From Law Com:
"Popular belief, at least in medical communities, holds that juries in medical malpractice cases tend to side with plaintiffs, even where the case against a doctor is a weak one.
But jurors actually tend to believe doctors more than they do plaintiffs, says a law professor who examined numerous data on medical malpractice litigation, including cases in New Jersey.
Philip Peters Jr., of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, concluded that juries treat doctors favorably, "perhaps unfairly so," and are more likely than even fellow physicians to defer to a doctor’s opinion.
Peters found that most malpractice suits end in defense verdicts, and that the cases that go to trial tend to be the weakest ones, since those with strong evidence usually settle before trial.
In an examination of win rates, Peters found that 27 percent to 30 percent of filed medical malpractice suits end in a plaintiff’s verdict, the lowest success rate of any type of tort litigation.
Peters researched the data to test the assumption that juries lack capacity to evaluate medical malpractice suits fairly — an assumption implicit in legislation pending in Congress that would create specialized courts for such cases.
"Politicians and critics of jury performance should think twice before concluding that doctors will be treated more favorably in health courts," wrote Peters, whose report will be published in May in the Michigan Law Review. "
Legal and medical malpractice share roots, histories and are both about professional shortcomings. Do they share this attribute too?