From the website of attorney William P. Lightfoot comes "Effective Uses of Medical Literature," a paper "first presented at the ATLA Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois, 2000." As you might expect if you know about ATLA, the paper is written from the point of view of a plaintiffs' lawyer:
All personal injury cases involve medicine and law. The law is applied to the facts to determine the person responsible for causing injury to the plaintiff. Principles of medicine determine the nature and extent of the injury, as well as the causal relationship to the negligent conduct. In every PI case, a health care provider testifies about the application of principles of medicine.
All health care providers rely to some degree on medical literature such as journals or learned treatises to support their opinions. At different stages during litigation, medical literature is handled in a variety of ways. The majority rule is that learned treatises may not be used as independent evidence of facts or opinions. This paper will discuss the various ways medical literature may be used during different stages of litigation.
The author discusses the use of medical literature in voir dire, opening, direct, cross, and closing; he also analyzes medical literature as an exception to the hearsay rule, and gives some ideas for discovering relevant literature.