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May 1986

`Shall We Kill All the Lawyers?'

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(5):638-639. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050170028006

To the Editor.  —I read with mixed emotions the recent editorials, "Shall We Kill All the Lawyers?" by Russman,1 "The Plaintiff's Attorney's Point of View" by Hayes,2 and "How to Defend Yourself in an Ophthalmic Malpractice Suit" by Jacobson and Tucker.3Perhaps I can express my feelings about lawyers by relating my own experience. In 1973, at the height of the malpractice "crisis," I had my first malpractice suit after nearly 30 years in practice. Despite efforts by the lawyers of the insurance company, my lawyer, a friend who was an ophthalmologist and lawyer, the case dragged on 8½ years before coming to trial! We were unsuccessful in getting a summary judgment, and a suit against the plaintiff's lawyer was thrown out by the judge.Finally, we came to trial. The plaintiff had no expert witness. I was on the stand exactly 30 minutes, and the suit

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