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Articles by Contributing Authors
Understanding Spinal Surgery
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Although previous articles have covered the basics of intervertebral disc injuries, as well as some other more unusual spinal injuries, I have been told that I have neglected to give a good overview of the more common spinal surgeries. Full Article at
Shoulder Dystocia: Beyond The Basics
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Most of you will have already read my January, 2009 article on the basics of shoulder dystocia and are familiar with the most common type of dystocia, or impediment to the delivery of a baby, where the anterior shoulder of the baby becomes lodged behind the pubic symphysis at the front of the mother’s pelvis. Full Article at
Mechanism of Pulmonary Embolism
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Looking back on 2009, our records show that, once again, pulmonary embolism ranked as the most common medical malpractice issue litigated by our clients. Full Article at
Presenting Multiple Injury Cases
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
A good client called this week to discuss her latest case involving a car v. pedestrian collision. It was a great case with no real issues concerning liability, but the presentation of the medical facts was going to be a challenge since the case involved over a dozen traumatic injuries and over fifty surgical procedures. Full Article at
Advanced Spinal Injury Concepts
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Frequent readers of my blogs and articles will have read entries concerning disc bulges and herniations and also covering discogenic pain. Those topics concerning the intervertebral discs, along with various traumatic fractures of the spine, make up the vast majority of the spinal injuries involved in litigation. Full Article at
Classification of Burns
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
How do you classify burn injuries? At one time, this was a fairly simple question to answer, but the classification of burns is changing and a new system is gradually being adopted. Full Article at
Variations in Fetal Orientation During Pregnancy
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Obstetrics litigation often boils down to a question of what events occurred within the uterus during development or during the birthing process. Often, if we are to understand what happened to the fetus at a crucial moment in the pregnancy, we need to have a clear understanding of how that fetus is positioned within the uterus or the birth canal. Full Article at
Nursing Home Negligence Cases
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
One of the most common nursing negligence issues we are called upon to illustrate is the development or progression of pressure sores (sometimes know as bed sores or decubitus ulcers). Pressure sores are areas of injured skin and tissue usually caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long. Full Article at
Linking the Evidence of Traumatic Brain Injury
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Brain injuries are one of the most common topics involved in personal injury litigation. Motor vehicle collisions, falls, sports injuries and many other circumstances with associated impacts frequently damage the brain, the most important and vulnerable organ in the body. Full Article at
Discogenic Spine Pain
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
When I started in this industry, almost 20 years ago, my very first case involved a lumbar disc injury with a subsequent discectomy and fusion surgery. Since that first case, I've probably worked on hundreds if not thousands of similar cases. Full Article at
Anatomy of the Shoulder and Rotator Cuff
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
I have received an inordinate number of calls this week from attorneys with rotator cuff injury cases or medical malpractice cases involving arthroscopic shoulder repairs. Regretfully, many of these conversations have reinforced my opinion that the shoulder is one of the most widely misunderstood areas of anatomy that is frequently involved in litigation. Full Article at
Bile Duct Injury Complications of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Since its introduction in the late 1980s, laparoscopic cholecystectomy has become the treatment of choice for symptomatic gallstone disease. Today more than 75% of cholecystectomies are performed laparoscopically. Full Article at
Pregnancy Complications: Fetal Distress from Umbilical (Nuchal) Cord Around Neck
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
A few conversations recently have led me to believe that many attorneys who may be fairly new to obstetrics malpractice have misconceptions regarding the mechanism of hypoxia, fetal distress and brain injury in cases involving a nuchal cord where the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck of the fetus prior to or during birth. Full Article at
Soft Tissue Injuries
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
As with the mild traumatic brain injuries that we discussed last month, another issue that is often difficult to substantiate is soft tissue injuries, particularly of the spine. These injuries are often referred to as myofascial sprain and strain injuries or as whiplash injuries. Full Article at
Representing Mild TBI and Axonal Shearing
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
I had another client call today asking the same question I have heard dozens of times over the years, "I have a mild TBI case. How do I show that my client was really injured?" This is a very popular question that doesn't have a good straightforward answer, so I thought it would be a good topic to discuss here. Full Article at
Shoulder Dystocia: The Basics
By Benjamin B. Broome, M.A.
