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of both the defendant doctor in the medical malpractice action, as well as the plaintiff’s expert witness. The law students are required to meet with their witnesses prior to the exam, prepare them for the deposition process and anticipate the deposition questions. Then, after the students have had the opportunity to prepare their witnesses, they take and defend a deposition. Immediately following the final exam exercise, individual feedback is provided both to the law students and to the residents on the exercise. Following the individual feedback sessions, the entire class of law students and residents further discuss the exercise and the deposition process. By meeting collectively, the law students are better able to understand the perspective of the resident as the deponent, and the residents are better able to understand the perspectives of the law students as lawyers.

Benefits to the students and residents

The greatest benefit to law students is a simulated experience that more accurately mirrors a live-client experience than most traditional law school skills courses and practicum. Above all, the law students depose real expert witnesses. Although the final exam is based on a mock case file, the medical issues are real. The case file from which the students work provides a richer experience because it has been jointly developed by lawyers and physicians to ensure authenticity in the medical and legal issues. Further, in responding to deposition questions and assisting in witness preparation, the residents are able to provide background medical knowledge that only comes from years of medical training and to provide responses to deposition questioning that more closely replicate responses a lawyer is likely to encounter during an expert deposition. This level of authenticity cannot be replicated by law students or other lay people as witnesses. Moreover, by providing this course as an opportunity for crosstraining to medical residents and law

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July/August 2016

Ohio Lawyer

31

July/August 2016  

The President's issue.

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