$I Billion for Injured New Yorkers
Our Results
  • $30.1 Million NYC - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $15 Million Manhattan - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $3 Million Queens - Wrongful Death Case
  • $5.5 Million Bronx - Birth Injury Accident
  • $30.1 Million NYC - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $15 Million Manhattan - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $3 Million Queens - Wrongful Death Case
  • $5.5 Million Bronx - Birth Injury Accident
  • $7.75 Million NYC - Medical Malpractice Case
Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
Experienced & Trusted Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Call today for a Free Consultation
Serving the greater NYC Area: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx & Staten Island

Can a Judge Dismiss a Case after Hearing the Opening Remarks

You have filed a medical malpractice case in New York and your lawyer has just finished making his opening remarks at the beginning of trial. The judge after hearing the opening remarks says he is dismissing your case. Can the judge dismiss your case based on the opening remarks of you lawyer, even before the defense lawyer has had a chance to make his opening remarks?

The Judge is Fully Entitled to Dismiss Your Case after Hearing the Opening Remarks from Your Lawyer

When your lawyer delivers his opening remarks, he is expected to present what is called a prima facie case. Your lawyer has to show that you are more likely right than wrong, there was wrongdoing, this wrongdoing caused your injuries, and your injuries are significant or permanent. Your lawyer has to show to the jury that there are certain elements in this case that he is going to prove to them during the course of the trial.

If your lawyer fails to make out a prima facie case, which contains the elements of liability, causation, and damages, then the judge has every legal right to dismiss your case, even before the defense attorney stands up to make his opening argument or even before any testimony is ever taken.

How often does this Happen

In reality in a civil lawsuit involving medical malpractice in New York, it does not happen very often. However, there are some very rare instances, where the attorney gets up to make his opening remarks and fails to lay bare his proof, fails to tell the jury and the court about all the elements of liability, wrongdoing, the link between the wrongdoing and injuries, and extent of the damages.

If the attorney fails to do this then the judge on his own, without any prompting from the defense attorney, he can dismiss the plaintiff's case. All this is done because the plaintiff's attorney has failed to make out a case in his opening arguments.

What happens in Most Medical Malpractice Cases

Typically, the defense attorney will stand up after your lawyer has made his opening remarks and will move to dismiss your case because your lawyer failed to make a prima facie case on opening argument. In most instances, the judge will say the motion is denied, and will instruct the plaintiff's lawyer to make his opening remarks presenting a prima facie case.

The defense lawyer on the other hand has to decide whether he wants to make any opening remarks because there is no legal requirement for him to do so. However, in most medical malpractice cases, the defense attorney will take advantage of this opportunity and give his opening remarks.

Therefore, for a plaintiff, opening arguments or opening remarks are pivotal. The plaintiff's lawyer must present a prima facie case to the jury that has the elements of liability, causation, and damages. If he fails to do this, the judge is entitled to dismiss the case; however, this rarely happens, and the judge will ask the lawyer to make the proper opening arguments.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn About Medical Malpractice Cases in NYC

Watch all videos »

Listen to our clients

Watch all videos »

Case of the month

$7,750,000 Recovery Due to Negligent Care in NYC Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Our client, a 5-year-old patient, receives almost $8 million in compensation from an NYC hospital in a medical malpractice claim won by Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolf. Representing the injured child with his team of legal and medical experts, Daniel Minc said, "It was great day for the family."

The case involved negligent care on the part of the hospital pediatric intensive care unit for failing to observe bleeding from a simple biopsy wound which caused neurological damage.

Medical Malpractice Blog

$25 million verdict against New York Methodist Hospital
When a child is born, parents expect the doctor, nurses and other staff to provide care that is up to the...
Read This Malpractice Post

Experienced & Trusted medical malpractice lawyers

  • Top Lawyers 2016
  • Litigator Awards
  • Verdicts and Settlement Hall of Fame
  • BBB Accredited Business | A+
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Medical Malpractice
  • Rated By Super Lawyers | Daniel C. Minc | 5 years
Call 1-866-516-5887 or email us to set up your free, confidential consultation. Our experience can make a difference for you.

Office Locations - Call today to schedule a consultation 1-866-516-5887

16 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11241

Brooklyn Law Office

3101 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

Astoria Law Office

8900 Sutphin Blvd
Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

Queens Law Office

9201 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Brooklyn Law Office

Firm News

Robert H. Wolff Named President
Firm Attorney, Robert H. Wolff is now the president of the New York City Bronx County Bar Association
About This Attorney

Back to Top