CLNC® Success Stories

A Day in the Life of Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Dale Barnes – I Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else*

by Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

One of the things I love about being a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is no two days are alike. I am never bored and I always have to be on my toes, as I do not know what the day will have in store for me.

I never have a boring day or one in which I can predict exactly what will come my way. I love the challenge and can’t imagine doing anything else.

To elaborate on what some days are like, I’ve been working on a huge obstetrical case involving premature twins. The medical records are voluminous and I’ve spent days just organizing ten large binders of medical records. The way the records arrived was unbelievable. It was like someone had taken seven years worth of records, thrown them in the air and shuffled them. Those were not the most exciting days.

In the middle of tediously organizing medical records, I had fun going to a defense medical exam (DME) for the twins. I got to interact, play with them and have fun observing them. They are now seven years old, and quite rambunctious. Since the DME was about an hour-and-half drive from where I live, that was the bulk of my day. (And yes, I do charge for travel time).

In the midst of working on this bad baby case, I got a bad faith insurance case and a long term care case. I also got several complaints to review for the Board of Registered Nursing.

One day, I was reviewing a case in which I was to testify two weeks later. The case was one that originated as a complaint to the Board of Registered Nursing but had progressed to a lawsuit in which the issue was rescinding a nursing license. As I was preparing my testimony, the phone rang. It was an attorney I did not know. He had been referred to me by another Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. He told me he had a trial coming up in a couple of weeks and needed an expert quickly. He said the case involved defending a registered nurse to prevent rescinding of his license. I asked about the case to ensure there was no conflict of interest. Turns out I had to tell him this was the same case in which I was preparing to testify for the District Attorney. He asked if I could find him another nurse to testify. I told him I would be a bit uncomfortable finding someone I know to testify against me. I also told him I knew we could not discuss the case, but had to ask him if he had watched the videos that were presented as evidence in this case. His response was, “Yes, and I wish I was on your side!”

The above call came to me on a Friday. On Monday I got a call from another new attorney. He had a possible case involving a 12-year-old with a chronic condition. He was trying to decide whether to pursue just a negligence theory, or also include assault and battery because an MRI with sedation was given without parental consent. So, all those medical records were sent to me and I began my review.

In between all of the above, I was busy writing interrogatories and deposition questions for other cases that were in the discovery phase.

As you can see, I never have a boring day or one in which I can predict exactly what will come my way. I love the challenge and can’t imagine doing anything else.

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