Bostwick & Peterson partner James Bostwick appeared on “Your Legal Rights: Practicing Medical Malpractice” on KALW 91.7 FM where he discussed his novel, Acts of Omission and the difficult decisions that come with being a civil attorney.
In his interview with Jeff Hayden, Jim talks about what goes into taking on a catastrophic injury case. One of the reasons that civil attorneys must be so selective when it comes to choosing cases is the significant financial and emotional investment that is necessary to properly represent the victims of medical malpractice or other catastrophic injuries.
Since 1975, medical malpractice recoveries have been capped at $250,000 in California, unless there is an economic component. Due to this cap, it is not viable for lawyers to take on medical malpractice cases without a significant economic component. This leads to many difficult decisions for lawyers who want to help as many people as possible, but cannot possibly justify the cost necessary to take on a case when the settlement will be so low.
In the interview, Jim also discusses his book, Acts of Omission. He has always had a love of reading and enjoys reading legal novels, but he noticed that legal novels are almost always about criminal law rather than civil law. One of the reasons he chose to write a book was because he wanted to demonstrate to the public what it’s like to be a civil lawyer. His book displays what civil lawyers do, what motivates them, and all the difficult decisions they are forced to make in the process of selecting and trying cases.
To learn more about Jim’s book and the dilemmas faced by civil lawyers, listen to the full interview here.