ANSWER (to complaint): The defendant(s) will serve an Answer to plaintiff's complaint. The ANSWER is defendant's response to plaintiff's allegations.
BILL OF PARTICULARS: The defendant's attorney will generally serve a demand for a bill of particulars. The Bill of Particulars is a written list of questions to which the plaintiff's attorney will respond in writing with information provided by the plaintiff.
COMPLAINT: The Complaint, along with a summons, is the document that begins a lawsuit. In New York, the complaint is filed in court before it is served on the defendant(s). The complaint will include, in general terms, the facts you assert and legal claims that you are making.
DEFENDANT: The Defendant in a civil lawsuit is the person or company being sued in court by the plaintiff.
DEPOSITION: Also known as Examination Before Trial, the Deposition is testimony given by a party to the lawsuit or by a witness, out of court, under oath. A court reporter will be present to record everything that is said. The defendant's attorney will ask questions of the plaintiff and (often on a different day), plaintiff's attorney will ask questions of the defendant(s). The deposition is an extremely important and valuable part of the discovery process. The Gordon Law Firm of New York, LLP prepares our clients thoroughly prior to the day of the deposition. You will not be confronted by any question that you have not been prepared to answer truthfully and honestly.
HIPAA: HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, enacted in 1996, which, in part, protects a patient's medical records and other sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's authorization. Your attorney will ask you to sign HIPAA authorizations and possibly a Power of Attorney to allow both your attorney and the defendant's attorney to obtain your relevant medical records.
JURY DEMAND: When your attorney files the Note of Issue for your case, s/he will most often also file a Demand for Trial by Jury, requesting to have your case decided by a jury rather than by a judge alone. The decision whether to have your case decided by a judge or by a jury is a strategic decision made by your attorney.
NEGLIGENCE: Medical malpractice is the Negligence of a doctor. In a medical malpractice case, negligence occurs when the diagnosis or treatment provided by a doctor departs or deviates from accepted care. This means that the doctor has either done something that a reasonably prudent doctor would not have done under the circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent doctor would have done under the circumstances. The standard of care is generally defined as the manner in which the reasonably prudent health care provider would diagnose and treat a similar patient under similar circumstances. Each doctor is required to have a reasonable (average) degree of knowledge and skill and to practice his/her field of medicine/surgery in accordance with approved methods of treatment in general use in the community. The doctor does not guarantee a good result and will only be found liable if he/she has been negligent.
NOTE of ISSUE: The Note of Issue is a form that confirms that all parties have completed the process of discovery and that the case is ready for trial. The note of issue is generally filed by the plaintiff's attorney and served on all parties.
PLAINTIFF: The Plaintiff is the party who starts a lawsuit in a court. The Gordon Law Firm of New York, LLP represents plaintiffs.
RETAINER AGREEMENT: The Retainer Agreement is a written agreement that allows us to represent you and provides you, our client, with a detailed description of the scope of the legal services that we will provide for you, as well as a detailed explanation of the attorney's fees and expenses. All medical malpractice and personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis. That means that we, The Gordon Law Firm of New York, LLP, will not receive any fee unless we are successful in recovering money for you. A more detailed explanation of the fees and expenses can be found on our FAQ page.
SETTLEMENT DEMAND: At a certain point during the lawsuit, either the defendant or the court may ask for a Settlement Demand. The Gordon Law Firm of New York will never participate in settlement discussions without first discussing numbers with our client. We will make suggestions and give you our recommendations based on our knowledge of your case and our years of experience with settlement negotiations, however, the decision whether to accept a settlement offer or proceed to trial will always be made by our client.
STATUTE of LIMITATIONS: New York places time limits on your right to sue for personal injury or medical malpractice. The Statute of Limitations is the time within which you must start your lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, you will be barred from pursuing your case. If you believe that you have been injured by the negligent actions of another, you should contact a lawyer immediately so as not to be shut out of court by the statute of limitations. Depending on the circumstances and the party(ies) you may be able to sue, the statute of limitations may be very short.
SUMMONS: A Summons is most often served with a complaint. The summons simply informs the defendant(s) that they are being sued.
VERDICT: The Verdict is the decision of a jury base on the testimony they have heard during the trial, the evidence they have seen, and the law of the case given to the jury by the judge.