Medical and Professional Liability

The attorneys in our medical malpractice practice group are keenly aware of the high stakes involved when a doctor is sued.  We understand first-hand the years of hard work and academic study our clients have spent in the pursuit of excellence.  As mutual members of the professional community, we appreciate the sacrifice of those called to the medical field and offer our pledge to honor this commitment by providing a vigorous, aggressive legal defense.

When professional accomplishments are threatened as a result of a lawsuit or a professional misconduct investigation, a doctor, dentist, nurse, technician, physical therapist, chiropractor or medical care institution can count on the trusted advice and experience of our core medical malpractice attorneys to guide them safely through the process.

Defending and winning medical malpractice cases are at the heart of what we do at Smith Sovik.  Only the best and most skilled trial attorneys are selected to represent the interests of the sued medical professional; there is too much at risk to offer anything less.  The attorneys leading our medical malpractice group - James Lantier, Michael Ringwood and Eric Johnson are all selected Super Lawyers ™ in medical malpractice defense and each have spent decades representing various members of the medical community.

From first notice of the malpractice lawsuit our lawyers and staff are prepared to meticulously review the records, meet with the client, and immediately start developing a joint defense strategy.  This hands-on and personalized approach starts at the infancy of the case, continues through trial and if necessary, the appellate process.

One of the critical steps is the retention of the appropriate medical expert to assist in reviewing often complicated medical records and offer confidential advice and assessment relating to the multiple causes of action alleged in the legal pleadings. Finding the right knowledgeable and qualified expert who will partner with counsel and client is absolutely critical. We dedicate a tremendous amount of resources and time to identifying and retaining the best expert for each individual case.  Such an expert understands the medicine and is skilled in presenting complex medical subjects in a manner comprehensible to a civil jury comprised of lay men and women. 

The lawyers in our medical malpractice practice group are well equipped to make a persuasive presentation which effectively translates what happens in the operating room to the drama of the courtroom.  We understand jurors today live in a visual world and expect lawyers to be prepared to present evidence using advanced audio visual techniques such as PowerPoint, medical art or modeling.  At Smith Sovik we have embraced this technology with great success.

We defend clients in cases from misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose properly, surgical errors, post-operative problems, birth trauma, anesthesia complications, emergency room errors, laboratory mistakes, medications errors, nursing care, and represent every form of specialty from anesthesiologists to vascular surgeons.

The attorneys in our medical malpractice medical group also include James W. Cunningham, Kevin E. Hulslander, Brandon R. King, Edward J. Smith, III and Laurence "Fritz" Sovik.  Collectively these attorneys have tried literally hundreds of cases representing the interests of physicians, hospitals, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, chiropractors, podiatrists, therapists, EMTS, psychiatrists, psychologists and other health care providers.   Together we utilize a team approach that includes the selection of team members with a specialization in various medical practice areas.  We are detailed and meticulous in preparing a defense and dedicated to being the legal advocate you need when faced with a threat to your professional reputation and livelihood.

We also represent health care professionals in investigations brought by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) of the New York State Department of Health. A disciplinary sanction by the OPMC after an investigation or hearing can have serious consequences including loss of license, probation, censure, or a letter of reprimand. When your professional reputation or livelihood is at stake you need the experience of the attorneys at Smith Sovik to provide reliable advice to help navigate through one of the most difficult times of your career.  

We also appreciate the continuing relationship with the medical liability insurance carriers who are dedicated to supporting the medical professional we represent.  For these entities we are committed to acting as an equal partner in the claims process and delivering top notch legal services in a reliable and cost-effective manner. We are dedicated to working in compliance with insurance carriers' budgets and guidelines while protecting our clients' best interests. 

Smith Sovik lawyers are proud members and contributors to the DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee and the New York State Bar Association Health Law Section





Back to Practices List