Dynamic Chiropractic - November 21, 1990, Volume 08, Issue 24

Page printed from:

Trauma Practice and the Law

By -- C. Jacob Ladenheim, J.D.

Hardcover -- 139 pages

See pages xx on how to order.

For the most part, I don't care for lawyers. Oh I suppose they lead a life like the rest of us -- you know -- PTA meetings, the Kiwanis club and all that. It's just that they often appear to be legal technicians for hire. It doesn't matter if the prospective client is really right or wrong -- can you pay their legal counsel? This is why child molesters, murderers, and rapists walk the streets. Some smart lawyer has performed some legal tricks and twisted facts to fit some technical construction so that blatant crininals prowl the street while the honest law-abiding citizen cringes behind bolted doors.

This is why the movies of Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson are so popular. The disenfranchised audience gets vicarious pleasure out of Eastwood telling the slime to "Go ahead -- make my day."

From a professional standpoint we all have to pay continually rising insurance premiums because everybody is sue happy, and this makes the lawyer's day. After all, you can't make a living off of happy people.

Of all the professions, law probably has the most unsavory reputation. Is this fair? Of course not. It's no more fair than branding all of chiropractic quackery because of a few individuals.

Love 'em or hate 'em -- we must have lawyers. Fortunately, I've met or talked with some, like the legal counsel for the American Chiropractic Association, George McAndrews; and the counsel for the California Chiropractic Association, Michael Schroeder, both who pursue the truth with energy and dedication. Properly practiced, the law can be something beautiful to behold.

Something else beautiful to behold is the latest volume published by the Associated Practice Consultants. Within its 139 pages can be found a wealth of material for every practicing chiropractic physician. Just the name alone, Trauma Practice and the Law, should be indicative of its value.

One of the most pleasant things is that it's written in a manner that is understandable to the lay reader. The first chapter is one of the best in the book for it addresses one of our biggest problems -- the deteriorating relationship between doctors and lawyers. More importantly, it gives suggestions on what to do about it.

Since the lawyer both prosecutes and defends -- the next chapter addresses the need of proper preparation as an expert witness which helps you understand what both the defense and prosecuting attorneys are looking for.

This is followed by office procedure and practice tips which is good enough to stand alone under separate cover. It's also a chapter that should be read more than once with its suggestions incorporated into your clinical activities. Record keeping and reporting follows and acts almost like a textual synergist to the previous chapter.

The discovery process is covered in the next chapter. It was this process that immeasurably helped the chiropractic profession beat the AMA et al. in the Wilk case. If for no other reason, this part of the volume should prove of interest.

The next chapters on trial separation, trial and testimony, and sample jury instructions are self-explanatory. Fortunately, for folks like me, there's a glossary of legal terms that finishes the text.

This is not just a "how to" volume. It was written in an almost conversational style with bits of humor and information woven all through its pages. It's also succinct. Parts of the text will tell you that something followed by the heading, "What it Means to You."

What the whole text means to us is that it is something we need and should have and that, to the chiropractic physician, is quite "user friendly."