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Become the Master, Student Does

Education never ends. Every day we learn something new, whether it be how to properly sauté onions, how to turn the flashlight on our iPhone, or how to say “Where is the bathroom?” in Turkish. (For the record it’s “Nerede banyo”.) This goes for professionals as well. An attorney’s education does not cease once they’ve graduated from law school, passed the bar, and joined a firm. A licensed attorney is required to complete a certain number of credit hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) annually. Some of these may be obtained through online courses, or webinars, but depending on where you practice many of the credit hours must be earned through live courses. These courses can vary from procedural, ethical, or professional topics, and often consist of a speaking panel and moderator who fields discussion questions and allows the panel members to speak on topics relating to those questions.

A recent CLE for Personal Injury lawyers was about the admission of medical evidence. Our very own Tom Curcio was asked to be a speaker at the event alongside Michael Thorsen of Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath, & Judkins and two General District Court Judges, the Honorable William J. Minor, Jr. and the Honorable Mitchell I. Mutnick. As Tom is a plaintiff attorney and Mr. Thorsen a defense attorney, they were discussing the two opposing sides of medical evidence. At the conference Tom first explained what medical evidence is, what it pertains to, and what it consists of. He discussed the Collateral Source Rule, which will be defined more thoroughly in a later blog post, but in summation means that a plaintiff can claim the full amount of medical bills regardless of insurance payments or any other collateral payments. One thing that Tom reiterated over and over was that a personal injury lawyer needs to always understand and read the medical records that are received. Tom explained that a lawyer cannot effectively represent a client or explain injuries or effects of injuries to a judge and jury without first understanding the material in front of him or her. Simple advice, yet very surprising to many in the audience. The moderator even asked Tom if there was a nurse on staff that was consulted for medical records. Tom explained that for his cases, he does all his own research, whether that be using the fount of knowledge called the internet, looking through Gray’s Anatomy, or calling the doctor who wrote the notes themselves. “You must think like a defense lawyer,” Tom explained, “Look for the good and the bad in the medical reports, prior injuries, alcohol and drug information, missed appointments, etc.” Mr. Thorsen built upon the train of thought by adding his own habits when reading medical reports such as checking the Glasgow Coma Score, the pain scales from previous and post-accident appointments, and the ER records for information on the speed of the vehicle at the time of the accident and facts of airbag deployment.

It was very heartwarming to see a defense attorney and a plaintiff attorney sitting next to each other joking and building on the other’s statements, sharing their experience and knowledge with the common goal of improving the skills of those attending. This is the reality of the profession, contrary to the pretty standard and accepted view of attorneys, that they are mean spirited, spiteful people. In this space I was privy to a community of people looking out for each other. Around me lawyers were referring clients, discussing their children, and giving advice to less experienced attorneys. Everyone was friendly and happy, Tom and Mr. Thorsen were even joking about past claims and upcoming meetings. Not only was it amazing to see such a jovial group of people, it was wonderful to see Tom in his element, giving advice, answering questions, and telling stories of trials as an authority figure in the field of personal injury law.

Congratulations Tom on such an honor and achievement!

Panel for Medical Evidence CLE

Panel for Medical Evidence CLE

"Demystifying the law"

“Demystifying the law”

Tom in his element

Tom in his element

Placeholder for Tom!

Placeholder for Tom!

Tom discussing medical evidence.

Tom discussing medical evidence.

The Honorable Judges, Tom, and Mr. Thorsen

The Honorable Judges, Tom, and Mr. Thorsen

 

Thomas J. Curcio Attorney Photo
Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

Rakin Hamad Attorney Photo
Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a recent graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at…

Julia Martinez Attorney Photo
Julia Martinez
Paralegal

Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…

Kathy  McAfee Attorney Photo
Kathy McAfee
Office Manager

As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

Maureen Burke, RN, MSN Attorney Photo
Maureen Burke, RN, MSN
Nurse Consultant

Maureen Burke was born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area and relocated to the Alexandria area in 1984 where she and her husband raised their three children. Maureen graduated with a BS in Nursing from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and an MS in Nursing from George Mason University. Maureen has worked at…

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    I am a recent client of Curcio Law and and do not hesitate to give that firm my highest recommendation. I had suffered a serious injury as a pedestrian hit by a bus and spent a month in the hospital and the subsequent year learning to walk and funct...

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    Mr. Curcio is the best in NOVA! He helped my mother when we were helpless. Without his help, we would not win the case. Also, Mr. Curcio is very kind, polite, professional, and an expert lawyer. Please hire him for your case and you won't be disappo...

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    I would highly recommend Curcio Law to help you if you are in an accident. They were very professional and helpful with both mine and my husband unfortunate situations whereby individuals ran the red light. I honestly don't know what I would have d...

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    Tom Curcio and his staff were incredibly helpful and successful in my situation. I highly recommend this group

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