Medical Malpractice

Norman D. Tucker

Of Counsel

Direct Dial (248) 355-0300
Direct Fax (248) 936-2177
Email ntucker@sommerspc.com

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Norm Tucker has more than 30 years experience in plaintiff's medical malpractice, birth related injuries, obstetrical and neonatal care, and anesthesia mishaps. He co-authored the two definitive reference books on the subject, Handling Birth Trauma Cases, Volume I and II, and has been invited to speak at more than 100 seminars, workshops, panel discussions, law school classes, and medical conferences; in fact, he was one of the few attorneys in the nation invited to speak at the Boston University School of Medicine's Annual Conference on Obstetrics, Gynecology, Perinatal Medicine and the Law, not once, but twice - in 2004, and again in 2013.

Every year since 1995, Norm has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America, and in 2014 and 2011 Best Lawyers voted him the Best Medical Malpractice attorney in Southeastern Michigan. His experience and meticulous attention to detail has resulted in yearly multi-million dollar recoveries for clients.

Education

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Areas of Practice

  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation, 1992 – Present
    • Business Impact Committee, 2009 – 2010
    • Committee on Judicial Qualifications, 2003 – 2009
    • Negligence Section Council, 2002 - 2004
    • Grievance Panel, Chairman, 1982-1989
  • Michigan Association of Justice (formerly Michigan Trial Lawyers Association)
    • President, 2001 - 2002
    • President-Elect, 2000 - 2001
    • Vice President, 1999 – 2000
    • Secretary, 1998 - 1999
    • Medical Malpractice Legislative Committee Chair, 2011 – present
  • American Association for Justice
    • Birth Trauma Litigation Group
    • Michigan Governor, 1990-1991 and 1996-1998
    • State of Michigan Delegate, 1991-1993
  • American Bar Association
    • Committee on Law and Medicine
    • Tort Reform Task Force on National Health Security Act, 1994
  • Detroit Bar Association
  • Oakland County Bar Association
    • Fellow, Oakland County Bar Foundation, 1998 - Present
  • Southfield Bar Association
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • American Constitutional Society for Law and Policy
  • Oakland County Mediation Panel
  • Wayne County Mediation Panel
  • Michigan House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee, Physician Peer Review, Chair 2002
  • Michigan Democratic Party, Caucus Review Committee, 2004
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly Board of Editors, 2006 - 2009
  • Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, Life Member

I raised my three children largely as a single father. My oldest son just passed the Colorado Bar and began work with a Denver firm. Over the years he has heard my stories about Sommers Schwartz and the various people I have met there along the way. I firmly believe that should my son Chris become half the lawyer as those I have met at your firm he will be successful.

Over the years I have referred cases to your firm in general and to Norm specifically knowing that the client would be handled with care and competence. I have always found that to be the case. While I have never been a plaintiff's lawyer I have come to know that there are plaintiff's firms with tremendous skill and ethics. Your firm is one of those.

Honors/Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, 1995 - present
  • Best Lawyer of the Year, Medical Malpractice, Detroit Area - 2011 and 2014 (based on more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations, those honored as "Lawyers of the Year" receive particularly high ratings by earning a high level of respect among their peers for the abilities, professionalism and integrity)
  • Best of the US, 2006 - present
  • Super Lawyers, 2006 - present
  • DBusiness Top Lawyers, 2009 - present
  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating (AV), 1981 - present
  • America's Most Honored Professionals 2012 (awarded to top 10% of all recognized professionals in America)
  • Earl Cline Award for Excellence, State Bar of Michigan Negligence Section, May 2013 (awarded in recognition of superb skills, contributions and outstanding achievements in the field of negligence law and dispute resolution).
  • Champion of Justice Award, Michigan Association of Justice, May 2012 (presented in appreciation for a commitment to the civil justice system and to preserving the rights of citizens)
  • Respected Advocate Award, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, September 2008 (annual award to a member of the plaintiff's bar to recognize and honor the individual's history of success in civil litigation, unfailing adherence to the highest standards of ethics and candor in dealing with the court and counsel, and the respect and admiration of counsel on the opposing side of the bar)
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leaders In The Law, 2005 (presented to attorneys that have distinguished themselves within the Michigan Bench and Bar)
  • Michael Frank Award, State Bar of Michigan, 2002 (presented to the Attorney Making an Outstanding Contribution to the Profession)
  • President's Choice Award, 2003 (given by the 68th President of the State Bar of Michigan for outstanding activities and accomplishments in support of Access to Justice)

