Judicial Decision-Making in Litigation (Medicolegal Issues)
In professional liability claims, health care providers may be confused or frustrated about a judge’s perceived failure to address the merits of the claim. The source of frustration may be that a judge allows unmeritorious claims, accepts medical theories and arguments of questionable basis and support, or accepts testimony or positions taken by noncredible opponents. While sometimes these matters are due to a judge’s failure to follow the law, often the matters are beyond the judge’s authority. Here I will provide some insight on the judge’s role in litigation and the parameters within which judges have to operate when presiding over cases. Further, I will discuss recent developments that give judges the power to act on some issues that frustrate health care providers. The judicial system appears to recognize these concerns and is making some effort to address them.