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Ursuline College Accelerated Program
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Academic Department and/or Program:
Catalog Number and Title:
LS 430 Medical-Legal Research & Issues
Number of Credit Hours:
: The theoretical and practical application and utilization of medical
records and medical research in the legal profession are explored through dialogue,
research and exercises relating to the work tasks performed by the paralegal. Prerequisites
: LS 115 Legal Research & Writing; LS 118 Computerized Legal Research;
LS 120 Personal Injury Law; and LS 150 Civil Procedure Term and Cycle
: Fall, Every Other Year Instructional Objectives Knowledge:
1. To provide the student with written information, how to instructions and sample
documents for the compilation of a handbook for future reference and usage in employment;
2. To advance the student’s ability to conduct acceptable medical research having
relevance to the practice of law by conducting library research, performing investigative activities and drafting of legal memoranda.
1. To equip the student with suitable skills and working knowledge of the types of
medical records and medical research assignments paralegals are responsible for completing in the work environment including:
a. Familiarization with the proper application and comprehension of Civil Procedure
affecting the acquisition, utilization and admissibility of medical records, the expert medical witness and independent medical examination of a party in litigation;
b. Explanation of the alternative procedure, processes and services available for
c. Preparation of the various documents needed to obtain medical records by
e. Structural organization and drafting of the medical history, medical records
history, medical records summary and medical records chronology;
f. Translation of medical symbols, adoption of techniques for deciphering difficult
handwriting in the medical record and utilization of deductive reasoning for interpreting the meaning contained in the illegible medical records;
g. Structural organization of the medical specials and drafting of the special damage
h. Calculation and presentation of damages;
i. Investigation of the procedure for obtaining Worker’s Compensation Records,
drafting summary of records, abstracting information from the records; and/or filing procedural and process for making a claim.
The student will appreciate the role and responsibility of the paralegal in obtaining and
managing medical records in the litigation process. Values:
1. To promote a sense of professionalism and achievement in the student as required
of employed paralegals by adherence to attendance, participation, assignment due dates, styles in which completed assignments presented, and personal appearance standards.
2. To reinforce in the student the importance and value of possessing acceptable
communication skills and basic work performance proficiencies demanded by employers of paralegals as demonstrated in the student’s verbal and written work.
1. The greater Cleveland area offers a tremendous opportunity for legal
professionals in the medical community. This course combines medical and legal knowledge and prepares the student for work in this area.
2. This course also stimulates the student to become more self-directed, resourceful,
organized and disciplined in fulfilling work responsibilities by successfully managing the typical task in this practice area.
COURSE TEXTBOOK AND RESOURCES:
1) Handbook of reference materials, sample documents, Internet, and study unit work
2) Ohio Rules of Civil Procedures – (Online Resources, campus library, and/or CD
provided 1st day of class).
3) Physician Desk Reference - optional
4) Fundamentals of Litigation for Paralegals - (Text from Civil Procedure and/or
Evidence and Litigation Support Courses) Required
5) Legal Assistant Today - optional
6) Atlas of Human Anatomy – optional (may utilize online resources and/or available in
the campus library)
7) Medical Abbreviations by Neil M. Davis – optional (available in the campus library)
8) Taber’s Medical Dictionary – optional (may utilize online resources)
9) Lexis Nexis Online Research (including Medline)
10) Internet Research
11) Ursuline College Library STUDENT EVALUATION TECHNIQUES:
Final Examination: 25% of final grade for the course
Written Assignments: 60% of final grade for the course
assignment should to be computer generated in either Microsoft Word or
Word Perfect. Assignments are due at 6:00 p.m. of the designated class period
unless specifically specified. No assignments will be accepted after 48 hours
from the date and time due. Any assignment received after the designated due
date and time will be reduced by one grade. Assignments can be accepted by hard
copy, e-mail, and/or facsimile.
Research assignments are to be double spaced, raw data research must
accompany the research assignment
, and APA format required.
Computer assignments and projection both during class time and as homework.
IV. Professionalism: 15% of final grade Attendance/promptness/classroom
participation/ attentiveness, appearance,
attitude/effort, presentation of assignments, timely completion of assignments.
See Work Assignments under each class in the Course Outline. SPECIAL FACILITIES:
N/A METHOD OF INSTRUCTION:
1. Classroom dialogue (including but not limited to lectures, group discussion);
2. Research (including but not limited to library, computer, and investigation projects);
3. Written and computer generated assignments;
4. Examination (final comprehensive exam);
5. Reading assignments.
ASSIGNMENT TO BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO CLASS #1: Preparation Stage
Fundamentals of Litigation for Paralegals
Chapter 2 Information Fact Gathering and Investigation
CD Ohio Rules of Court (State) 2003
: Civil Procedure Title V Discovery
Rules of Evidence: Article I – Article X pp. 101-103 Subpoena, 194 Privilege, 207-209 Authencity
Introduction to medical research, and its role and importance.
The role of medical records in the legal practice of personal injury. 2 hours
Review of the Ohio Rules of Court “Discovery”
Review the Ohio Rules of Court “Civil Procedure”
Review the Ohio Rules of Court “Evidence”
Review the Ohio Rules of Court “Confidentiality”
Introduction to the role and responsibility of the paralegal in obtaining and
managing medical records in the litigation process. 2 hours
Class 1 Work Assignment
Identify the three types of tort actions in which medical records or medical information on a party are utilized and explain the theory of law on which tort actions or causality claims are based.
