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opinions, records not in the possession of the doctor at the time of the written opinions, which you obtained during the discovery process and which cast questions as to the opinion, a difference in history initially given with what was “corrected” by a follow-up appointment with the doctor after you discovered the “smoking gun” record during discovery, the relationship of the witness with plaintiff ’s counsel and the involved law firm. An example of what might be labeled an “inconsistency” might be the witness’ previously given testimony that, while he opined that a patient had sustained a permanent injury, such might not hold true with the test of time, in that some patients were known to later have no symptomology. Defense counsel should also consider utilizing plaintiff ’s doctor to help defuse, deflate or bar expected cross of the Defense Doctor. Most appointments that a plaintiff attends with a treating physician really do not cause the doctor to expend much time. Te witness may acknowledge that the time spent for a complete examination of the area about which the plaintiff complains took about a minute, perhaps less. Tis may defuse a typical area of cross by plaintiff ’s counsel. Much is going on at a deposition. Despite the distractions,


you must listen to the questions and listen to the answers. Tere may be objections to be made. If a video deposition, have an agreement with counsel that the video be halted while the written record is made. At trial, consider what you may want the jury to hear (your “testimony”) and what should be at the bench. Are opinions being advanced that are not shown by plaintiff ’s answers to interrogatories/in the doctor’s written reports? At the onset of your examination of the witness, request


the file. “Flag” any documents to which you would later refer to the witness. You are being helpful to witness, of course. Note what is not there. You may wish to ask whether the file has been “sanitized.” An example of what might be found in the file came during


the onset of my cross of one of plaintiff ’s treating physicians during a jury trial in Anne Arundel County. My review of his file showed exchanges of correspondence between the witness and plaintiff ’s counsel with counsel essentially writing the opinion of causation for the doctor’s signature. Tis initial trial resulted in a mistrial, after opposing counsel took ill. When the case was re tried case to verdict, that doctor was not called and that part of the injury claim was abandoned. Te foregoing exposition is not exhaustive. I suggest that the subject matter is not subject to completeness. I would hope, however, that it was found to be somewhat helpful to the reader. Te overriding point remains, “Know Your Case.”


Biography Charles C. “Charlie” Bowie, is a long time member of both


the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars. He has taken or participated in the cross examination of thousands of experts, mainly in the medical field, has tried to verdict 645 civil jury trials, and has represented the prevailing parties in cases of first impression in Maryland, the District of Columbia and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is presently Of Counsel to Farmer & Pyles, P. A., Waldorf, Maryland. Mr. Bowie has been married for almost 49 years with Louise and they live in a golf community in Brunswick County, South of Wilmington, in North Carolina.


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