Saturday, December 19, 2009

Exonerated Gynecologsit

According to the London, Daily Mail, Bibi Giles accused her gynecologist Dr. Angus Thompson of intentional giving her two "knee buckling" orgasms.  Mrs. Giles filed a civil claim in Worcester County, England.  The trial on the matter was set to conclude, Thursday when another doctor who had previously treated Mrs. Giles came forward and revealed that he too had been subject to sexual advances by Mrs. Giles.   Dr. Thompson was exonerated, and the wealthy Giles couple agreed to pay 30,000 pounds to Dr. Thomspon for his attorney fees.   

"Perry Mason-like revelations" rarely happen in court, because of "discovery" rules.  In virtually all jurisdictions (locations) rules of civil procedure govern the initiation, service of papers on persons, investigation, and preparation as well as dismissal and judgments in lawsuits.  These local Rules of Civil Procedure are modeled after the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).  The section of the rules called "discovery" is intended to assist the lawyers and litigants prepare their cases, narrow the issues, and eliminate surprise.  Discovery is not a replacement for investigating the "good faith" basis for a lawsuit which the lawyer "certifies" by his or her signature when they file lawsuits and other pleadings (papers) with the court.  Nonetheless, the rules of discovery permit written questions and answers upon the parties (interrogatories), exchange of documents, computer files, pictures, recordings, videos, and depostions.  The idea is that by conducting discovery the parties can figure out in advance if the case should go to trial, be settled or dismissed.

Discovery presents many opportunities for good lawyers;  and, discovery can be used as an oppressive battering ram by assholes.   But situations like the one involving Mrs. Giles rarely occur, because the design of our system is such that these sorts of revelations which do happen all the time, happen before the matter goes to trial.

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