Backdoor tort reform through professional association discipline
Georgia law requires an affidavit from a qualified expert in order to file a medical malpractice case, and has stringent requirements for qualifications of such experts. It is virtually impossible to get a qualified expert within the state, so lawyers handling such cases generally start with the assumption that they will have to go out of state to find an expert willing to testify. Now, medical specialty boards are taking action to discipline and intimidate doctors who dare to testify against other doctors. While there may be extreme situations in which a professional organization would be justified in disciplining a member who gives completely off-the-wall testimony about malpractice, the potential for abuse is obvious. If an expert witness within an area of practice is required to make a case, and the professional organizations within the area of practice intimidate their members from providing truthful and accurate testimony, then the injured patient is denied access to justice in even the most meritorious cases.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).