Medicine Man

When faced with malpractice allegations, many medical professionals turn to Dan McLamb to separate facts from emotions

Published in 2007 North Carolina Super Lawyers — February 2007

When doctors, hospital administrators and other professionals in North Carolina are sued, many of them turn to lawyer Dan McLamb, a partner in Yates, McLamb & Weyher in Raleigh.

“Catastrophic injury cases are big challenges for a defense lawyer,” he says. “It’s my role to reassure my clients, including doctors and nurses. We tell our clients not to be judgmental of themselves or the plaintiffs. You have to take a rational and careful view of what happened.”

He says the client’s psychological needs are as important as their legal needs. “As a defense attorney, you have to be sensitive to both the legal and personal issues of the defendant. There’s a huge psychological impact involved in dealing with an allegation that you caused someone’s death or serious injury. It’s a devastating blow to the defendant, especially someone like a nurse whose mistakes allegedly caused a child’s cerebral palsy.” Also, he adds, “Sympathy for the plaintiff is part of every catastrophic injury case. The stress of parents dealing with their child’s severe brain injury or neurological injury is real. As a defense lawyer, you have to acknowledge that this is a devastating blow and show compassion. Then in jury selection, you talk through the issue realistically and objectively. You try to sort out jurors who can deal with the issue or not.”

McLamb was born in Benson, graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree, and earned his law degree at the University of North Carolina Law School. He is married to his law partner Barbara B. (“Bonnie”) Weyher, and they have four sons. “My spouse is my favorite thing about life,” he says. “We’ve been practicing law together since 1983. The law practice is our extended family. We complement each other well.”

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