COVID-19 in Nursing Homes - Learn More.
Picture of Dov Apfel

Dov Apfel

Partner
da@levinperconti.com
Download VCard

Phone: 312-332-2872
Fax: 312-332-3112

325 N La Salle Dr #300
Chicago, Illinois 60654

Recognized for his national reputation and success as a child advocate, Dov Apfel has investigated and litigated birth trauma and obstetrical malpractice claims involving children with cerebral palsy and other neurological and intellectual disabilities throughout the United States.

Those in the legal profession who have worked with Mr. Apfel consider him to be the premier “lawyer’s lawyer” in the area of birth trauma litigation. When families and lawyers need someone to help them figure out whether a child’s brain damage could have been prevented, they call Mr. Apfel.

Mr. Apfel’s lifetime of achievements in birth injury litigation, education and advocacy were recognized by the Executive Board of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice in 2011, an organization consisting of thousands of trial lawyers throughout the United States, when he received the Dan Cullan Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award.

Judges, too, have recognized Mr. Apfel as both a committed advocate and a source of scientific and medical knowledge in birth trauma cases. He was an invited speaker at the New York State Judicial Seminars, “Medicine for Judges” Programs in 2008, where he taught judges about the criteria for determining the timing and causes of brain damage in babies and newborns.

Mr. Apfel’s outstanding record of success spans across the United States. He has the unique distinction and privilege of helping families and lawyers, and participating in the successful resolution and litigation of obstetrical cases, in the following jurisdictions:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Mr. Apfel, a passionate advocate for his clients and for all those who suffer injuries as a result of negligence and preventable injuries, has dedicated his career to holding negligent hospitals, drug companies, physicians, obstetricians, nurses, midwives, family practitioners, and other providers accountable for their failures to keep patients safe and out of harm’s way.

Mentor and Educator

Mr. Apfel has more than four decades of experience handling complex medical malpractice and personal injury matters. Among other things, Mr. Apfel’s outstanding record of success can be attributed to his unmatched understanding of the medical principles and science involved in the cases he handles. Beginning in 1991, when the Birth Trauma Litigation Group was established, Mr. Apfel has written extensively to expose junk science and litigation-driven literature, and has taught both experienced and inexperienced lawyers how to evaluate medical issues and determine when a bad outcome could have been prevented.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Apfel has trained and mentored many lawyers and paralegals who have developed great expertise and skills in handling complex medical malpractice cases. For example, Seth Cardeli, a partner at Levin & Perconti, and a lawyer who has worked with Mr. Apfel for the past 9 years, has received multiple national honors and is currently recognized by his peers as one of the top birth trauma lawyers in the United States. Kim Martel, a paralegal at Levin & Perconti, who has worked with Mr. Apfel for the past 12 years, received national recognition for her outstanding work, when she was selected as the 2020 Paralegal of the Year by the American Association of Justice, a national organization of trial lawyers.

Mr. Apfel is regularly called upon to lecture at a range of national conferences (some of which have been attended by obstetricians, nurses, and other health care providers), and publishes extensively on legal and medical issues arising in Cerebral Palsy litigation, including the use of expert testimony in cerebral palsy litigation, electronic fetal monitoring, hypoxia, ischemia, asphyxia, meconium stained amniotic fluid and meconium aspiration syndrome, maternal and fetal infection in pregnancy, chorioamnionitis, fetal inflammatory response syndrome, antepartum fetal testing, placental pathology, vaginal birth after cesarean, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, trauma, forceps, vacuum extractors, shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus, and the clinical markers establishing a causal connection between the events of labor and delivery and cerebral palsy.

Mr. Apfel is the author of a landmark Law Review article, “Using a Differential Diagnosis to Prove that Intrapartum Asphyxia is a Significant Cause of Cerebral Palsy,” that helped set the standard in how causation issues in cases involving cerebral palsy are litigated by lawyers representing brain damaged children in the U.S. He currently chairs an annual 2-day program to teach lawyers the fundamentals of electronic fetal monitoring and the criteria that can be used to identify babies who may not be getting enough oxygen and are at risk of developing brain injury during labor and delivery.

