Power from Within
A Guide to Success as a Medical Malpractice Defense Expert
There is no end in sight to the frequency with which physicians, nursing professionals and other healthcare providers will become lawsuit targets in our litigious society. While politicians, practitioners, insurance companies and trial attorneys debate the nation’s chronic "malpractice crisis", suits continue to be filed. In addition, once COVID-19 is behind us and the unprecedented public support for health care providers wanes, as it will, it is anticipated that physicians and nurses will become malpractice defendants to a remarkable degree.
National legislative fact-finding committees and investigative bodies, which may be charged with the responsibility of pursuing a solution, likely will never achieve a global remedy. Although curtailed by some states, national legislation has not addressed baseless malpractice suites or grossly excessive monetary verdicts. Another approach exists, however.
Health care providers can impact the existing system and influence the malpractice environments in a tangible, positive and powerful fashion. Although there will be debate over tort reform in order to bring some degree of protection to the malpractice defendant, individual case success, defined from the defendant’s perspective as a "no-cause" trial verdict, can be realized if well-credentialed and experienced health care professionals are willing to assist the malpractice defense bar as expert witnesses. The benefits to the health care community and the individuals who are willing to participate are innumerable and worth considering.
Table of Contents
Preface 1: INTRODUCTION - BASIC REQUIREMENTS 2: ATTORNEY’S PERSPECTIVE 3:JURY’S PERSPECTIVE 4: CASE PARTICIPATION 5:THE EXPERT OPINION 6: THE DEPOSITION 7: THE TRIAL 8: CREATING AN EFFECTIVE CURRICULUM VITAE 9: GETTING STARTED 10: RULES OF CONDUCT 11: ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGE
Jeffrey A. Krompier, Esq., is the founder and managing partner of the Parsippany, New Jersey, law firm which bears the name Krompier & Tamn, L.L.C. He is admitted to the bars of New Jersey and New York. Mr. Krompier is a 1977 magna cum laude and college honors graduate of Rutgers University
and received both Phi Beta Kappa and Rutgers Scholar designations. In 1980, Mr. Krompier graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was an Associate Articles Editor of the Law Review and a judicial intern to the late Honorable Lawrence Whipple of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Upon graduation, Mr. Krompier served as a judicial law clerk to the late Honorable Bertram Polow of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, and thereafter began the private practice of law. In 1982, Mr. Krompier joined a medical malpractice defense firm where he practiced until 1986, when he founded his current firm, which is devoted to defending healthcare professionals in malpractice matters.
In 1988, the New Jersey Supreme Court certified Mr. Krompier as a Civil Trial Attorney. Throughout his career, Mr. Krompier has been recertified five times (1995, 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017) by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Civil Trial Attorney. In 2012, he received certification in Civil Trial Advocacy by the ABA-accredited National Board of Trial Advocacy and certification in Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy by the ABA-accredited National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy. In 2017, Mr. Krompier was recertified in Civil Trial Law and Civil Pretrial Practice Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a member of the American Bar Association, American Board of Trial Advocates with Advocate ranking and is a lifetime charter member of Rue Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America.
For the last 15 consecutive years (2007–2021), he was named a New Jersey Super Lawyer and has been listed in Super Lawyers magazine corporate counsel (2009–2011) and business (2011–2018) editions. In 2014, Mr. Krompier was named an Elite American Lawyer and honored for excellence in the law (2014–2015) by Worldwide Registry. In each of the years 2014 through 2019, he was named one of America’s Most Honored Professionals by the American Registry, which also named Mr. Krompier one of America’s Most Honored Lawyers in 2020. He also was identified as a Distinguished Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell each year from 2014 through 2021.
