When it comes to the opposing side, attorneys are guided by the words of General George S. Patton.
Patton said, “I have studied the enemy all my life. I have read the memoirs of his generals and his leaders. I have even read his philosophers and listened to his music. I have studied in detail the account of every damned one of his battles. I know exactly how he will react under any given set of circumstances. And he hasn’t the slightest idea of what I’m going to do. So when the time comes, I’m going to whip the hell out of him.”
Attorneys are taught to think globally and to consider both sides of every issue, not just their position. RNs aren’t trained to think like attorneys; we are trained to think in a more linear fashion. The difference often gets in our way as Certified Legal Nurse Consultants.
Our method of thinking works most of the time in clinical situations. For example, in a case of cardiorespiratory arrest, we expect an RN to jump in, know what to do, when and how to do it – and do it! We wouldn’t want the nurse to sit back, contemplate the possible causes and outcomes and delay treatment as a result. The time for thinking through what caused the arrest is after the patient is stabilized, not while the patient is teetering between life and death. This way of thinking, while effective in the clinical setting, doesn’t work in the legal world.
When it comes to analyzing legal nurse consultant jobs, the strong Certified Legal Nurse Consultant models her thinking pattern after attorneys who themselves model Patton or a good boxer. A boxer anticipates the punches his opponent will throw so he can avoid a fatal blow. The more you anticipate where the other side is coming from and what they’re going to do, the better you can plan your strategy. This is exactly what successful attorneys do; in fact, good attorneys spend as much time planning the opposition’s case as they do their own.
In reviewing malpractice legal nurse consultant jobs, CLNC® consultants often take a clinical position that is 100% accurate, then refuse to consider any other viewpoint. The danger in this approach arises from the way our court system works. Jurors, who are not clinicians, are the fact finders, and they (not the judge, attorneys or experts) decide the case. A correct clinical opinion may not prevail. Therefore, you must never ignore the opposition’s possible arguments and strengths, even when you know your position is right. To do so is to invite failure, even when you’re correct.
Here are five standards for thinking like the opposing attorney on your legal nurse consultant jobs:
- Approach the case as if the other side has hired you. Work it from the opposition’s perspective as well as from your own.
- Notice how your attorney-clients challenge your opinions and build this adversarial approach into your own thought process. In other words, challenge yourself first.
- Observe how the opposing attorney attacks you or your opinions. Anticipate similar attacks in future legal nurse consultant jobs.
- Open your mind to the different viewpoints of a CLNC subcontractor before arguing your own position. If nothing else, this strategy will give you a fresh perspective on the case. Brainstorm and don’t step on proposed ideas. Let them flow without comment or criticism, then save the strong ones for further discussion.
- Intentionally hire CLNC subcontractors who are not think-alikes. They offer more than any three clones of yourself. Be cautious of pleasers who change their opinions when challenged or parrot what they think you want to hear.
These global thinking strategies will make you a lot stronger when you do finally advance the opinions you know are clinically correct. And you’ll serve your attorney-clients better when you learn to think like them (and the opposition) on all legal nurse consultant jobs you consult on.
Success Is Yours!
P.S. Comment and share how you think like the opposing attorney on your legal nurse consultant jobs.