IT'S ALL FREE! Legal Lingo

As a new legal nurse consultant, you may be confronted with some unfamiliar legal terms.  When an attorney wants to talk to you about "the meds", chances are you won't be discussing medications.  And if the attorney mentions "the OC", you won't be discussing that old television show that was based on Orange County, California. Here are a baker's dozen acronyms, abbreviations and phrases to get you started on your way to understanding medical malpractice legal lingo.

# Abbreviation Term
1. Co-D Co-defendant. When a plaintiff sues more than one person or entity, those who are sued are co-defendants.
2. D Defendant. A person or entity that has had a lawsuit filed again him/her/it.
3. Meds (or The Meds) Medical records.
4. OC Opposing counsel. For the plaintiff, opposing counsel is the defendant's attorney. For the defense, opposing counsel is the plaintiff's attorney.
5. PD Pre-deposition. A meeting held by an attorney with a client, fact witness, or expert prior to the deposition to review facts of the case and anticipated testimony.
6. PL Plaintiff. The person who initiates a lawsuit.
7. RC Records custodian. The person responsible for keeping documents for an entity. In medical malpractice, the documents are usually medical records which are allowed into evidence if the records custodian certifies that the medical records are accurate and complete.
8. RFP / RTP / RPD Request for production / request to produce / request for production of documents. This refers to a demand for the opposing party to supply paper and electronic documents, such as medical records, accident reports, expert reports, liability insurance policies, etc.
9. Rogs Interrogatories. These are written questions used in the discovery process to get information from the plaintiff and defense. Interrogatories frequently ask for plaintiff demographic data (name, age, marital status, etc.), employment status, treating physicians, treating hospitals, etc. Interrogatories to defendants ask for demographic data as well as staffing schedules, names of treating staff, board certification of physicians, etc.
10. SDT Subpoena duces tecum. A command for a witness to bring documents, such as medical records.
11. SOC Standards of care. General practices that a reasonable professional should exercise under specific circumstances. In medical malpractice, standards of care can refer to policies, procedures, guidelines, etc. used by health care professionals.
12. SOL Statute of Limitations. The amount of time in which a lawsuit must be filed, according to state or federal statutes. For example, a person initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit in some states must file the case within two years of the alleged malpractice.
13. Stip Stipulation. Facts or evidence that the parties in a lawsuit agree on. For example, the parties in a plastic surgery case may stipulate that pre- and postoperative photographs can be admitted without authentication.

...Katy Jones