Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“Schedule an Individual Meeting with a Lawyer and Have 10 Lawyers Show Up”
The Breakfast Round table
For over 10 years, I held breakfast meetings for lawyers. I don’t mean the one-on-ones; I am referring to inviting 20-30 lawyers for a breakfast where we held a “round table discussion” on medical-legal topics. Out of the 20-30 invitees, 5-15 responded positively and showed up. I started with 5 on the other side of the table and by the time I was done, there were 45 who wanted to show up, so I held 3 meetings to accommodate everyone on different days. Last week, we tested this with one of our doctors and he had 23 lawyers show up. It was a huge success on his first try!
Why would lawyers come to your round table? As a result of the fact that you are reviewing topics that will help them prevail on their cases. Remember, it’s always about the money to lawyers and they will give their time to “learn more to make more!” The round table forum is the perfect venue for everyone; it is simply many individual conversations with others listening. You are not in front of a group lecturing, nor do you need to project images, meaning it is not necessary to purchase or provide any audio-visual equipment. The technology is low and the value to the lawyers is huge.
Since we have previously provided all of the research and topics for you, the preparation is also minimal. For these round tables, you will be reviewing the bi-monthly educational fliers and you should start with a discussion on herniated discs. The topic of disc is the “sexiest” topic nationally and will get the attention of the lawyers. Start with the following educational fliers:
ANY YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH TO TEACH... Herniated discs, low speed injuries and arthritis are the hottest topics in the nation!
The above topics should take you a good hour to explain and discuss. However, with questions, it can go to two hours. The time passes more quickly than you can imagine. Your goal is to try to make this an hour-long meeting. If it takes much longer, at future round tables, lawyers will be concerned over the time it takes and their tight schedules.
To be prepared, you must be expert in MRI, disc and disc pathology. I urge you to take the MRI Spine Interpretation Course and I would also say take any other course like it, but there are none…anywhere. You must be incredibly prepared…because you never know the questions that are going to be asked, but if you get stumped, that’s OK. However, if you answer a question incorrectly, your relationship will be injured…possibly forever. Look at it this way; if a lawyer is coming to the round table for information and they use that information in court…and they will...and they give the wrong information based upon what you told them…and they lose their case…
Let’s go back to the beginning for the lawyer, so you can better understand his/her business. The lawyer gets a client that is not your patient and has a serious question on bulges and protrusions. Therefore, he/she comes to your round table discussion to get factual answers. During the discussion, you render an opinion on a disc bulge and the traumatic origin of that bulge (a misstatement of fact). As a result, the lawyer refuses to settle the case and goes to trial. It is going to cost the lawyer upwards of $50,000 to bring this case to trial between disbursements and experts because they are holding tight to your opinion that bulges are traumatically induced.
Since many lawyers are not solvent enough to spend $50,000 and their clients do not have that kind of money, the lawyer takes a loan to bring the case to trial, a very common business decision for lawyers in today’s economy. The lawyer is personally liable for the loan, as most of his clients do not qualify for the loans. During the trial, the opposition has an expert present numerous sources, stating the facts of the injury and the bulge. As a result, the lawyer loses what he thought was going to pay off his mortgage and is now saddled with a $50,000 debt because of you. Who is he/she going to tell? You and then everyone he/she knows at every bar meeting, every future court appearance and any other opportunity he/she has to trash you. Basically, your personal injury practice will cease to exist with the exception of those patients you have previously treated who will come back to you for care.
The moral of the story is that you have to know everything about disc and MRI and be the expert you are purporting to be. Lawyers are very, very smart and many know as much or more than you do right now. Unless you are the most knowledgeable person in the room about disc, this will backfire because when you put more than one lawyer in a room, a competition is often created where many want their colleagues to think they are the smartest. It is that environment where you can be the most successful by being the one that is right in the conversation and politely correcting them. Again, take the MRI Spine Interpretation Course to get the knowledge and the credentials because they will ask.
This past week, after I lectured to lawyers at the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, I was surrounded by a group of lawyers and the most pressing question I was asked was about my credentials. The lawyers all wanted to know if I was qualified to talk about and testify on disc. Can you imagine that? I presented for 3 solid hours on dozens of topics and the most inquiries I received had to do with my credentials on disc. In fact, they requested to see my CV right there in the lecture hall and I presented it. Once they saw the credentials for the MRI courses, they were satisfied I could meet their needs as an expert. I took it one step further, as there were 2 sponsoring doctors in the room. I pulled out their CV’s and showed the lawyers the credentials of those doctors with the citations from the MRI Spine Interpretation Course and that, too, satisfied them as to requirements to get the testimony admitted in court.
Credentials matter to lawyers, as I have been sharing with you more so than you realize. In the round table discussion, that will be a topic broached by the lawyers and you need to be prepared.
Definitions, Causality, Treatment
A Round table Discussion
with Dr. Mark Studin
Monday, September 9, 2009
Three Village Inn
Stony Brook, NY
This is a free seminar for the lawyer and his/her staff
Maximum participants: 10
Please respond ASAP
RSVP via Fax: 661-582-1234
Questions: Call Dr. Studin at 631-786-4253
The invitations can be sent via e-mail or faxed if you have permission from the lawyer’s office to prevent infraction any faxing laws. At the round table, which should be set up with either a round table or tables arranged in a horseshoe shape, you should have a small binder with the topics, printed in color, and the research articles behind those that have the research. In the front pocket of the folder, you should place your curriculum vitae, printed on quality, tan stock in black. The cover should have your office’s name and contact information. Do not place your CV in the binder unless I have critiqued it.
After the first round table, the subsequent meetings should cover other topics available or you can do case reviews. I often asked the lawyers to send me their cases (with the clients names removed) to present to the crowd. This was a very popular topic, but one I do not suggest you start with. Start with a controlled topic that you can easily define and not go off onto too many tangents with. Understanding herniated disc is the most pressing issue with lawyers nationally and the topic that will garner the most attention and fill your table the easiest.
The day before the round table, do not forget to call each respondent as a reminder. The menu should be breakfast lobster tails and steak and eggs…NOT! It doesn’t matter…Bagels, eggs, french toast…It really doesn’t matter as long as you have strong coffee. Breakfast is served during the discussion.
At the meeting, you will not ask for a referral…ever. You will explain P-IMEs and the significance of answering any ongoing diagnostic dilemmas. You will explain its place, as you will review their clients' cases in the absence of your treating the client. The P-IME is how you gain their confidence in future referrals.
Just remember the 6P’s. Proper Planning Prevent Piss Poor Performance and the rest will take care of itself.