attorney denies all allegations and demands a Bill of Particulars, which lists the allegations in very specific detail.
The papers are given to some other person of standing, i.e. office manager, secretary in Dean’s Office. With this type of service, the defendant has thirty (30) days in which to have his/her attorney put in an Answer.
This can be sent to the physician’s address along with two (2) copies of “Statement of Service by Mail and Acknowledgement of Receipt.” With this type of service, the defendant has thirty (30) days to return the receipt and twenty (20) days from the return of the receipt to have his/her attorney put in an Answer for him/her.
A failure to Answer or serve a Notice of Appearance results in a Default Judgment against the physician for the relief demanded in the Complaint. Legal papers must be dealt with properly and promptly. Notify your Risk Management immediately after being served.
► Other Legal Papers
The other legal papers that you may see are called Subpoenas. These documents can be either a request for an Examination Before Trial (EBT), trial testimony, or for the production of records in your possession (Subpoena Duces Tecum).
►What To Do If You Receive Legal Papers
If a process server attempts to serve you with papers, accept them. Do not try to deny who you are or try to “get away”. More often than not, service will be accepted for you in our Risk Management Department, who will send you a copy of the papers. Whenever you receive legal papers, no matter how you receive them, you must call both the Insurance Department and the Risk Management Department. Instructions and reassurance will be provided. Do not attempt to review the medical records. That will be done at a later date with your attorney. You will be guided closely and skillfully through the legal process.
March 17, 2009