You Keep Knocking But You Can’t Come in, Locking the Rule 703 Backdoor

03 Apr 2015 Written by  Bryan Mintz
mglawfirm.net mglawfirm.net

At trial, attorneys sometimes want the jury to hear about reports and conclusions of treating doctors without actually having those treating doctors come to court to testify. 

This is accomplished by having testifying doctors tell the jury about the non-testifying doctors’ reports or conclusions.  Without getting too technical, there are Court Rules that presumably allow this practice so long as the non-testifying doctors’ reports are of a type reasonably relied on by experts in the field (Rule 703).  However there are Court Rules that do not allow this practice (Rules 801/802) for a whole host of reasons.  One of the primary reasons is that a lawyer can’t cross examine the report or findings of a doctor who isn’t in court to testify.

The practice itself is sometimes referred to as “backdooring” because Rules 801/802 are the proverbial front doors that wouldn’t allow the non-testifying doctors’ reports or conclusions to get before the jury.

This week, the New Jersey Appellate Division’s Judge Sabatino, delivered a reasoned and cogent 44-page opinion, in James v. Ruiz, clarifying the existing law, which is that the back door is locked!  With the back door locked, it is imperative that attorneys ensure that the appropriate doctors are all lined up to testify at trial.  If you would like a copy of the opinion, you can contact Bryan H. Mintz or go to the New Jersey Court’s website here.

 

 

New Jersey and New York Personal Injury Attorneys

We give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured, call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our Workers' Compensation attorneys serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

At Mintz & Geftic, WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!

Last modified on Friday, 08 January 2016 18:42

Contact Us

qr code

Use QR scan to save on 
your phone and share.

Main Office:
618 Newark Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
908-352-2323
(800-894-2320)

New York Office:
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave, 59th Floor
New York, NY 10118
1-800-894-2320