Except for a crop of gray hair, the enrollees in Sean Byrne’s malpractice course at the University of Richmond Law School look like normal students. They sip Starbucks coffee and tap out notes on their laptop keyboards. And with lumpy hair and bleary eyes, a few looked like they rolled out of bed after a few hours of sleep.
But instead of suffering the effects of late-night study, some of them might have come off a long night at a hospital. That is because more than half the students are physicians, many of them in obstetrics or other specialties at high risk for malpractice lawsuits. Some have been sued; others say it’s only a matter of time.