We recently encountered a challenging situation; In one matter: 20 witnesses to verify and serve, a week before the trial date. There were a myriad of reasons why the attorney was unprepared for trial (several incidents came to light during this hectic process) but below, we pass along several generic trial prep techniques:
1. Consult with your trial prep person well before trial.
Meeting with your trial prep firm allows the investigator to become aware of the case facts, and allots him/her the time to review the matter and then, formulate and execute an operations plan. (There will always be last minute filings, service, subject locates… that have to be performed. An experienced trial prep firm, however , has resources already in place for those unforeseen events.)
2. Basic Paperwork and Activity To Have Completed Pre-Trial
– Special Power of Attorney. This should be obtained from the injured client from the outset. (In this recent case, the client lived several states away and was not readily able to come up and sign authorizations.)
– HIPAA authorizations. If there is a hint that the records may contain medical information, a duly executed HIPAA authorization form must be attached to the subpoena request for testimony and or records.
– So Ordered Subpoenas. Generally, among other criteria, if a city, state or federal agency is involved, a So Ordered Subpoena (signed by a judge) must be obtained at the trial court.
– Subject Locates – Don’t use the DIY online searches that are readily available online. The vast majority of these sites yield information that, if correct, ages out at about 12 to 18 months old already. Have your investigator conduct comprehensive locates, especially in cases that, for whatever reason (e.g., attorney substitution) have gone on for a while,
Tip: When dealing with EMS documents, note the shield numbers. If the shield number is 6,000 or above (e.g. Shield# 7206 or 6024) this is a private ambulance that has responded. Do not subpoena the FDNY at MetroTech for the Ambulance Call Report. They won’t have it. In the section underneath “Comments” on the ACR, there is a field for Hosp #. The number in that field reveals the hospital associated with the responding ambulance. (There may be one of two numbers written into this field; a 3 digit number is the trauma center designation and the number in parens is the FDNY hospital code assignment. Almost all EMS personnel use the 2 digit FDNY code. n parentheses) See below for NY County Hospital Codes. (For other boroughs: shoot us an email, we’ll send you the links.)
|Hospital Name||Disposition Code||Hospital Name||Disposition Code|
|‡Bellevue Hospital||712 (02)||Beth Israel Medical Petrie Campus||713 (03)|
|Cabrini Medical||715 (63)||Goldwater Memorial Hospital – Coler Site||714|
|Goldwater Memorial Hospital – Goldwater Site||720||‡Harlem Hospital||721 (07)|
|Hospital Joint Diseases Ortho. Inst.||735||Hospital For Special Surgery||723|
|North General Hospital||758 (09)||Lenox Hill Hospital||728 (11)|
|Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital||730 (05)||Memorial Hospital – Cancer & Allied Diseases||731 (08)|
|Metropolitan Hospital||732 (12)||Mount Sinai Hospital||734 (13)|
|New York Eye & Ear Infirmary||736||New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell||737 (14)|
|New York University Downtown Hospital||941 (01)||New York University Hospitals||739 (15)|
|‡New York Presbyterian Hospital
Columbia Presbyterian Division
|742 (17)||New York Presbyterian Hospital – Allen Pavillion||749 (16)|
|Rockefeller University Hospital||743||St. Clares Hospital & Health||746 (19)|
|St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hosp.
Roosevelt Hospital Division
|759 (18)||‡St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hosp.
St. Luke’s Division
|‡St. Vincents Hospital & Medical of NY||748 (21)||Veterans Administration Hospital||724 (10)|
|Beth Israel Medical Singer Division||718 (04)|
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.