Here are some basic suggestions on what to do and expect in a California IME called by the defense (these suggestions will assume the attorney is attending with the plaintiff (injured party):
1. You should bring a watch with a second hand, a pen, a note pad, tape recorder, extra batteries, tape, cell phone; and if the attorney attends, bring the phone number of the defense attorney;
2. Do not bring any part of the client's files;
3. Do not let the plaintiff bring anything;
4. Review any paperwork filled out by plaintiff - better yet, fill it out yourself on behalf of the client;
5. Do not permit the plaintiff to fill out any exit paperwork, and be sure to take a copy for your file;
6. Do not volunteer information on any paper forms that is beyond the scope of what is needed for the IME;
7. Time each portion of the proceeding;
8. Set the tape recorder in the middle between the defense medical doctor and the plaintiff;
9. Take notes even though the tape is recording;
10. Do not answer any questions;
11. Stop the defense medical doctor if any improper inquiry takes place;
12. Phone defense attorney if the defense medical doctor abuses anything in the IME process -do this in the middle of the proceeding if necessary;
13. Sit as close as possible to plaintiff;
14. If plaintiff needs to disrobe, leave the room then return when the blue smock is on the plaintiff;
15. Do not interfere with the defense doctor's examination;
16. Try to memorize the various tests given (take notes);
17. Watch and make note of the defense doctor's body language;
18. If you notice that your plaintiff is in pain, intervene and instruct your plaintiff that physically painful medical procedures are not permitted in a California IME;
19. Do not allow X-rays or any diagnostic tests unless previously agreed to;
20. After the IME, list to the plaintiff's observations; the lawyer will be rewarded with a wealth of information like what "medical tests" the treating doctors id that the defense doctor did not do.
To this end, the lawyer attending the California IME will often gain invaluable insight not otherwise discoverable. Some interesting observations made by other attorneys attending their client's IME have been watching an orthopedic surgeon dictate the medical portion of his report while reading from the defense attorney's medical summary sheet, and observing one panel member fall asleep during the IME!!