Discuss three sections of Title V – Discovery and their applicability to medical records.
To what is Rule 45 applicable; name the 6 sections of the Rule & provide a brief
Identify the types of evidence and the ways in which they can be admissible.
What are the five reasons for Discovery?
Identify and describe the types of discovery. Provide examples where applicable.
Write five questions that you would ask a client in order to obtain medical information from him/her.
What is the purpose of a medical record authorization?
You have learned as a result of interviewing the plaintiff, James Wood, he has been treated by three hospitals, two private physician’s and filed a Worker’s Compensation claim for injuries he allegedly received in an MVA which your attorney is representing him. Mr. Wood was the driver of his employer’s vehicle and was transported from the scene of the accident via an emergency medical services ambulance. The attorney from whom you work has asked that you obtain the client’s records. Please draft one letter for each record requested.
ASSIGNMENTS TO BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO CLASS #2: Preparation Stage
Role and responsibility of the paralegal in organizing the medical records
Organizing the records 2 hours
The importance of the paralegal having some medical knowledge
Deciphering the handwriting in the records
Class 2 Work Assignment
For 5 of the following prescribed drugs please indicate for each the following: description, pharmacology, action, indications, contraindications, precautions, adverse reactions, manufacturers, other names (no more than two). Your response should be in memorandum form.
1. Motrin 2. Nafcillin 3. Trental 4. Thorazine 5. Nafcil 6. Streptase 7. Prilosec 8. Nicorette 9. Azmacort 10. Anadrol
Identify what each of the following symbols mean:
Medical Terms 1. Δ 2. ≈ 3. ← 4. ∅ 5. ♂ 6. ◊ 7. ♀ 8. ┐ 9. √
1. ABN 2. A&D 3. BLE 4. BRA 5. BS 6. BWS 7. CAB 8. CAT 9. CBC 10. CC 11. COLD 12. CTP 13. CVS 14. CXR 15. DJD 16. D/O 17. DTR 18. Dx 19. EKG 20. EMG 21. EPT 22. ER 23. FCSNVD 24. FOOB 25. F/u 26. Fx 27. GWA
28. HEENT 29. HHC 30. H&P 31. Hx 32. IV 33. LB 34. LNMP 35. FB 36. L 37. MSM 38. N&A 39. NIP 40. Obj 41. P/D 42. PFT 43. PT 44. R 45. REM 46. ROM 47. Sx 48. UE 49. W/U
Name the part of the hospital record you would expect to receive for an inpatient hospital confinement for surgery.
Label the parts of the body on the attached skeleton. (Use CD file Skull Assignment 1 & 2)
Decipher the attached medical record. (Use CD file Assign Record to Decipher).
Print out and breakdown the hospital chart from the CD file Breakdown Hospital Chart).
ASSIGNMENTS TO BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO CLASS #3: Preparation Stage
Sample Medical Record Forms Medical Chronology Images Medical Terminology & Abbreviations Sample Medical Chronology Sample Flow Chart Needles in a Haystack
Summarizing the medical records (Use the Asbestos File from the CD) 2 hours
Summarizing the Workers’ Compensation Records (Use the WC File from the CD)
Class 3 Work Assignment
Provide a brief and comprehensive chronology summary of the attached medical records.
Provide a brief and comprehensive summary of the attached Worker=s
Prepare a history of the injury resulting from the accident-giving rise to the complaint.
ASSIGNMENTS TO E COMPLETED PRIOR TO CLASS 4: Preparation Stage
Research claimed injury: Why 2 hours
Research the claimed cause of injury: Why 2 hours
Class 4 Assignment
Write a legal memorandum 3-5 pages, double-spaced using no less than 5 references on one of the following medical conditions. Include glossary of terms, etiology, symptoms/complaints, at risk population, clinical indicators, treatment, and prognosis. Include bibliography or footnotes:
Copy three newspaper or periodical articles on 3 topics areas you did not write a memorandum on from the above list. Using a Highlighter, mark the significant points in the articles.
Write a legal memorandum 2-3 pages, doubled-spaced using no less than 5 references one of the following causes of the injury. Include history, function, purpose, users, hazards, safeguarding devices, preventive measures, possible types of injuries or resulting medical problems, regulations, monitoring agencies; attach addendum to memorandum citing 3 cases from any state where similar types of devices & injury resulted, include, parties, court, case no., description of matter, case resolution.
ASSIGNMENT TO BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO CLASS #5: FINAL EXAMINATION IS COMPREHENSIVE DURING CLASS 5
Fundamentals of Litigation for Paralegals
Special Damages memorandum: Purpose 1 hour
Special Damages package: Purpose 2 hours
Medical Research 1 hour
Class 4 Assignment
Prepare a Special Damage package from the CD file (Bills for Special Damage)
Prepare a Special Damage Memorandum from the CD file (Special Damage Memo) Date of the Memo December 12th, 2002:
Prepare a 3-5 page research paper on one of the following conditions. Minimum of 3 sources.
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