Clear and Convincing Standard in Medical Malpractice Cases

The Arizona Star reports that the Arizona legislature is considering a law that would – to put it lightly – make it more difficult for medical malpractice lawyers to recover compensation in medical malpractice cases for their clients. Under the proposed bill, plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases would be required to prove by “clear and convincing evidence’ that doctor failed to meet the standard of care. A similar bill passed the Arizona legislature in 2006 but was vetoed by former governor Janet Napolitano.

Under this law, juries can reason that while they think the doctor committed medical malpractice, they cannot be “clear and convincing” sure. I would be a bad law that turns the notion of civil justice that we have had in the country from the beginning on its head.