In addition, Mr. Krompier is a named expert in the field of medical and dental malpractice defense litigation by Worldwide Who’s Who and in 2015 became a lifetime member of Trademark Who’s Who Honors Edition. In 2017, he was included in Worldwide Publishing’s Top Lawyers – The Secrets to Their Success. In 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Mr. Krompier was named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for New Jersey and one of America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators for New Jersey. In 2021, he was named one of America’s Top 100 Medical Malpractice Litigators for New Jersey.
Mr. Krompier is a member of the New Jersey Bar (1980) and the New York Bar (1988) and has been admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of NJ (1980) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1986). In 2021, Mr. Krompier was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. Krompier has defended in excess of 700 malpractice lawsuits involving most medical specialties and has served as defense counsel in more than 100 malpractice trials from jury selection through verdict.
This is Mr. Krompier’s second book. In 2012, he published Defense From Within – A Guide to Success As a Dental Malpractice Defense Expert for dental practitioners.
"I have personally acted as a medical malpractice defense expert on numerous occasions. I found that this book clarified my understanding of the medical-legal system and introduced me to entirely new perspectives on the conduct of the expert witness. Whether you are just starting out, or if you are already in this field, you will find this book to be a great resource."
James Aragona, M.D.
"Where was this gem when I started out as a medical expert 25 years ago? Comprehensive, focused and immediately useful, Mr. Krompier skillfully guides you through the do’s and don’ts of expert work. For physicians wading into the medico-legal arena, this is a ‘must have’. I heartily endorse this book."
Daryl R. Fanney M.D.
"Power from Within is an excellent resource, filling a significant void, for an Expert Witness in the world of medical malpractice defense. It is a comprehensive guide to becoming an expert witness in the medical malpractice arena. The information is accurate, realistic and addresses everything an expert will encounter. I highly recommend this book for anyone who serves as an expert or desires to move into this realm."
Paul M. Greenberg, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
"Power from Within... is well-written, concise and easy to understand."
Stephen B. Guss, M.D.
"Attorney Krompier with more than 30 years of experience in medical malpractice has given us great details and insight into the entire process. This book is a must-read for all physicians and should be part of the medical school or residency curriculum. Having a greater understanding of the medical malpractice process will help to reduce potential frivolous lawsuits. For physicians who are considering being medical defense experts, this book is an excellent guide to a successful and potentially rewarding new endeavor."
John J. Huang, M.D., MBA
"This is a brilliantly written treatise which provides valuable insights into the do’s and don’ts of being a successful Medical Malpractice Defense Expert. As someone who has been doing this type of work for nearly two decades, the guidance and advice contained in the Power from Within is invaluable to a physician beginning his or her expert career, as well as to an experienced expert such as myself. The lessons contained in this work are a recipe for success and, most importantly, help to prevent the common pitfalls encountered when dealing with a cunning plaintiff’s attorney. I wish that I could have been guided by such a manual early in my career as a defense expert."
Edward Julie, M.D., F.A.C.C.
"Power from Within by Jeffrey Krompier, Esq. is a must-read for any and all legal defense work to be used by expert witnesses.... The author, a highly experienced certified civil trial attorney, meticulously guides the reader through every step from inception to the finish line. Highly recommend this book. It is the source and reference for a successful journey."
Ezra S. Kazam M.D.
"Mr. Krompier presents a compelling case for physician participation in the medical legal process. He then provides a highly readable, comprehensive, step-by-step, guide full of valuable insights from an attorney’s perspective. I recommend it to both novice and seasoned experts."
Mark C. Norris, M.D.
"This is an excellent primer that contains sound, comprehensive guidance for any physician who aspires to be a persuasive expert witness in a medical malpractice case. Written by one of the premier defense lawyers in New Jersey, it covers the entire medico-legal landscape and offers practical, time tested advice that will benefit anybody engaged in this field. It should be required reading, not only for beginners, but also for veterans."
