Litigation Essentials

Litigations Essentials

Time sensitive documents: get them finished ASAP but be as accurate as possible.

Disclosure your issues: Your attorney will advise not talking to others, all conversations pertaining to your case are discoverable.  Keep in mind he is referring to the specifics of this case not any feelings you may be experiencing. Peer counseling has been kept out of discovery but you should never disclose or blog any specific information pertaining to your case

Never answer any questions by phone or someone associated with the plaintiffs. Even if they say they are calling from your lawyer’s office. Always verify your lawyer’s phone numbers and only use or receive from the ones you know.

Monitor your emotional and psychological responses.

Participate in the process, assess your legal teams competence but leave the maneuvering to your lawyer.

The Process

The Complaint: charges and public notice.

Discovery: Interrogation, deposition, Experts.

Trial: settlement conferences, trial, verdict.

Appeals: not a retrial.


Family is job one: monitor the reactions of those close to you.

Be prepared: emotional rollercoaster, know the players/rules (plaintiff, defense, judges, experts, jury)

Develop support: social, professional, legal, insurance company, peers.

Regain mastery of life: define your role within the legal process, take an active role, be comfortable with your lawyer or request a change, participate in choosing your experts, do not fit work in during trial, do not compromise your professional standards.

Do things you like/me time: take vacations and leisure time, work out, participate in the sports you like

Remove your self-worth from the process of litigation: engage in professional activities that validate your competence (teaching, courses, committees), review all the good in your career, know this is about compensation not competence, be kind to yourself

Finances: seek advice to get your house (literally) in order, personal lawyer?

Coping Mechanisms



Stress Management

·         Self-preservation. Eat right, exercise and sleep.

·         Support your relationships. Find someone who can be a confidante.

·         Separate. No matter what it is, you need your me time

·         Seek out resources. Most insurance companies have resources that are available to help you cope with the stress of litigation. Church leaders or therapists are options. Check with your professional college.

·         Settle your finances. Financial planners and attorneys.

·         Set boundaries. Take a hard look at your practice and see where you need to draw the line. Perhaps you need to change your hours, your patient load or the number of committees you're on. More and more physicians are also drawing the line on contracts that are unprofitable or otherwise onerous. And remember to set boundaries to your professional life, making sure there is more to your life than medicine. "Being a physician should be what you do," said Dr. Vickman, "not who you are."

·         See where you are. When you're under stress, it is time to also take a good look at yourself. What are your professional values and passions? What are you skills—and what do you hate doing?

·         Fight the grass-is-greener syndrome. While these certainly are turbulent times in medicine, a quick review of the stock market's recent highs and lows should convince you that constant change dominates every profession. 

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