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Trial Attorney

Job Details

Experienced
Full Time
Legal

Description

Position Summary:

Defends LAMMICO and its insureds in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits filed with the Division of Administration and/or filed in State and/or Federal Court. Provides legal advice and counsel to assist LAMMICO and its insureds as needed.

 Reporting Relationship:

Reports directly to the VP of the Legal Department, Schroeder & Trahan

Essential Functions/Responsibilities:

  • Works in a cooperative manner with management, coworkers, customers, and vendors; seeks to support  LAMMICO’s mission and vision in daily operations
  • Contributes to the development of the department’s strategic and operating planning and meets assigned target dates and objectives; helps ensure that department quality, service and productivity standards are met
  • Provides legal advice to clients regarding potential claims
  • Performs all requisite duties of defending insureds throughout the Medical Review Panel Process and in Court, up to and including the ultimate resolution of the matter through dismissal, via settlement, trial, and if necessary, appeal
  • Keeps the insured and the Claims Representative timely advised of developments in the case 
  • Attends the initial meeting with the insured healthcare provider and Claims Representative
  • Advises the insured and Claim Representative as to the potential liability exposure based upon facts as they are developed through discovery 
  • Drafts any and all correspondence (or directs that same be drafted) as needed to advance the case and document the file  
  • Drafts any and all pleadings (or directs that same be drafted) as needed to defend, advance, try, resolve, or appeal the case 
  • Participates in the selection and ensures the timely appointment of the Attorney Chairman in a Medical Review Panel action  
  • Participates and drives the appropriate formation of the Medical Review Panel  
  • Formulates a discovery plan with the insured and Claim Representative to develop facts necessary for the completion of the Medical Review Panel process  
  • Participates and drives the discovery process and procurement of medical records as needed for presentation to a Medical Review Panel 
  • Prepares and supervises the submission of evidence to the Medical Review Panel
  • Attends the meeting of the Medical Review Panel and questions the health care provider members of the Panel when  and as appropriate 
  • Timely reports the outcome of the Medical Review Panel meeting to the insured and Claims Representative
  • Calculates the applicable prescriptive period remaining for the filing of a lawsuit post Medical Review Panel, and diaries same (or directs that the deadline be diaried)
  • Initiates a court search, or utilizes electronic service when available, to determine if suit has been filed post Medical Review Panel once the prescriptive period has expired 
  • If suit is filed, prepares the appropriate responsive pleadings to defend the insured (or directs that pleadings be prepared)
  • Evaluates whether or not plaintiffs have followed the rules regarding the posting of a bond for the costs of the Medical Review Panel in connection with filing suit and obtaining judgments when applicable for dismissal or the posting of a bond
  • Evaluates the liability exposure of the case post Medical Review Panel based upon any additional information obtained 
  • Participates in Arbitrations and Mediations, if approved by the insured and Claims Representative or as ordered by the Court 
  • Formulates and implements a discovery and litigation plan  
  • Evaluates the possibility of obtaining a dismissal through summary judgment and files the pleadings (or directs same) when appropriate  
  • Conducts any and all factual discovery deemed appropriate including document discovery and depositions of plaintiff’s fact witnesses 
  • Evaluates the qualifications of plaintiff’s expert witnesses based upon information available 
  • Evaluates the need for additional discovery regarding plaintiff’s expert  
  • Takes the deposition of plaintiff’s expert witness, unless waiver is deemed appropriate in consultation with the insured and Claims Representative
  • Drives the selection, retention, and preparation of defense expert witnesses 
  • Conducts any and all other discovery and investigations deemed appropriate (or directs that same be performed) 
  • Completes preparation deemed appropriate to bring the matter to trial 
  • Prepares the insured for trial
  • Tries the case before a Judge or Jury 
  • Evaluates the viability of appeal if necessary 
  • Facilitates the payment and satisfaction of any judgment, including the calculation of judicial interest up to the time of payment, if necessary 
  • Obtains or prepares and files any and all pleadings and documentation necessary and appropriate  to reflect final dismissal of the case from the court’s docket
  • Performs any and all other functions deemed appropriate to obtain final resolution of a claim or suit
  • Adheres to LAMMICO’s policies and procedures, as well as the policies and guidelines of the Claims Department and Legal Department, and complies with all ethical and professional responsibilities as required by the Louisiana State Bar Association Guidelines for the Practice of Law, and the Code of Professional Responsibility 
  • Supervises and is responsible for the work product of subordinate attorneys, paralegals, nurse paralegals, legal nurse specialists, legal secretaries and legal assistants, and legal records coordinator 
  • Responsible for the professional development of less experienced attorneys in the Legal Department with whom the Trial Attorney interacts 
  • Supervises and works in a cooperative manner with Staff Attorneys to facilitate the efficient closure of cases
  • Assists insureds with the defense of claims filed with the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Appear with insureds in depositions and file pleadings as needed to protect the interest of LAMMICO and insured providers as needed when the insureds are not named parties to the litigation
  • Preparation of settlement documents when requested by LAMMICO; provides other legal documents or appearances as requested by Claims Department
  • Provides support and advice as needed for Legislation potentially affecting LAMMICO and insureds
  • Provides legal support and assistance as needed to Claims, Underwriting, Marketing, Risk Management, and Communications Departments
  • Presents and maintains a competent and professional image of LAMMICO and the Legal Department 
  • Interacts with and maintains professional and productive relationships with the bench, legal, and medical communities 
  • Complies with any and all obligations imposed by the Louisiana Supreme Court and/or the Louisiana State Bar Association regarding the practice of law in the State of Louisiana 
  • Complies with the Code of Professional Responsibility 
  • Obtains the requisite number of CLE hours needed to maintain a license to practice law in Louisiana; timely and fully complete other training as required by LAMMICO
  • Works to continually develop litigation and general legal knowledge and skills and medical knowledge. Acquires and maintains technical knowledge necessary to defend and benefit LAMMICO and its insureds
  • Assists other Trial Attorneys as needed in the best interest of the insured and LAMMICO 
  • Completes tasks delegated by the Staff Counsel Director in a timely and competent manner

Secondary Functions/Responsibilities:

  • Other responsibilities and special projects as assigned

Qualifications

Required:

  • J.D. Degree from an ABA accredited law school
  • Currently admitted to practice law in the State of Louisiana
  • Participation in a sufficient number of Judge and/or Jury Trials to demonstrate the ability and skills necessary to effectively handle a medical malpractice case through trial, and appeal if necessary
  • Minimum of fifteen years of experience as primary attorney handling files
  • Strong decision making skills
  • Strong customer focus and team orientation
  • Ability to appropriately handle confidential and sensitive company, insured, and patient information
  • Commitment to continuing industry education and individual functional education
  • Excellent communications skills with the ability to interact and work effectively with employees at all levels within and outside of the organization
  • Ability to manage time, set priorities, and work independently and in cooperation with others when appropriate; ability to organize, analyze, and interpret information
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office programs, including Word and Outlook
  • Current, unrestricted law license

Desired:

  • Insurance industry experience
  • Medical malpractice defense experience
  • Medical knowledge or experience in health care field
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