Why work with MJA?
Why work with MJA? Attorneys
with MJA? Attorneys
MJA is the first and only centralized national resource for volunteer expert medical witness services focusing on incarcerated clients. We have a network of physicians and other clinicians in a variety of specialties. Our goal is to remove the cost barrier to expert witness services in order to protect the constitutional rights of people in prisons, jails, and detention centers.
WHAT WE OFFER
Medical record review
Facility policy review
We primarily work with public interest attorneys and public defenders to provide pro bono services. In order to support the sustainability of MJA, attorneys with access to institutional funding for cases often choose to pay a heavily discounted “low bono” rate, typically around 30% of typical market value.
How it works
Attorney identifies a client medical concern and submits a case request
Attorney and client sign an indemnification agreement and MJA pairs them with a physician
Physician reviews the medical records provided by lawyers and evaluates the concerns raised
Physician conducts a phone interview with client to clarify any questions
Physician provides attorney written testimony regarding medical care
Physician and attorney provide feedback and legal team shares case results
Submit a case
Want to work with us? Submit your cases via our case submission form.
We accept any legal cases pertaining to the health of people in prisons, jails, and detention centers. These can be individual or class action cases pursuing a range of remedies, including injunctive relief and compassionate release.
MJA has a training curriculum for volunteers led by physicians and lawyers. We provide best practices, writing guides, and individualized support for volunteers. A senior MJA physician provides support throughout the writing process as well as a review of the final written testimony.
In order to help us foster positive experiences for volunteers, we ask that you follow our Attorney Guidelines
If an attorney notes a physician preference on the intake form, we will try to accommodate. However, MJA cannot guarantee the availability of any of our volunteers.
MJA will try to pair you with volunteers who have expertise in the topics involved in your case. If we don’t have a specialist you need immediately available, MJA will access its nationwide network to try and find one. It is possible, but rare that we cannot provide a qualified expert.
We generally require a minimum of two weeks for turnaround with declarations. This allows our volunteers time for a thorough review of the records and medical literature. We are open to discussing shorter deadlines on a case-by-case basis.
We have board-certified physicians comprising most major specialties as well as a limited number of non-physician providers (e.g., dentists, psychologists, and physician assistants).
Independent psychological assessments of patients are very involved and we generally cannot provide them at this time.
We do not provide medical forensic examinations, but we would encourage you to reach out to our colleagues at Physicians for Human Rights or Mt. Sinai Human Rights Program for such services.