Saturday, December 17, 2016

Some Lawyers are not so Smart

I hate doctor TV series except out-and-out comedies such as Scrubs. All TV doctors say things doctors never say and do things doctors never do. 

I’m certain everyone with expertise, whether in the law, plumbing, or stamp-collecting, rolls their eyes when TV writers portray them.

Having said this, I confess that my wife and I love The Good Wife which is about lawyers. It’s brilliantly written, but I have no quarrel with legions of lawyers who fill the “comment” section of web sites with furious denunciations of its inaccuracies. I acknowledge that those in The Good Wife do things lawyers never do (such as sleuthing), and they are dazzling in courtroom cross-examinations.

I sympathize because, in the years before I became a hotel doctor, I was cross-examined twice. I was not the defendant but one of the doctors who cared for the patients whose misfortune produced the suits.

Having watched TV lawyers tear witnesses to shreds, I was nervous. Asked certain questions, I would have had to think hard to defend my actions, but those questions never came.

The lawyers seemed not terribly sharp. It was clear that they hadn’t boned up on their client’s medical problems. I had no trouble.

One lawyer enlarged a xerox of a page in the patient’s chart and displayed it before the court. Unlike the other illegible scrawls, my entry was neatly typed. Clearly that was suspicious, he proclaimed. How did I explain that?

This did not show great acumen. How much IQ would it have taken to learn that I typed all my chart notes?   

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