney's fees)

But something along those lines could bring in some reform without the constitutional battle on damage caps
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Postby SeanT » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:30 pm

Chikezie wrote:And then reverse it; if the defendant is liable and refuses to settle out of court, should they be responsible in whole for the jury award AND the contingency attorney fee for the plaintiff? I could see that argument being made.


This happens sometimes in consumer protection cases. A defendant can be held to multiple damages and attorney's fees. But they don't pay the contingency, they pay reasonable fees (which is determined by the actual number of hours spent (and determined to be reasonable) times a reasonable hourly rate in the type of case involved)
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Postby Ted Striker » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:53 pm

K-G wrote:
Old Scratch wrote:You think medical schools, in general, have slack standards compared to, say, law schools?


I'm taking med schools over law schools in a walk. Just don't tell my wife.


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Postby rearadmiral » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:57 pm

Ted Striker wrote:
K-G wrote:
Old Scratch wrote:You think medical schools, in general, have slack standards compared to, say, law schools?


I'm taking med schools over law schools in a walk. Just don't tell my wife.


Has Suffolk finished that law degree drive-thru on Tremont Street yet?


Lawyer talk only.

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Postby rearadmiral » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:58 pm

TEE wrote:
B Luc wrote:Comedy = Glen Beck saying "white culture", and then refusing to explain what "White Culture" is.

Beck on CNN = tolerable
Beck on Fox = Complete lunatic


Obama hates white people is as dumb as Bush hates black people. Pretty sure the only color a politician responds to is green.


Wasn't it "George Bush doesn't care about black people"? Which wasn't entirely inaccurate.
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