“I just can’t get through a 2-week medical malpractice trial in Baltimore City,”explained Dr. Smith, the almost-retired defendant doctor, busy caring for his ill spouse. “I just don’t have the emotional wherewithal to handle a long trial!”
What now? Dr. Smith does not want to go to trial, but as the defense team, we know we have zero chance of winning without him there. How do we accommodate our client and still argue a good case to verdict outside the courtroom?
Arbitration is cheaper, quicker and much more convenient than traditional litigation. And, the plaintiffs never need to know why you want it. Real life example: our firm recently conducted arbitration in one day, with a single expert from each side, plus the parties. The arbitrator – a retired judge – heard the evidence, had a joint extract of medical records, addressed “objections,” and filled out a simple verdict sheet with his decision. The arbitration was final with no appeal or further costs. Most importantly, our client agreed to assist us and try the case for just one day.
In the end, the approach worked. The doctor defended his care and got his “day in court”…without actually setting foot in one.
So, next time you’re faced with a similar scenario, open the box, and litigate outside of it.