Attending the depositions of your co-defendants, Another vote for frugality, Ground Zero: You have togo there to understand
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In "How to win your case before it reaches court" [Apr. 12], you advise studying the deposition transcripts of other witnesses in the case. I would go a step further: Attend the depositions of your co-defendants in person. This means time away from the office, but here are the benefits:
You'll see how the plaintiff's attorney operates. He may be friendly until "show time," then turn antagonistic to try to fluster the witness into giving a hasty answer to a complicated question.
You'll see how the other defendants deal with questions about the facts of the case. You may find this useful for your own deposition.
If your attorney is present, you may be able to prompt him to question an important point that otherwise might go unexplored.
The other defendants will be less likely to say negative things about you if you're there.
The bottom line is this: Regardless of how well you prepare, a deposition can be a gut-wrenching experience. Any confidence you can gainby becoming familiar with the process and people involvedwill be to your advantage.
I read with delight "Want to have more? Spend less" [May 10]. I knew Drs. Benzoni and O'Shea when I was in family practice residency in Sioux City, and I, too, shop at second-hand stores for clothing and housewares. I get compliments all the time on my thrift store outfits and patients get a chuckle when I explain where they came from! We also save money by eating at home; we eat out three times or less a month.
Fortunately, my husband and I are in agreement about our spending plan. Four years out of my residency, we own our home and have been debt free for two yearsexcept for the loan we just took out at 0 percent financing to buy our new pickup. It replaces the '93 Subaru we had for eight years.
We save our money for big things, such as retirement, and for trips to India to see my husband's family every two to three years.
"Have we changed" since the terrorist attacks of last autumn? Marianne Mattera contemplates this question in her May 10 "Memo from the Editor," and concludes that the answer is No: The horrifying events only confirmed the importance of the traditional principles and commitments of our profession. Well, I have been to Ground Zero three times, and can truly say the events of Sept. 11 have changed me.
The stench of burnt human flesh was still noticeable on my first visit, about six weeks after the attack. Working as a volunteer, I had the opportunity to hear the stories of firefighters, police, and recovery workers. I attended funerals and met with victims' families. These experiences changed my philosophy regarding my practice, my patients, and my family.
All physicians should take their families to visit Ground Zero or the scenes of the Pentagon attack or the Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania. I guarantee that after visiting these sites, their answer to the question, "Have we changed?" will be Yes.
Stuart A. Morgenstein, DO
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