Published Works

  • "Doctors Drunk with Fatigue: The Cognitive Impairment in Physician's Decision Making After Prolonged Shifts Compared with Blood Alcohol Levels,” State Bar of Michigan Negligence Law Section Newsletter, January 11, 2011
  • “Warning to the Complacent Frogs: The Pot is Ready to Boil,” State Bar of Michigan Negligence Law Section Quarterly, Winter 2009
  • “Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport,” MTLA Quarterly President's Page, Summer 2002
  • “Why Don't They Love Us?” MTLA Quarterly President's Page, Winter 2002, (republished with permission in the publications of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association)
  • “Who Are We?” MTLA Quarterly President's Page, Fall 2001
  • “An Interesting Species,” MTLA Quarterly President's Page, Summer 2001
  • “Partisanship Invades Supreme Court,” The Detroit News, Op. Ed., October 31, 2000
  • Handling Birth Trauma Cases, Volume I (1985) and Volume II (1989), Wiley Law Publications, (Co-Author)
  • Commentary Against Caps on Non-Economic Damages, Journal of Medicine and Law, (Co-Author), Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, 1997

Seminars/Lectures

Michigan Trial Lawyers Association & Michigan Association for Justice

  • Preparing Experts for Deposition Cross Examination, MAJ New Lawyers Workshop, 2011
  • How to Settle More Cases for More Money - Secrets to Settling Tough Cases, MAJ Evening Forum, 2010
  • Physician Fatigue as a Cause of Medical Errors, MAJ Annual Medical Malpractice Seminar, 2009
  • How to Ensure the Insurance Carrier Sets Proper Reserves for Your Client's Claim, 62nd Annual Rapid Fire Seminar, 2007
  • Expert Qualifications and Woodard, Michigan Med Mal Law Update, 2006
  • Guidelines for Getting into Court and Staying There: Apsey, NOI's, AOM, Waltz. Co-Program Chair and Co-Moderator, 2005
  • Establishing Qualifications for Expert Opinions Under Davis-Frye, MTLA Annual Rapid Fire Seminar, 2005
  • Medical Malpractice, Winning in a Hostile Environment. A New Era: On Demand Trial of Experts Before Trial. Craig v Oakwood, Davis-Frye, and MCL 600.2955, 2004
  • Medical Malpractice: Affidavits of Merit and Notices of Intent, 2002
  • New Ways to Succeed: Nurses and Residents After McDougall; What is the Standard of Care and Who Can Testify, MTLA 55th Annual Meeting, 2000
  • The Most Important Things You Must Know to Move Your Case Toward Settlement, MTLA 54th Annual Meeting Seminar, 1999
  • Tips to a Strong Positioning of the Case, Fast Track Workshop for New Lawyers, 1999
  • Proving Damages in the 21st Century, Program Moderator, 1999
  • The Death of Common Sense: Qualifying the Medical Expert in Michigan, Medical Malpractice Case Development and Trial Practice in the Tort Reform Era, 1995
  • Medical Malpractice Tort Reform, Macomb County Chapter, 1994
  • The New Medical Malpractice Law Primer, Program Moderator, 1993
  • Advocacy into the 90's, MTLA 46th Annual Convention, 1990
  • Academics and Pragmatics of Medical Malpractice Trial Practice, Program Chairman and Moderator, 1990
  • The Present State of Medical Malpractice Law in Michigan, Program Chairman and Moderator, 1989
  • Order of Presentation and Use of Evidence and Witnesses, 1988
  • New Michigan Malpractice Legislation, 1986
  • Cross Examination of Obstetrical Expert, 1986
  • Structured Settlements, 1983 and 1984
  • Developing Demonstrative Evidence in a Medical Malpractice Case, 1983
  • Negotiation Techniques in Personal Injury Cases, 1982
  • Cross-Examination of the Medical Expert, 1980
  • Qualifying the Medical Expert, 1980

