Judge's innovation may offer malpractice fix

Side Note: This article from the Associated Press describes one New York judge’s unique approach to the problems of the U.S. malpractice system.  Judge McKeon call his approach “judge-directed negotiations”, and focuses on humanizing malpractice cases and patiently working with all parties to reach a fair resolution.  The New York City court system has received a grant of $3m to test this approach on a larger scale.  We at the Cunningham group agree that special medical education for judges can only be beneficial, but it remains to be seen whether this type of approach can be a substitute for meaninful legislative reform to the system.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Part listening, part cajoling, an innovative approach to resolving medical malpractice cases could become a model for courts around the country thanks to a pioneering judge who invested his own time in learning about medicine.

The Obama administration is spending $3 million to see if the methods developed by longtime New York judge Douglas McKeon can work on a broader scale, opening a way around the political stalemate over how to reform the medical liability system.

A senior appellate judge, McKeon named his approach “judge-directed negotiations.” But he also calls it “humanness.” Curiosity about medical matters led him to become a specialist in resolving wrenching cases that involve life-changing harm to patients.

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