alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Settlement of civil disputes between parties using neutral mediators or arbitrators without going to court.
The act of holding information in confidence, not to be released to unauthorized individuals.
Monetary awards sought by plaintiffs in lawsuits.
Sworn testimony given and recorded outside the courtroom during the pretrial phase of the case.
Duty of care
The obligation of healthcare professionals to patients and, in some cases, nonpatients.
A written set of questions requiring written answers from the plaintiff or defendant under oath.
Accountable under the law.
The performance of a totally wrongful and unlawful act.
The performance of a lawful act in an illegal or improper manner.
The failure to act when one should.
Information held confidential within a protected relationship.
res ipsa loquitur
Literally, "the thing speaks for itself"; a situation that is so obviously negligent that no expert witnesses need to be called. Also known as the doctrine of common knowledge.
standard of care
The level of performance expected of a healthcare worker in carrying out his or her professional duties.
A legal document requiring the recipient to appear as a witness in court or to give a deposition.
Subpoena duces tecum
A legal document requiring the recipient to bring certain written records to court to be used as evidence in a lawsuit.
A written notification issued by the clerk of the court and delivered with a copy of the complaint to the defendant in a lawsuit, directing him or her to respond to the charges brought in a quart of law.
Statements sworn to under oath by witnesses testifying in court and giving depositions.
Wrongful death statutes
State statutes that allow a person's beneficiaries to collect for loss to the estate of the deceased for future earnings when I death is judged to have been due to negligence.