Institute of Continuing Legal Education:

  • “My Life in the Law, Lessons Learned Along the Way,” Deposition Skills Workshop, 2009
  • “A Judge/Practitioner Dialogue Concerning Referral Orders to ADR,” Advanced Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Institute, 2003
  • “Everything You Need to Know to Prepare Your Witness for Cross-Examination,” Expert Preparation, 2000
  • “Preparing Lay and Expert Witnesses for Cross-Examination,” 1995
  • “Anatomy of a Lawsuit, Voir Dire and the Law of Jury Selection,” 1994
  • Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop, 1993
  • “The Art of Cross-Examination, Preparing the Lay and Expert Witness for Cross Examination,” 1992
  • Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop, 1992
  • “The Anatomy of a Lawsuit,” Trial Practice Seminar, 1989
  • “Handling Damages in a Personal Injury Case after 1986 Tort Reform,” 1987
  • “Motions During Trial,” 1986
  • “Michigan Tort Reform, Medical Malpractice Statute,” 1986
  • “Structured Settlements,” Michigan Probate Judges Mid-Winter Seminar, 1985

National Seminars and Lectures:

  • "New Trends in Hypothermia Treatment for Newborns Suffering from Acute Hypoxic Encephalopathy," American Conference Institute's 13th Annual Advanced Forum on Obstetric Malpractice Claims (Distinguished Co-Chair), 2014
  • “Safety and Early Disclosure of Medical Errors as the New Tort Reform,” American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Advanced Forum on Preventing, Managing and Defending Claims of Obstetric Malpractice, Philadelphia Union League, June 2013
  • The 29th Annual Conference on Obstetrics, Gynecology, Perinatal Medicine and the Law, Boston University School of Medicine and Center for Human Genetics (multiple presentations and legal commentary), Kauai, Hawaii, 2013.
  • “Hypothermia Treatment for Newborns Suffering from Acute Hypoxic Encephalopathy,” American Conference Institute’s 11th Annual Advanced Forum on Preventing, Managing and Defending Claims of Obstetric Malpractice, Presentation, 2012.
  • “Physician's Sleep Fatigue as a Major Cause of Medical Mistakes and Hypothermia. Treatment for Asphyxiated Newborns,” American Association of Justice Summer meeting, Birth Trauma Litigation Group, New York, New York, 2011
  • “Waste in Healthcare Initiative, A Plaintiff's Attorney's Perspective,” Engineering Society of Detroit, 2011
  • American Conference Institute's 9th Annual Advanced Forum on Preventing, Managing and Defending Claims of Obstetric Malpractice (multiple presentations), 2010
  • “Shoulder Dystocia, What Really Happened in Delivery,” American Conference Institute's 7th Annual Advanced Forum on Preventing, Managing and Defending Claims of Obstetric Malpractice, Philadelphia Union League, 2009
  • “The Two Faces of Obstetrical Litigation, a Plaintiff Attorney's Perspective,” Mercy Hospital Cadillac, 12th Annual OB Conference, 2005
  • The 20th Annual Conference on Obstetrics, Gynecology, Perinatal Medicine and the Law, Boston University School of Medicine and Center for Human Genetics (multiple presentations and legal commentary), 2004
  • “Managing Risk in the Obstetrical Arena, Emerging Issues in Birth Trauma Cases,” Trinity Health Insurance & Risk Management Services Perinatal Conference, 2004
  • “Shoulder Dystocia: Using Your Client to Prove Liability,” Ohio Association of Trial Lawyers (OATL) 45th Annual Convention, Medical Negligence Seminar, 2002
  • “The Trial of a Dental Malpractice Case,” The Russell W. Bunting Periodontal Study Club, 2002
  • “Organizing for Change: Progressive Solutions and Strategy for the Midwest. Protesting Consumer Rights: Caps on Damages,” Center for Policy Alternatives, Midwest Policy Leaders Summit, 2001
  • “Medical Malpractice, the Plaintiff's Perspective and the National Health Security Act,” American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 61st Annual Convention, 1994

