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July 28, 1978

Malpractice Suits

Author Affiliations

Newark, NJ

JAMA. 1978;240(4):346. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290040024007

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To the Editor.—  I am an attorney who specializes in the trial of medical malpractice cases. I am a member of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New Jersey Branch of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. In addition, I happen to subscribe to JAMA to attempt to keep abreast of recent developments in medicine. After reading the letter of Adolph Wolferman, MD (239:494, 1978), I feel compelled to respond.Dr Wolferman demonstrates unfamiliarity with the handling of a medical malpractice claim. He is under the misconception that initiation of a malpractice action is "an investment without risk for lawyer and patient alike." The fact is that a malpractice case is by far the riskiest type of legal action undertaken today. The malpractice action, properly prepared, generally involves the expenditure of thousands of dollars plus enumerable hours. These factors all dictate that a medical malpractice attorney very carefully screen