Although the vast majority of cases we have seen at MLA deal with the anterior (front) shoulder being stuck behind the pubic symphysis of the mother, we have seen one or two cases involving the posterior shoulder being stuck behind a portion of the sacrum. Full Article at
The Ethics of the Third Party Medical Evaluation
By Michael Freeman, PhD, DC, MPH
The potential for fraud in healthcare by providers is readily recognized in all aspects of society. The high fees charged by doctors for their services regardless of outcome is frequently the source of humor, derision, and anger. The reason for this potential for fraud is what is known in the business of healthcare finance as the “agent relationship;” the individual who profits from the sale of the service is also the arbiter of necessity of the service. How then, does the independent medical (or chiropractic) examiner fit into the scheme of appropriate and necessary healthcare?Full Article >>>
How to Use Medical Demonstrative Evidence in Your Practice
Medical Demonstrative Evidence, or MDE, including medical illustrations, animations, anatomical models and computer presentations, helps attorneys and their expert witnesses communicate medical information, clearly and concisely, to a lay or professional audience. Full Article >>>
School Violence: Effective Response Protocols For Maximum Safety And Minimum Liability
By Laurence Miller, PhD
School violence is not really back in the news because it never really left. Eclipsed by the war on terror, recent domestic mass violence incidents like Virginia Tech - as with Littleton, Columbine, and others before it - remind us that most killers of Americans are still our own citizens and that many of these murders take place where we expect them least, our schools. This column will provide some insight into the psychology of this modern form of mass murder and provide some practical recommendations for preventing, responding to, and recovering from school violence in a manner that can maximize student safety and minimize school liability. Full Article >>>
May It Please The Courts: Testifying Tips For Expert Witnesses
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Most clinicians who serve as expert witnesses regard testifying in court as a necessary, sometimes unpleasant, but frequently challenging and rewarding part of their jobs. However, other clinicians whose work is not primarily with the legal system, may become intimidated if they are subpoenaed to testify at deposition or trial. Full Article >>>
Workplace Violence and Psychological Trauma: Clinical Disability, Legal Liability, and Corporate Policy
By Laurence Miller, PhD
In virtually no other area of clinical, forensic, and business managerial practice is education, training, and prevention so important in forseeing and planning for emergencies as in the area of workplace violence. This has important implications for legal responsibility and liability with regard to adequate security, preparation for emergencies, and response to crises. Full Article >>>
Not Just Malingering: Psychological Syndromes In Brain Injury Litigation
By Laurence Miller, PhD
If you're an attorney who likes a good fight and has plenty of money to spend on it, then read no further. But if you'd really like to represent your client fairly - plaintiff or defendant - and need a range of interpretive psychological options to deal with traumatic disability syndromes including TBI, and if you'd like more choices that either "I'm crippled, give me lots of drugs and money," or "You're a lying sack of dirt, be glad we don't throw your malingering butt in jail," then read on. Full Article >>>
The Forensic Psychological Examination: What Can I Expect?
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Dr. Miller explains what a forensic psychological examination is, and answers such questions as "What does that mean, exactly?" and "How is that different from any other kind of psychological examination?". Full Article >>>
Civil Competencies: Psychological and Legal Factors
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Dr. Miller answers the question: "My family member has been in ill health, and is having difficulty managing her own finances, making decisions, and running her household. We consulted a family law attorney, and he advised us to have our family member undergo a psychological competency evaluation. What does this entail? What happens if our family member is judged incompetent?". Full Article >>>
Criminal Competencies: Psychological and Legal Factors
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Dr. Miller answers the question: "My brother is facing trial for a criminal felony. Our family told his defense attorney that he has a history of psychiatric treatment, and now they're sending him to a psychologist for a competency evaluation to see if he's fit to go to trial. What's that mean? How will it affect his case?". Full Article >>>
The Insanity Defense: Psycholegal Considerations
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Dr. Miller answers the question: "What is the 'insanity defense'? Are mental health experts guilty of letting criminals off the hook with psychobabble excuses for their unlawful actions? Should the insanity defense be abolished?". Full Article >>>
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychological Injury
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Dr. Miller answers the question: "My husband was mugged in a poorly-lit parking garage a few months ago. Although he sustained very minor physical injuries, his whole personality seems to have changed, and he's become isolated, irritable, unsociable, and jumpy. He can't concentrate and is making mistakes on his job. He denies it, but I hear him talking in his sleep like he's having bad dreams a few nights a week. And he's used up all his sick days at work. Sometimes he tells me he thinks he thinks he's going crazy. Is he?". Full Article >>>
Police Psychology: What Is It?
By Laurence Miller, PhD
Police Psychology is the application of behavioral science and mental health principles to the concerns of police officers, their families, the department, and the community. Police psychologists perform a wide range of functions, which can be divided into several broad categories. Full Article >>>
Preparing in Advance for the Medical Expert's Deposition
By Betsey Herd, J.D., M.A. and Janabeth Evans, R.N., R.N.C.; Attorney's Medical Services, Inc.
Gathering information about the adverse medical expert prior to taking a deposition can optimize the time spent during the deposition. Most of the information is available at no cost, and together an organized legal assistant and lawyer can become a potent force at a deposition. Full Article >>>
Medical Information, The Internet, and You
By Janabeth Evans, R.N., R.N.C.; Attorney's Medical Services, Inc.
As a medical-legal consultant and Internet researcher I am asked every day to find authoritative medical literature references for a broad spectrum of topics. ...The Internet provides free access to a great deal of the medical literature, either in full text or citation/abstract format. Full Article >>>
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Cases: Maximizing Your Client's Recovery
By Bruce L. Braley; Dutton, Braun, Staack & Hellman, P.L.C. in Waterloo, Iowa
This article focuses on some of the practical challenges in handling botched gallbladder surgery cases to help you prioritize your responsibilities and (hopefully) make the most out of your client's case. Full Article >>>
Cross Examining the Psychiatric Expert
By Dorothy Sims; Founding Partner; Sims, Amat, Stakenborg & Henry, PA ( )
Dorothy Sims is the founding partner in Sims, Amat, Stakenborg & Henry, PA with offices in Gainesville and Ocala, Florida. She has lectured throughout the US and internationally on medical/legal issues. Full Article >>>
Handling Expert Witnesses in Complex RSD Cases
By Mary Alice McLarty; Attorney at Law ( )
Why is the presentation of the case to a jury unique and challenging when it involves Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)? ... The credibility problems in this type of injury case are similar to the minor brain damage or even whiplash case. Full Article >>>

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