State Bar, Law Schools, Medical Schools and Miscellaneous Presentations

  • “Dynamic Evidence-Based Medicine and Risk Management,” Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC), May 31, 2013
  • “New Frontiers in Medical Malpractice Symposium: Early Disclosure and Compensation for Errors versus the Civil Litigation Forum,” University of Michigan, March 2012.
  • “Davis Frye and Daubert,” Michigan State University School of Law, Medical Malpractice Course, 2010
  • “The Politics, The Law and The Supreme Court: Medical Malpractice in Michigan,” The People's Law School, Cooley Law School, 2010
  • “Medical Malpractice in Michigan, The Law, The Politics and The Practice,” The People's Law School, Cooley Law School, 2008
  • “Malpractice Legislation: Affidavit of Merit and the Notice of Intent to File Suit,” Michigan House Committee on Tort Reform, 2006
  • “The State of Litigation in Michigan,” Association of Defense Trial Counsel, 2006
  • “The Apsey Decision,” Tony Tripiano Progressive Talk Radio, 1310 AM, 2005
  • “The Law and Minefields of Michigan Medical Malpractice,” University of Detroit Mercy School of Law combined Tort classes, 2005.
  • “What is Driving Tort Reform and Where is it Going?” University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, 2005
  • “Medical Malpractice: Is There a Medical, Legal or Insurance Crisis?” Good Company, Comcast Cable TV, 2004
  • “Evaluating the Medical Malpractice Case,” University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, combined tort classes, 2003
  • “We Need Medical Malpractice Reform: Which Approach is Best?” University of Michigan, Program in Society and Medicine, Forum on Health Policy, 2003
  • Michigan Medical Malpractice Law, University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law, combined tort classes, 2001 and 2003
  • Michigan Medical Malpractice Law, University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law, combined tort classes, 2002
  • “Medical Malpractice After Tort Reform, The Oakland County Bar Association's "Due Process" program, WDIV-TV, 2001
  • Interview/Discussion on Handling Birth Trauma Cases, Bloomfield Community Cable TV, "Practical Law", 1999
  • Testimony and Presentation on Strategies to Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits, Michigan House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Health Policy, 1999
  • “Tort Reform in Today's Practice,” State Bar of Michigan Negligence Section, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 1997
  • “Improving the Quality of Your Practice,” Detroit Bar Association, 1993
  • “Medical Liability Claims and Access to Health Care,” Michigan Coalition of Aging Organizations, 1991
  • “Pre-Suit Screening of Medical Malpractice Claims,” American Educational Institute, 1990
  • “Our Perception is Our Only Reality,” University of Michigan Medical Students/Delta Epsilon, 1990
  • “Medical Malpractice and Patient's Rights: Legislative Efforts to Reduce the Rights of Victims of Medical Malpractice,” Wayne State Law School, 1990
  • “The Brain Damaged Baby... The OB's Fault?” Medical-Law Workshop One-Day Symposium, 1989
  • “Agenda for Change,” James Tuck Memorial Lecture, 1988
  • Issues in Health Care, Round Table Discussion: The Medical Liability Crisis Michigan State Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Michigan), 1988
  • State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section and Michigan Trial Lawyers, Basic Advocacy Workshop, 1988
  • “What Every Lawyer Should Know About Going to Trial,” Detroit Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, 1987
  • “New Tort Legislation,” State Bar of Michigan, 51st Annual Meeting, September 1986