Attorney May Cross Examine Chiropractor on His School Suspension 30 Years Ago

On Tuesday an Appellate Court agreed with Supreme Court, Bronx County Judge Howard Sherman that it was fair game for a defense attorney to challenge a plaintiff's chiropractor expert on his honesty. The chiropractor had been suspended from chiropractor school 30 years ago for "for falsely reporting that he had seen patients." In any battle of the experts, past conduct demonstrating dishonesty is highly relevant for the jury to consider in deciding which expert is more honest and competent. In this case the sole issue before the jury was whether the plaintiff suffered a serious and permanent injury to his shoulder and knee caused by a car accident. Plaintiff's chiropractor took the stand as a rebuttal witness, was soundly impeached and the case was lost.

The Appellate Court ruled that defense counsel properly attacked the chiropractor about his suspension from chiropractor school even though it occurred 30 years ago. Opposition to this type of attack usually relies on an argument that misconduct more than 10 - 15 years ago is not a fair reflection on the witnesses present character. In a case I tried before the (same) Judge Sherman last month, I was allowed to cross examine a witness (who testified that the plaintiff fraudulently fabricated his alleged accident) with a criminal conviction for impersonating a police officer that occurred 14 years ago. Defense counsel unsuccessfully argued that the remoteness of the crime precluded its admissibility. Not so. Prior misconduct involving acts of dishonesty are timeless and jurors should be allowed to decide for themselves whether it is a fair reflection on the witnesses present character. Montas v Abouel-Ela, 2017 WL 4781382

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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