Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 123
"Opening the Lawyer's Closed Door"
From the very start of my work with CMCS Management, Inc., I heard from Dr. Studin that a curriculum vitae is so very important in the lives of our clients and now I know why. Your CV can dispel the lawyers’ negative stereotype of chiropractors and show them that you are the best-of-the-best. Unfortunately, many lawyers hear the term “chiropractor” and think that is not a professional they want to work with. Your CV can change their minds. Your CV can demonstrate that you are not just any chiropractor, but a well-trained one, who continues to take courses and educate yourself. That you understand that lawyers need your CV to be admissible so they can use you as an expert in court. That you stay abreast of current research in the field and as a result, are up-to-date on matters that may help them in court. To that end, I have a family of lawyers and simply asked the question to ensure you are getting the correct advice. Is a CV important? The answer was a resounding, "YES," and it is critical for the lawyer to prevail in their cases.
I’m sure many of you understand that you should do all of the things I listed in the first paragraph such as educating yourself, but you also think that should be enough. Why shouldn’t the lawyer listen to you when you tell them all of this? The answer is that often you won’t get the chance to tell the lawyer. When I was setting up meetings for some of our clients with lawyers, I was floored by just how much the lawyers valued their time and how resistant they were to sparing even 10 minutes of it. I found that often the doctor couldn’t get to the lawyer without first proving it was worth at least a few minutes of the lawyer’s time. How did I prove this? I sent over a copy of the doctor’s CV. In this way, I was able to talk some of the lawyers into sparing a few minutes of their time, but only by first showing them why it would be worth their time.
The same thing can be accomplished by mailing your CV or even passing it out to lawyers at a bar association meeting. Nine times out of ten, lawyers will not give you the time of day unless they know you are someone worth giving it to. That’s why your CV must not only be in perfect format, but it must be constantly updated as you take more courses and earn more credentials. Don’t forget, in order for the lawyer to see you as an asset, he/she must know you perform with clinical excellence. Lawyers need you to have credentials on the following subjects in order to prevail in most circumstances:
- disc pathology
- spine pathology
- crash dynamics
- MRI interpretation
- triaging the injured
- electrodiagnostic interpretation
At the very least, you must have credentials on 2-3 of these topics to get started.
DO NOT MEET WITH A LAWYER OR EVEN ATTEMPT TO DO SO WITHOUT FIRST HAVING YOUR CV REVIEWED BY DR. STUDIN AND MYSELF. I will review it for format, making sure that it is grammatically correct, consistent, and admissible. Then Dr. Studin will review it for content, offering suggestions about what you could add to it to provide the lawyer with more of an incentive to want to work with you.
The idea is to let your CV paint a picture of you for the lawyer. Allow your CV to precede you in showing the lawyer that you are the best-of-the-best and the expert he/she should work with in order to prevail in his/her PI cases. My experience in getting many of you through that door that was previously closed to you was to use the key to open the door. That key was always the doctor’s CV.