The Daily


It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

When Regina Kobel’s medical records came in, there was nothing about the lump in her breast. Her obgyn exam looked perfectly benign, according to the notes. There was nothing about the mass or the examination in the chart, even though she distinctly remembered discussing it with the doctor and having him examine it. From looking at the chart alone, it was as if the mass didn’t and never did exist. Except that I knew it was there and that it was killing her.

Banking on my client’s recollection, I dubbed the chart “suspect” and sent it for document examination and testing using FBI equipment. You can read a post about the document examination and expert work done in that case, titled “Seeing”, here.

What that analysis proved is that the chart had indeed been scrubbed and re-written by the doctor. The doctor originally recorded the “cyst” she complained about (cancer) and drew an arrow from the mass to his spitball diagnosis of “FCD” (fibrocystic disease) – which he did not test or take any films of. We were able to prove this using a machine that reads indentations on the pages of the chart.

I remember that when Mrs. Kobel gave her deposition, we had to videotape it because we all knew she would not survive to trial. She resisted taking her wig off on the record, but my Father gently persuaded her and it came off briefly exposing her baldness from the radiation / chemotherapy she received at Duke that prolonged her life a bit.

Your lawyer should be singularly focused on your case in order to marshal whatever forces are necessary to prove your claim and disprove the defenses and obstacles thrown in your way. Often, these defenses are frivolous and even fraudulent. Nevertheless, in order to overcome them, your lawyer must be experienced and focused – willing to take nothing for granted. This does not guarantee success. But it is the only way to preserve your best chance at justice.