Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Dale Barnes Discusses the Differences Between Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys

Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Dale Barnes Discusses the Differences Between Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys

I work with both plaintiff and defense attorneys because it gives me a good balance in my CLNC® business. I have to think like both a plaintiff and a defense Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, so I’m always on my toes, aware of how the opposing side may proceed.

The CLNC services I provide for plaintiff and defense attorneys are pretty comparable. Plaintiff attorneys obviously want as strong a case as possible, so they want my opinion on the merits of the case which effects whether the lawsuit is filed. Sometimes the defense attorney has clear-cut defenses and needs a CLNC consultant to bolster them. Other times the case is not defensible and they want me to help mitigate damages.

For plaintiff attorneys I write much more detailed reports and provide many more CLNC services. For defense attorneys, reports, if any, are brief, though I still do a lot of research. For both, I locate experts, go to defense medical exams (DMEs), provide research support and provide demonstrative evidence, interrogatories and deposition questions.

I find my plaintiff attorneys to be a bit edgier and they aggressively represent their clients. If they try to push the envelope too far on medical issues, I consider it my job as the CLNC consultant to keep them in check! My defense attorneys are generally more laid back, but they can be equally aggressive and very opinionated. Their opinions are not always correct and it’s my job to keep them in check as well.

When communicating with attorneys I try to assess who I’m working with, what their personality is and proceed accordingly. With some attorneys I can be a straight arrow and tell them all the facts (good and bad) and they deal with it. For others, I may need to cushion my message to avoid overreaction.

I enjoy consulting with both plaintiff and defense attorneys as it keeps me well rounded.

dale-barnesGuest Blogger Profile

Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC has more than 30 years of diverse nursing experience. During her 20+ years in business as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant she has successfully handled a variety of cases and consults with both plaintiff and defense attorneys who specialize in oncology cases. Dale is a CLNC Mentor and a guest faculty member for Vickie Milazzo Institute.

P.S. Comment and share whether you consult with plaintiff or defense attorneys, or both, and why?

2 thoughts on “Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Dale Barnes Discusses the Differences Between Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys

  1. Thank you for sharing, Dale. I have been getting a lot of DME cases and have been feeling like I’m veritably alone out there. Nice to know there are other Certified Legal Nurse Consultant who perform the DMEs and work both Plaintiff and Defense – a goal I am interested in achieving as well.

  2. Hi Dale,

    I am a hospice expert witness. Most of my calls are from plaintiff attorneys. Thank you for clarifying the difference.

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