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Medical Malpractice

of Appeals. So too, our next governor will preside over the once-

every-ten-years redrawing of legislative districts. Don’t think redistricting counts? In 2002, Democrats held a 17-15 edge in Congressional seats in Texas. Enter disgraced Congressman Tom Delay, and after redistricting, Republicans emerged in 2004 with a 21-11 seat advantage. And while we are on the subject of what a governor can

do, let’s look what our current governor has done for the people we represent. Time and time again, he has fought the good fight for the consumer. During his first term, Maryland finally joined the states that permit policyholders to hold their insurers accountable for first party bad faith. When the Court of Appeals allowed the dismissal of medical malpractice cases based on technicalities, the Governor signed a law extending the statute of limitations. Just this last legislative session, he signed bills that: a) increased minimal automobile insurance liability limits for the first time since the Mandel era; b) prohibited health insurers from forcing patients to use PIP for medical bills; and c) allowed Maryland voters to decide in a referendum whether the jury trial threshold should be increased to $15,000. In contrast, during the Ehrlich administration, we

saw a Governor who thought “consumer protection” meant projecting big business from claims by consumers. Recall the supposed medical malpractice “crisis” where he convened the General Assembly for a special session? Funny thing. Not only was there no crisis, but just a short time later, the State’s leading malpractice carrier was “caught” with a budget surplus – a pool of leftover premium dollars so large that it had to be refunded to the same doctors whose “complaints” of skyrocketing premiums sparked the so called crisis. And who could forget the law simplifying the burden of

proof in an uninsured motorist claim. Te General Assembly enacted a law that allowed victims to rely upon the information given to an investigating police office or a liability carrier’s letter denying coverage to prove the tortfeasor’s uninsured status. Prompted by his friends in the insurance industry, the former governor vetoed this bill, and it only became law when the Legislature overrode the veto. So there you have it: a plan to build our membership, and

to continue the fight to protect the civil justice system from so called tort reformers. To accomplish these goals, we will need the membership to step from the sidelines, into the game. Maybe you invite someone to join, maybe you volunteer to help one of our many sections or committees, maybe you offer to help with one of the seminars, maybe you let your elected officials know that our voice must be heard. Ambitious, you say? Perhaps, but nothing is impossible

4 Trial Reporter / Summer 2010

to people who believe in trying. Beginning with William Paca, Samuel Chase, Tomas Stone, and Charles Carroll, trial lawyers have gone into the courts of this State because we would rather fight than take “no” for an answer – because it offends our inner fiber to settle for less than we believe is just. So work with me to build on what we have accomplished.

Together, there is no limit on what we can achieve. We can and will make a difference. As trial lawyers we can have it no other way. 

Biography Robert J. Zarbin (Te Jaklitsch Law Group) received his

JD from Loyola University School of Law. He is President of MAJ and is a member of the President's Club as an Eagle and serves as the Chair of the Legislative Committee. Mr. Zarbin is the past Chair of MAJ's Workers' Compensation Section. He is a member of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, the Baltimore County Bar Association, the Prince George's County Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. Mr. Zarbin has been a guest lecturer at MAJ conferences and AAJ conferences. His practice concentrates in personal injury, product liability, and workers' compensation.

Maryland Association for Justice, Inc. Case Evaluation Roundtable

Have a Panel of Seasoned Lawyers Evaluate Your Cases!

Consult with the experts at the MAJ Case Evaluation Roundtable: • Analyze the merits • Discuss legal elements • Determine the damages • Develop your strategy • Discuss the value • Discover Ways to Improve your case

Date: Time: Place: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

(55 minute evaluation sessions) MAJ Office

6240 Old Dobbin Ln, Ste 100 Columbia, MD 21045

Registration Deadline: Friday, September 10, 2010

Contact MAJ for more information at (410) 872-0990 or visit

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