Will there be surprise witnesses at your birth injury trial? I know this question creates confusion for some people. In my opinion, the cause of the confusion can be what we see on television court shows. These court room dramas are good at getting the audience excited, with a smoking gun witness who shows up at the 11th hour in many instances. At The conclusion of this educational article you will understand that in general there will be no surprise witnesses at your birth injury trial period
If you have specific questions about your situation and you are not in the state of Maryland, be sure to speak with your own attorney in your jurisdiction about your questions. The focus of this article is how things are done In Maryland.
WHAT IS DISCOVERY?
In a civil proceeding in Maryland you will have the benefit of discovery. It is through discovery that each side can get a good idea as to the issues in the case. Using tools like interrogatories, and request for admissions, and request for production of documents, attorneys can narrow down the focus of the case. Depositions can also be used to help get an idea as to not only the witnesses who may testify at trial, but their potential testimony.
A deposition is a question and answer session. Both sides will be present in the deposition and will have an opportunity to ask questions. These questions can be used to narrow down and flush out certain issues in the case. As I said earlier, the tool of deposition will also give each side in understanding of the potential witnesses in the case.
WILL THERE BE SURPRISE WITNESSES AT YOUR BIRTH INJURY TRIAL?
Because of discovery, in general there will be no surprise witnesses in your trial. In addition to discovery, Maryland law also requires the use of medical experts. These medical experts will have to give opinions as to the standard of care and causation. The experts will write reports which will state the standard of care and whether in the expert’s opinion the defendant doctor or nurse deviated from that standard causing the injury.
As with other witnesses, these medical experts will also be deposed. Each side will be able to depose the other side’s experts. In addition to the discovery aspect of these cases, witness lists will be exchanged by both sides before the trial. This is another mechanism that is in place to help prevent trial by ambush.
So contrary to what is shown on TV and in moves, for the most part, you will have a good idea of not only who will testify at your birth injury trial, but what the testimony will be if the witness has been deposed.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP