Attorneys Who Attended Legal Summit Provide Valuable Insights for Physicians

Experts Share Tips on Being Prepared for a Lawsuit in Two Video Playlists

Napa, California—February 18, 2014—Attorneys provide insights on how physicians can best be prepared for a malpractice lawsuit in two video playlists released by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer.

The attorneys featured in the videos participated in The Doctors Company's Annual Legal Summit, during which top legal experts gather to discuss claims trends, analyze plaintiff strategies, and develop best practices to defend and protect doctors.

In the video playlist, “Malpractice Case Studies: What Went Wrong?”, Steven Fitzer of Fitzer, Leighton & Fitzer, P.S. in Tacoma, Washington; Mark S. Williams of Williams Law Firm in Missoula, Montana; and Kathleen Wilson of Keleher & McLeod, P.A. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, provide tips such as:

  • Physicians must understand that they can be sued for medical malpractice, even when the standard of care is followed.
  • Physicians should prepare thoroughly for deposition because the deposition may largely control what occurs at trial.
  • Physicians should always have an attorney present at a deposition, even if they aren't a defendant named in the lawsuit.

The video playlist, “What Doctors Need to Know About Being Sued,” features Mr. Fitzer, Mr. Williams, and Ms. Wilson along with Paul Silver of Lindsay Hart, LLP in Portland, Oregon, and Mike Ball of McCormick Barstow, LLP in Fresno, California, who offer suggestions for first-time defendants such as:

  • Be patient. Do nothing initially to avoid an emotional reaction that could affect the case.
  • Understand the attorney's role and responsibilities.
  • Realize that providing effective testimony requires practice and hard work.
  • Know the medical record and understand any issues relating to the case.
  • Understand that one lawsuit will not destroy an entire career.

“We are pleased to be able to share some of the important insights from top legal experts who came together at our gathering of over 100 of the most experienced legal teams and malpractice insurance industry experts,” said Dave McHale, senior vice president, chief legal counsel, The Doctors Company. “Knowing how to be best prepared for a lawsuit is essential because, on average, a physician spends over four years of a 40-year career on resolving medical malpractice cases, according to a RAND Corporation study based on our claims data.”

About The Doctors Company
Founded by doctors for doctors in 1976, The Doctors Company ( is relentlessly committed to advancing, protecting, and rewarding the practice of good medicine. The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, with 74,000 members and $4 billion in assets, and is rated A by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings.

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