What is the #1 defense tactic in a medical malpractice case?
Defense attorneys and their true clients, the insurance company, want to prevent you from recovering money, and in very strong cases, they know that ultimately they will settle. In those cases, as in most cases, the only strategy of the defense attorney is to delay and adjourn every aspect of the lawsuit. The delays begin with late discovery responses from the defense lawyers, adjournments of the depositions of parties and non-parties and eventually lead to the adjournment of the trial. The excuses for the adjournments range from a sickness in the defendant's family to the unavailability of an attorney to handle the depositions or trial.
Let's start with an example: Client "X" is a prominent law firm in New York City who happens to be a defendant in a legal malpractice lawsuit. Client "X" has no defense to the lawsuit since their attorneys botched important legal deadlines and as a result, the only real defense to the legal malpractice lawsuit is to DELAY and ADJOURN every aspect of the lawsuit. Although there are court-ordered deadlines for the completion of each phase of the lawsuit, including deadlines for depositions and the exchange of discovery demands and responses, the law firm representing Client "X" routinely ignores the deadlines and makes continual requests for adjournments of deadlines, including the trial. After two to three years of fighting the constant adjournments and delays and two adjournments of the trial date, the case eventually settles.
Did Client "X" win the case? Yes, in a way it did. Client "X"'s insurance carrier does not pay interest on the amount of the settlement and the 2-3 year delay by Client "X"'s lawyers saved the insurance carrier several hundred thousand dollars by delaying the payment of the settlement. This strategy is used by defense lawyers and insurance carriers in virtually every case.
The next time someone asks you why it has taken so long for your case to be resolved, you now have the answer.