How do I even (malpractice) lawyer up? (Connecticut edition)
August 29, 2017 8:24 AM   Subscribe

I've seen prior questions regarding this, but have noticed that most responses stress how jurisdiction specific any advice can be, so here's hoping y'all can help me out regarding medical malpractice lawyers in Connecticut. Any recommendations as to how to find a reputable lawyer, as opposed to using Google and the phone book? A way to find out who to avoid?

Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer back in January, after an extended inpatient stay for a lung infection back in October, and sent to a tertiary center for treatment and trials. Hospital # 2 reviewed his older records, and per documentation by the tertiary center's radiologist, the imaging from the October stay showed a mass consistent with cancer. We had specifically asked about masses back in October, and were reassured that the imaging was negative. We're completely unsure as to how/if to proceed, but would like to keep options open. Thanks.
posted by jacy to Law & Government (3 answers total)
I would work connections to get to the closest large firm lawyer you know in Connecticut to get advice from, and then mug them for a referral to a good med mal lawyer. Any particular lawyer won't necessarily have a referral, but if you ask someone who works in a big firm, they'll be able to find out if anyone in the firm has a good person to refer you to.

(Work connections looks weird. I just meant that if you know someone who knows someone who works in a big firm, that's who you ask.)
posted by LizardBreath at 8:40 AM on August 29, 2017

The best referrals will be from other lawyers, so find a way to ask someone who knows a lawyer in your area (any type of lawyer) who the most reputable personal injury/med-mal lawyers are. Lawyers are happy to make referrals (it's viewed as helping one's business) so you won't be bugging anyone (very much) by asking this kind of thing. Look for lawyers that have some kind of bar position or board memberships or something like that (i.e., president of the local bar association, church/temple board, charity board, or likewise) that generally suggest a good reputation. Get advice ASAP on the statute of limitations, which can be short for PI/med-mal and conceivably could have started running back in October (I don't know if it did or did not, but you would want to find out promptly).
posted by Mid at 10:40 AM on August 29, 2017

I used to work medical malpractice defense in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. If it would help, I'd be glad to recommend two plaintiffs' firms in those states, both of whom I'd expect may be able to give you some leads in Connecticut. I'll switch-on MeMail temporarily.

Any recommendations as to how to find a reputable lawyer

Reputable is easy. Good is harder. I've worked with and against lawyers who have great reputations, whose work product doesn't hold up. I litigated against a prominent, well-regarded attorney who clearly had no experience in my area of law and who clumsily exposed his client's tax fraud (which was mostly irrelevant to our case). It's like finding a doctor or a plumber or an auto body shop. Some of it's crossing your fingers.

I have no insight or advice to offer on the circumstances you described about your dad: I haven't reviewed the matter, and I'm not licensed to practice law in Connecticut. But based on my experience in medical malpractice, I would suggest as a general proposition that plaintiffs should have early conversations with their lawyers—ideally before hiring them—about settlement philosophy. Far too many cases drag on for years with no significant activity, long after the relevant facts have been established, with neither side pushing or prepared to settle. Again, this isn't specific advice for you or your dad, just something I feel about that specific field of law in general.
posted by cribcage at 11:14 AM on August 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

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