The IACT Program
A New Model for Medical Transparency and Disclosure
Article Date: Monday, March 19, 2012
Written By: Christie M. Foppiano, Jessica S. Scott & Aida Doss Havel
“Finally he [the doctor] came out to tell us it was over… that there was nothing they could do. And as a grieving parent, we were very angry for a very long time but we really just wanted to know what happened and that was not afforded us.”*
~ Sharon Delaney McCloud | Patient’s mother
“I had a patient about ten years ago who threatened to sue me. I felt the obligation to call my malpractice carrier at that time and the first thing they said was do not talk to the patient, do not write to them, do not do anything. We will handle everything. So they took away my humanity from this case.”*
~ Robert Lacin, MD | Neurosurgeon
*Cases are unrelated
In the event of an adverse medical outcome, patients often pursue litigation simply to obtain information that has been withheld. Research shows that the three things patients want most in the face of medical error are: information about what happened; a sincere apology; and measures to prevent the error from happening to someone else. Financial compensation is lower on their list. . . .
Christie is a monthly contributor to the North Carolina Bar Association’s blog, NC Law Blog:
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: Stepping into a Brave New World
March 7, 2012
At the risk of sounding 104 years old, my how times have changed, even since I graduated from law school. Economic hardship is shaping the way lawyers do business and how new and even seasoned lawyers are entering (or re-entering) an atrophied and evolving workforce. These strained circumstances may give rise to greater professional creativity and risk taking. . . .
Of Mashed Potatoes and Mediation
November 23, 2011
. . . . [W]orking through these questions may assist you in understanding what matters most to your client and in working toward achieving those objectives in mediation.
1. What is the case really worth based upon an objective review of the facts and law?
If you are the plaintiff’s attorney, you should explain (or perhaps once again reiterate) the range of recovery your client might reasonably expect to receive at trial. You should obviously indicate the likelihood of obtaining such an outcome. If you are a defense attorney, you should have the same conversation with your client. Naturally, counsel for the parties will often disagree about the value of the case but each side should know and understand their own position. . . .
Mediating In The Same Room: Who Does That?
October 21, 2011
Most of my professional life, I have been a civil litigator. A necessary part of that practice has included representing clients in mediation. I still remember my first mediation and how uncomfortable I felt in the opening session with EVERYONE in the room – the mediator, my boss, our client, the other party and the other lawyer. I also remember feeling relieved when the mediator declared it time for the plaintiff and defendant to go into separate rooms. I liked not having to stay with the other side, making small talk or sitting in silence.
I have embarked on a new chapter as a mediator and collaborative lawyer. I have discovered to my amazement that there are mediations and collaborative law conferences designed to keep the parties together in the same room. Yes, that is right – the same room. If you are like me, this is a jarring thought. Where is a good caucus when you need one? You may be wondering why any rational person would think this is a good idea. I have been pondering that very question and am beginning to understand why there may be some method to the madness. . . .