Professor Pope is available to serve as a consulting or testifying expert witness in court, arbitration, or other tribunal proceedings. This page summarizes his experience in five categories:
Areas of Expertise
Experience as Expert Witness
Value of Bioethics Expert Witnesses
Areas of Expertise
Bioethics Brain Death
Durable Powers of Attorney for Healthcare
End-of-Life Medical Treatment
Life Sustaining Treatment Disputes
Medical Aid in Dying (MAID)
Medical Malpractice Liability
Organ Donation Autjorization
Surrogate Decision Making
Treatment Relationship Termination
Voluntarily Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED)
Experience as Expert Witness
Professor Pope has served as both a consulting and testifying expert witness in court, arbitration, and other tribunal proceedings. Professor Pope has worked with a wide range of parties in the healthcare system. He has been retained by hospital systems, physicians, nurses, and patients. Professor Pope has worked for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Professor Pope has testified twice at trial and five times in deposition. These cases fall into two main categories.
1. First, he has worked on both tort and contract cases involving healthcare providers. These cases often intertwine with issues of clinical and/or professional ethics. For example, a key question in these cases was whether the manner of terminating a hospital-physician contract resulted in patient abandonment.
2. Second, Professor Pope has worked on actions regarding life-sustaining treatment. These cases often concern the scope of consent authority possessed by surrogate decision makers like proxies, agents, parents, and guardians.
A. Testified at Trial
1. In re Natalie A. Duke, No. SBC-20-0-30803 (California State Bar filed Nov. 23, 2020). In this attorney discipline case where county attorneys challenged a patient's agent and wife from making healthcare decisions when she seemed to act inconsistent with his wishes and best interests. The State Bar took Professor Pope's deposition in April 2021 and trial testimony in August 2021.
2. In Areen Charabarti, No. 201800563MI (Orphans Court Division, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania 2018). Professor Pope testified at a May 2018 trial on the legal status of brain death. He testified on behalf of a family who contested the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia diagnosis and treatment plan. He also served as consulting expert for the family.
B. Testified at Deposition
1. O'Connor v. Community Hosp. & Med. Center, No. 18-CECG-01184 (Fresno Sup. Ct., Cal. 2023). Professor Pope was retained by the plaintiff. The hospital and the regional OPO took his daughter's organs knowing that they lacked authorization. The defendant took Professor Pope's deposition in Saint Paul in October 2023.
2. In re Natalie A. Duke, No. SBC-20-0-30803 (California State Bar filed Nov. 23, 2020). In this attorney discipline case where county attorneys challenged a patient's agent and wife from making healthcare decisions when she seemed to act inconsistent with his wishes and best interests. The State Bar took Professor Pope's deposition in April 2021 and trial testimony in August 2021.
3. Cedar Valley Medical Specialists v. Singh & Kamenova, No. LACV 131470 (Black Hawk County District Court Iowa 2018). Professor Pope was retained by two oncologists. Their former employer charged that the manner of their contract termination and departure constituted patient abandonment. The defendant took Professor Pope's deposition in Saint Paul in December 2018.
4. Wagner v. Summa Health System, No. CV-2013-09-4227 (Court of Common Pleas, Summit County, Ohio 2016-2017). Professor Pope was retained by the family of a deceased patient. The primary issue concerned provider duties to obtain appropriate consent for a DNR/CCO order. The defendant took Professor Pope’s deposition in Saint Paul.
5. Ramdas Bhandari, MD v. V/H/A Southwest Community Health Corporation d/b/a Community Hospital Corporation and Artesia General Hospital, No. 1:09-CV-00932 JB/LAM (U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico 2010-2011). Professor Pope was retained by Greenberg Traurig LLP for a hospital client. The primary issue concerned hospital and physician duties to the former patients of a departing physician. The plaintiff took Professor Pope’s deposition in Houston.
1. McCullum v Norton Healthcare, No. 23-CI-4382 (Jefferson Cir. Ct., Ky. 2023). Plaintiff was retained to consult with plaintiff counsel. Defendant withdrew life-sustaining treatment from a child without appropriate notice or procedures.
2. Shavelson v. California, No. 3:21-CV-06654 (N.D. Cal. 2021-2022). Professor Pope is consulting with California MAID clinicians and terminally ill patients who challenge the End-of-Life Option Act's prohibition on assistance with ingestion as inconsistent with the ADA. Some patients otherwise qualified under the EOLOA are unable to ingest the medication because of their physical disablity (such as ALS). Pope submitted a declaration in support of opposition to the state's motion to dismiss. The matter was later appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
3. Dalavai v. UC San Diego, No. 22-CV-1471 (S.D. Cal. 2022). Professor Pope served as a consulting expert on a lawsuit concerning EMTALA and medical malpractice.
4. Anonymous (2022).Professor Pope serves as a consulting expert witness in a lawsuit concerning the appropriateness of a POLST.
5. Potts v. San Rafael Operating Company, No. SCV-266808 (Sonoma County Superior Court, Cal. 2021). Professor Pope is consulting with a law firm hired by the family of a patient whose nursing home provided treatment contrary to the patient's advance directive and agent's directions.
6. Michael Hickson v. St. David's South Austin Medical Center & Family Eldercare (2020). Professor Pope consulted with a law firm hired by the family of a patient whose life-sustaining treatment was withdrawn contrary to his wishes and on the basis of his pre-existing disabilities.
7. In re B.A.B, No. 68-0904-34484 (Minnesota Office of Admin. Hearings 2018). Professor Pope was retained by Fredrikson & Byron on behalf of a nurse client. This healthcare licensing board action involves professional boundaries. It questions whether the licensee should have accepted a significant gift from a patient long after the treatment relationship had ended. Professor Pope prepared a report but did not testify.
8. Guardianship of Lisa Spangler, No. BE15PO724GD (Massachusetts Probate & Family Court, Berkshire Division 2018). The family of a disabled individual retained Professor Pope in a matter that questioned whether a guardian may direct a healthcare facility to withdraw a patient’s artificial nutrition and hydration. The patient died before Professor Pope was required to testify.
9. Kosta M. Arget, MD et al. v. Renown Health et al., No. CV11-02477 (Second Judicial District for the State of Nevada, Washoe County 2013). Professor Pope was retained by Bryan Cave LLP for a hospital client. The primary issue concerned hospital and physician group duties to former patients of departing physicians. Professor Pope attended a key hearing in Reno, but the case settled before his testimony was needed.
10. In re Rodney Knoepfle (Helena, Montana 2016-2017). Professor Pope worked as a pre-suit non-testifying expert for a patient planning claims against a hospital. Clinicians had resuscitated the patient against his wishes and directions. The case settled for $400,000.