Qualifying Out-ofState Experts on the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases: Virginia’s Sartorial Supreme Court and the Expert’s White Coat
By R. Lee Livingston and Nathan J. D. Veldhuis
In medical malpractice cases, the expert witness’s white coat is being tailored by the Virginia Supreme Court. Recently, that white coat has been “let out” and then “taken in.” When the Court issued its opinion in Christian v. Surgical Specialists of Richmond, LTD., 268 Va. 60, 596 S.E.2d 522 (2004), in June last year, it got easier to qualify an out-of-state expert to testify on the standard of care in Virginia courts. On January 14, 2005, in Hinkley v. Koehler, 269 Va. 82, 606 S.E.2d. 803 (2005), the Court excluded an expert in a manner that made it somewhat more difficult to qualify an expert in a medical malpractice case. Attorneys representing clients in medical malpractice litigation should be aware of the Virginia Supreme Court’s ongoing “sartorial” efforts.
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