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Navigating Plaintiff's Medical Malpractice Claims: Introduction

Student Guide Author

This guide was originally created by Clayton Campbell in support of Professor Diamond's Advanced Legal Research class for Spring 2014. The contents of this guide should not be taken as legal advice or as the work product of MU Law librarians.


Litigating a medical malpractice matter necessarily entails navigating several areas of the law: Evidence, Civil Procedure, Torts, and more. This guide is an attempt to set out for the practitioner who finds herself litigating a medical malpractice as a novice in the field. It sets forth very important secondary sources, including one Missouri-specific source.  

This guide also attempts to highlight the uniqueness of malpractice claims through several research problems and also by providing sources that instruct the practitioner through the more complex processes like discovery, types of injuries, causation and damages.  

This guide also attempts to contextualize for its users the place of medical malpractice litigation in society at large.  It does so by highlighting the positive and negative effects attorney advertising can have on public perception, especially in light of debates about damage caps.  It also points to social media as a powerful tool in raising awareness for issues that can effect clients.  Advertising can be utilized for this purpose, too.  

Research Strategy

The guide's purpose and content accord with the presumption that most issues are most efficiently researched by beginning with secondary sources, which can lead the researcher down a narrower research trail.