Why would one law firm look at a case rejected by another law firm? The answer is simple—we are not infallible—but more importantly most law firms lack the experience and resources to properly evaluate a potential claim.
One particular case comes to mind. One Monday morning I received a call from another attorney. The facts involved a 30-year-old woman with brain damage after open heart surgery. Her case had been reviewed by two firms and two anesthesiologists, all of whom found no liability. The Statute of Limitations would run that Friday. Would I look at the case? They had all of the records.
The first reaction: The Statute of Limitations runs that Friday.
The second reaction, young woman with brain damage and a heart surgery case reviewed by anesthesiologists. This is wrong, it should have been reviewed by a heart surgeon, and we need the records immediately.
The records were delivered to our office that Monday afternoon. I reviewed them that evening and called a heart surgeon that I knew. We reviewed the facts together, and he told me to be in his office at 7AM the next morning as he had surgery scheduled for 10AM. There in his office, we reviewed the records together and he told me what he felt were the errors in the work carried out by the surgeon. He agreed to be of assistance.
On that Wednesday I was able to meet and assess the client. Wednesday afternoon the complaint was drafted and on Thursday it was filed in Court protecting the Statute of Limitations. The case settled two years later for over $3million.
The attorney had the records, I had free time, I had access to a heart surgeon and all the factors that should not have worked, in this case worked.
Under the right circumstances we will take a second look when a case has been turned down by another firm.