We Did the Case for Free and Everyone Was a Winner
by Cheryl Garrison, RN, CEN, SANE, CLNC
While attending the NACLNC® Conference I was reminded to keep marketing even when I have cases. Vickie’s conferences always get me motivated and ready to go! When I got home still revved up, my thoughts turned to how to get our CLNC® business on more attorneys’ radars. I started hearing on the news about one of our local DA offices. This DA seemed to attract a lot of media attention. The idea hit me that maybe we could help! I talked with my partner, JoAnn, about volunteering to do a case. Giving back to our community would benefit the DA’s office and we would continue to build our CLNC skills.
They also told us that the results of our assistance on the case ‘were decisive in obtaining convictions on the suspects involved.’
I contacted their office and was able to talk with the assistant DA, and set an appointment. He referred me to another attorney in the office who was working on a child abuse case. That attorney was open to us assisting, but the abuse case she had at the time was going to trial in the next few days. She appreciated the information and extra references we were able to quickly provide to her.
I continued to email the assistant DA and a few months later he asked if we would be willing to look at an elder abuse case. I didn’t get off the phone until we had an appointment set. JoAnn, along with Lisa, one of our subcontractors, and I went to the meeting prepared to meet with more than one attorney just like Vickie teaches and she was so right! The meeting consisted of two attorneys, an investigator and three other staff members. We received an overview of the case and documented the issues and the crucial dates and times.
The three of us poured over the large volume of medical records. We completed our case analysis and met back with the legal team. We explained disease processes, side effects of medications, interpreted lab results and educated them on how all of these issues could affect a person’s cognitive abilities, especially in the elderly. We had made special note of the specific dates and times the attorneys should focus on and clarified how we found those times correlated with certain medications, illnesses, behavior, family visits, bill paying history and signing of important legal documents.
The DA staff was stunned and asked us to produce a written report. I wrote a detailed summary along with a chronology that allowed the attorney to quickly reference the information we had provided and where it correlated with their documents.
The DA staff expressed appreciation in a letter which read:
Your analysis provided a chronology of medical problems observed with the victim, treatments, as well as a list of drugs prescribed and administered to the victim. The chronology provided insight, in lay terms, of the medical condition and critical points in time. Your examination of the medical records, as well as the analysis you prepared, provided insight that would have not been available to investigators trying to make sense of the voluminous and complex records involved. In addition, your analysis of the drugs administered to the victim provided a much better understanding of the probable lucidity of the victim at critical points in time.
They also told us that the results of our assistance on the case “were decisive in obtaining convictions on the suspects involved.”
Our one case has changed the way the DA’s office handles all their cases! We originally contacted them because we wanted to give back to the community and obtain experience analyzing cases and writing reports. What we achieved was much more − we helped to vindicate the victim, assisted the legal staff, gained invaluable experience and helped improve the process of obtaining conviction of the suspect(s) for the next victim.
This one case analysis provided the DA’s office with an understanding of the many benefits of having CLNC consultants on their cases. You can imagine our delight when we were told “the DA is appreciative of your work and would like to retain your services in similar future cases.”
Click here for Memorable Case guidelines and thought starters.