Former trial lawyer, Vice President of
Claims and Legal Consultant to
Princeton Insurance Company
"In Power from Within, Jeffrey Krompier has written an outstanding, readable volume designed to help healthcare professionals, from beginners who have never done expert work, to seasoned experts. It focuses on medical malpractice defense consultation, but its wisdom applies to both sides of almost any civil litigation. Power from Within covers the whole range from the first discussion with an attorney, to writing expert reports, to testifying effectively at deposition and trial. It offers wisdom applicable to all expert work, and should be required foundational reading for all experts, at all levels of experience."
David Strayer, M.D., Ph.D.
"Indispensable for teaching the novice defense expert the basics as well as honing the skills of the seasoned professional... Essential reading for anyone interested in doing expert malpractice work."
Adam Hecht, M.D.
"This text is a ‘must read’ for any professional currently doing—or just anticipating doing—expert defense work. I have worked as a malpractice expert for over 25 years, and I agree with all of Mr. Krompier’s points. Despite considering myself reasonably experienced, I learned many new things that will help me in future cases."
Charles A. Scott, M.D.
"The information flowed in such a way that the reader was continually captured by the explanations and examples."
Wendell O. Scott, M.D.
"Mr. Krompier provides a valuable resource to new and experienced nurses and medical legal experts. This book teaches nurse and physician experts organization skills, the attorney’s expectation of the experts and understanding the expert’s role. He discusses in detail the potential pitfalls that an expert should avoid as well as proper preparation for court proceedings. Mr. Krompier explains the importance of excellent communication between a nurse or medical expert and the attorney that will lead to a successful case. Power from Within is an essential tool for healthcare providers to be thorough and successful nurse and/or medical defense experts."
Paola Vietoris, RN, BSN
"This book is a ‘must read’ for anyone who has or anticipates fulfilling the role of an expert witness. It contains objectives and outlines that assure the reader will develop the skillset needed to be a successful medical malpractice defense expert. The writing style is succinct and the effective use of "do’s and don’ts" makes the recognition and acceptance of what needs to be adapted, changed, or retained by the reader readily apparent. The book is superb, I enjoyed reading it."
Desmond A. Jordan, M.D.
"In writing Power from Within, Mr. Krompier has done a magnificent job outlining the need and benefits of the defense expert and why they are the key to success in prevailing in medical malpractice litigation. Given the fact that meaningful tort reform is unlikely, Power from Within is a game changer and a must-read for every healthcare practitioner because someday they may be litigants themselves and seeking the very best defense expert."
Claims Manager-Princeton Insurance Co.
"A must-read for any physician contemplating service as a defense expert in medical malpractice cases. Mr. Krompier’s insight and experience working with medical experts in medical malpractice litigation is apparent, and a welcomed addition in a sparse field of similar reference materials. This is a very important work that exemplifies the current state of the art and proven strategies for success in and out of the courtroom. His writing style is succinct, clear, and well-tailored to present and share his considerable expertise in this important area. Highly recommended."
Marion R. McMillan, M.D.
Anesthesiologist/Endoscopic Spinal Surgeon
"A masterpiece. As a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, I immediately recognized the value in this writing by Mr. Krompier who is a highly skilled advocate. His insight and effective written communication style provide a road map for the expert witness who seeks to provide meaningful opinions in medical malpractice litigation. In addition to critical instruction on essential preparation for trial, the often overlooked jury perspective, and necessary work commitments from an expert witness, Jeff should be applauded for his unwavering dedication to ethics. He wisely advises that the best experts do not accommodate litigants at the expense of compromising their opinions, thus emphasizing the integrity of the judicial process. A must-read."
Keith J. Roberts, Esq.
Member & Co-Chair, Litigation
Brach Eichler, LLC
"Power from Within is the definitive reference source for any physician who is either contemplating serving as a Medical Defense Expert Witness or is already a veteran of the process. Drawing from his own career as a dedicated, ethical and highly skilled Medical Malpractice Defense attorney, Jeffrey Krompier has authored a unique and valuable book which cogently and comprehensively summarizes his extensive experience and keen insights in the universe of medical malpractice litigation. The knowledge gained from reading this book is certain to enhance the capabilities and performance of any Medical Defense Expert Witness."
