Getting to Know: Douglas Vaughn
Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles’ partner discusses his work on CLM’s Medical Legal Committee and previews its upcoming conference on June 3, 2015.
By Eric Gilkey
On defining the Medical Legal Committee’s mission:
“We initially began as a subcommittee of CLM’s Professional Liability Committee before emerging as a standalone group in late 2013. When we first discussed what our focus should be, one thing we knew is that we did not want to focus strictly on medical malpractice, since medical issues arise in all types of litigation, including workers’ compensation, nursing home torts, and product liability issues. Therefore, our mission became to identify, discuss, and educate CLM members and fellows about new developments in the law, medical issues raising new questions and interest, and the legal implications of medical care rendered in various types of claims.”
On the value of collaboration:
“My client base includes individuals and businesses that are sued by individuals who are claiming personal injuries, and I also defend health care professionals against claims of professional malpractice. The lawyers who represent claimants are constantly evolving their theories of injuries and their trial tactics—think reptile tactics and expensive vitamin injections. By collaborating with other defense attorneys and claims industry professionals, I can draw upon our collective experiences to present the best defense for our clients. My law firm has long been committed to CLM, so when the Medical Legal Committee was formed, I saw an opportunity to serve and to stay informed.”
On the committee’s goals for 2015 and beyond:
“We want to bring programs to CLM fellows and members that stand out for both their timeliness and topical interest. We also are encouraging fellows to write and engage in webinar presentations with members on unusual medical issues that they have seen in their defense of claims. Fellows make CLM unique, and getting industry professionals involved is key to our committee’s success.”
On the challenges of putting together a conference:
“This is our committee’s second conference; we hosted our first summit in January 2014. Having the first event under our belts, we’re finding the process to be even smoother than before. Our committee continues to grow in numbers and knowledge, and those who make up our membership have contributed many topic and speaker suggestions. In fact, one of our biggest challenges was narrowing down the list of sessions that we wanted to include.
“I feel lucky to work alongside with co-committee chairs Tad Eckenrode, Dr. Marcos Iglesias, and Erin Myers, who have helped guide this great group of professionals in the right direction. [Executive Editor] Eric Gilkey also has been very supportive in bringing topics to the table. We have a lot of great things planned for this year’s summit.”
On the importance of hearing from all sides:
“One of the things I like most about our summit is the fact that every session will have at least three panelists: one CLM member, one CLM fellow, and one medical practitioner. We’ll hear all sides of an issue, with the goal being that a new understanding is reached on some really interesting and emerging issues. Some of those issues include birth injury claims, an examination of the prescription drug war, and how marijuana is changing and affecting workers’ compensation. Additionally, sessions like ‘Using RICO Against the Unscrupulous in Medical Recovery Actions,’ will provide a chiropractor’s insight. Every session promises to provide useful, practical information for attendees to take home with them.”
CLM’s Medical Legal Conference is on June 3, 2015. Register at theclm.org.