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Edwards on malpractice

Speaking of faux medical malpractice reform and North Carolina, on Thursday trial lawyer and presidential candidate John Edwards pretends he's in favor of reform by proposing do-nothing measures:

� Stop Frivolous Lawsuits: To discourage frivolous suits, Edwards will require lawyers to have an expert testify that actual malpractice has occurred before bringing a suit. There will be mandatory sanctions for lawyers who file frivolous cases, and any lawyer who files three frivolous cases will be forbidden from bringing another suit for the next 10 years.

Note that if Edwards's proposal is anything like legislation he co-sponsored in the Senate, the legislative definition of "frivolous" will be so narrow as to be meaningless, effectively covering only those attorneys whose cases were dismissed because they forgot to get the expert certification before filing, as opposed to attorneys who lose junk-science verdicts over cerebral palsy.

Eric Turkewitz writes a lengthy post that seems to be unaware that the expert certification Edwards suggests has been passed in several states without much effect one way or the other. (Edwards's use of "testify" is almost surely a staffer's oversimplification of "affidavit" or North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 9(j) rather than a proposal that live oral testimony be a prerequisite.)



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.