Sheldon H. Deluty, M.D.
"This superbly written publication is a jewel for novice and seasoned experts in the field of expert witnesses. Jeff’s insights into this field are well organized; his well-articulated guidance provides a valuable asset to expert witnesses of all levels. He meticulously describes the significance of trial preparation, which undoubtedly can be a source of great stress for everyone involved. A must-read!"
Claims and Risk Manager
"In our litigious society all physicians practice today with the cloud of malpractice that can negatively affect the ability to treat patients, become a financial and time drain and hurt one’s career and reputation. Mr. Krompier provides a comprehensive, concise and understandable analysis of the entire
malpractice process providing insightful guidance on how to successfully defend others as an expert witness. Power from Within should be required reading for all physicians, allied health professionals, residents, medical students and hospital executives."
Mark Connolly, M.D.
"Mr. Krompier, a noted malpractice defense attorney in New Jersey, has written a how-to book on being an effective medical malpractice defense expert that no medical expert involved in these cases should be without. The concepts are clearly stated and well organized. The section on preparing for depositions is particularly notable for all areas one can expect to be questioned about, not just on the opinion. Any new or experienced med-mal expert will benefit from having this volume in their professional reference library."
Carla Rodgers, M.D.
Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry
"Excellent introduction to the world of expert witness work. Concisely reviews the requirements, responsibilities, benefits and pitfalls of entering this highly stressful but personally satisfying field. I only wish Mr. Krompier had authored this helpful guide 20 years ago....it would have provided sage advice and saved me much angst during the early years of my medico-legal career."
Adam Elfant, M.D.
"I have been a medical malpractice expert for over two decades, working both plaintiff and defendant cases. Jeffrey Krompier’s Power from Within has distilled these lessons into a must-read, straight-talk, narrative which anyone who plans to engage in expert work should read. It is even a valuable tool for current veteran experts to improve their performance and to make them even more effective. Overall, very enjoyable and informative."
Gary H. Belt, M.D., F.A.A.N.
"Power from Within by Jeffrey A. Krompier, is an excellent guide for any expert physician witness whether experienced or considering to engage in the medical malpractice expert field. I have considered myself mildly experienced but wished I had this book as a reference when I embarked on this journey. I found the book particularly fascinating as it made me reflect on every aspect of this discipline from creating a resume to courtroom demeanor during a trial. In addition, the book provides concrete detailed suggestions in regard to fees especially for novice experts, report writing, sitting in for a deposition and many other steps along the way. Highly recommended."
Wissam Abouzgheib, M.D.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
"Jeffrey A. Krompier, Esquire’s Power from Within is an excellent clearly written insightful guide to anyone interested in serving as an expert in the medical malpractice legal system. Jeff provides a very practical outline of the very complex process that often takes place over several years. His many years of experience provide the reader with an honest assessment of what commitment is required from beginning to end."
John A. Russo, M.D.
"As physicians we are relative fish out of water when we enter the medical legal arena as either defendants or expert medical witnesses. Mr. Krompier’s over 30 years of experience as a defense lawyer offers us a comprehensive perspective of the modus operandi and decorum of the medical legal world. His book will assist defendants and experts alike to understand the process and enable us to optimize our function and success in these endeavors. This book will be crucial to medical experts starting out and helpful for seasoned experts who can pick up some insightful pointers. I highly recommend this book to all physicians."
Stephen M. Bloomfield, M.D.
"A comprehensive, authoritative and well-written manual for people contemplating or actively performing medico-legal malpractice testimony. It is highly organized and balanced and covers the process from approaching a case to analyzing the aftermath. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it as an invaluable resource for novice and master witnesses alike. It will refine my effectiveness as a credible expert witness."
Charles M Farber, M.D., PhD