Informal Consultations Between Colleagues

john-hicksLawyers frequently engage in informal discussions about cases that they are handling. These discussions range from seeking general opinions about a particular venue to specific advice about legal strategy. These informal consultations can be an important part of a lawyer’s practice. However, while informal consultations are almost universally encouraged, they are not without risk. For example, what happens when a plaintiff’s lawyer calls a colleague from a defense firm that has experience in a specific area of the law? The plaintiff’s lawyer runs a scenario by his or her colleague and then asks whether the case is worth pursuing? Can the consulted attorney respond at all...
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Defense Win February 2015

bruce-keplinger chris-lucasBruce Keplinger and Christopher Lucas of Norris & Keplinger of Overland Park, Kansas, successfully represented a maternal fetal medicine doctor and his group in a medical malpractice wrongful death case. Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with preterm premature rupture of membranes. She was put on external fetal monitoring for 21/2 days and prescribed bed rest. On 7/24, Plaintiff was taken off continuous monitoring and allowed to use the bathroom. From 7/24 to 7/26, Plaintiff claimed she suffered increasing signs of labor including vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. At 2:30 p.m. on 07/26, Plaintiff began delivering...

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Defense Win November 2014

bruce-keplingerjohn-hicks Bruce Keplinger and John Hicks of Norris & Keplinger of Overland Park, Kansas, successfully represented a pediatrician in a medical malpractice wrongful death case.  The plaintiffs were the parents of a two and a half month old child who died of bacterial meningitis.  The child was seen in defendant's office on Friday, July 16, 2010, with a low grade fever, decreased feeding and fussiness.  The mother reported that the fever had been present for seven days and that the child's temperature remained between 100 and 101 despite Tylenol.  On physical examination, however, the child made good eye contact and...
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Defense Win June 2014

bruce-keplingerchris-lucasBruce Keplinger and Chris Lucas of Norris & Keplinger in Overland Park, Kansas, successfully represented a cardiologist and his group in a wrongful death claim.

The plaintiff is the widow of Robert Waters, who was 38 years old at the time of his death.  Mr. Waters, who had a history of high blood pressure, experienced chest pains on August 30, 2007; he was taken to North Kansas City Hospital, where he was kept overnight.  Early the next morning, tests revealed he had experienced a heart attack.  In the early afternoon, a diagnostic cardiac catheterization revealed several blockages in the coronary arteries.  Defendant Dr. Mitchell, an employee of defendant Meritas, was called to perform a balloon angioplasty and stent placement on a 90 percent blockage in branches of the circumflex artery.  During the placement of wires and prior to inserting the balloons, a dissection occurred in the circumflex.  Mr. Waters felt back pain, became combative, and tried to get off the table while Dr. Mitchell was still performing the procedure.  Dr. Mitchell called for anesthesia, but intubation was difficult due to the patient’s size.  Before successful intubation, Mr. Waters’s heart stopped.  CPR was undertaken, but Mr. Waters died at 4:45 P.M.  The plaintiff brought suit claiming that Dr. Mitchell failed to recognize and treat an injury to the left main artery in a timely manner, which contributed to and caused death.  The defendants claimed there was no injury in the left main artery (although there was a dissection in the circumflex) and that Dr. Mitchell met the standard of care.  The defendants claimed death was due to hypoxia from a prolonged and difficult intubation.

After seven days of evidence the jury found in favor of the defendants.