Education

J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 1979

B.S., Queens College, City University of New York, 1976

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice District of Columbia, 1980
Maryland, 1979
Professional & Bar Association Memberships

Medical Negligence Section of the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association
Former Chairperson

Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice
Member and Former Co-Chair

American Association for Justice (AAJ)
Member

Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ)
Member

Maryland Bar Association
Member

District of Columbia Bar Association
Member

Montgomery County Maryland Bar Association
Member

Illinois State Bar Association
Member

District of Columbia Trial Lawyers Association
Member

Awards and Honors

Mr. Apfel is the former chairperson of the Medical Negligence Section of the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association and the former co-chair of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. He has been regularly named one of the Best Lawyers in America for Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and listed as a Maryland Super Lawyers®. Washingtonian Magazine identified Mr. Apfel as one of the top lawyers in the Washington area and he was featured as one of America’s Premier Lawyers in Fortune Magazine. Recognizing his national prominence and integrity, the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system has awarded Mr. Apfel a score of 5.0 out of 5 stars with the highest ethical standing.

Cases

Mr. Apfel has achieved multiple eight figure settlements during his career and has litigated multiple other cases that resulted in seven figure results. Many of the cases resolved with outstanding results shortly after the trial started and Mr. Apfel and his trial team called some witnesses and presented their case. Most of these settlements are subject to confidentiality agreements and may not be disclosed. However, two recent cases, which are not subject to confidentiality, involved claims against the United States for the negligent care provided by doctors employed by the US in hospitals in Guam and Hawaii. In the Guam case, the Government resolved the case for $11.5 million. In the Hawaii case, the Government paid $13 million.

Other Interests

Mr. Apfel met and married his wife, Sharon, when they both attended law school in Washington, D.C. After Sharon left the Appellate Court division of the National Labor Relations Board, Dov and Sharon worked together for 17 years in private practice. They have been married for 42 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Mr. Apfel is an avid basketball player, who still plays competitively. In May 2019, Dov competed in the (“over 50”) Masters Basketball Tournament in Coral Springs, Florida, a competition including former Division I college and international players, where he was selected to be on the all-tournament team in the 65+ division.

Professional Presentations
  • AAJ Webinar, Electronic Fetal Monitoring in Birth Injury Cases, April 3, 2020
  • Chairperson: AAJ Education’s 5th Annual Electronic Fetal Monitoring in Birth Injury Cases Seminar, Orlando, FL, April 2-3, 2020 (to be rescheduled due to COVID-19)
  • AAJ Mastering the Medicine program, Atlanta, GA, October 17-18, 2019
    Subject: Fetal Monitoring and Blood Gases
  • AAJ Summer Conference, San Diego, CA, July 28, 2019
    Subject: Gross and Microscopic Placental Findings
  • AAJ Education’s 4th Annual Electronic Fetal Monitoring in Birth Injury Cases Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, March 1-2, 2018
  • AAJ Summer Conference, Boston, MA, July 21, 2017
    Subject: Electronic Fetal Monitoring: Fake Data and Alternate Facts
  • AAJ Mastering the Medicine program, Atlanta, GA, October 5-6, 2017
    Subject: Issues for Electronic Fetal Monitoring
  • AAJ Education’s 3rd Annual Electronic Fetal Monitoring in Birth Injury Cases Seminar, Washington, DC, June 18-19, 2015
  • AAJ Winter Conference, Palm Springs, February 2015
    Subject: Determining the Timing and Etiology of Neonatal Encephalopathy and Adverse Neurologic Outcome
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Meeting, August 14, 2014
    Subjects: Neonatal Encephalopathy and Neurologic Outcome & EFM
  • AAJ Summer Conference, Baltimore, July 27, 2014
    Subject: Neonatal Encephalopathy and Neurologic Outcome
  • AAJ Education’s 2nd Annual Total Electronic Fetal Monitoring Immersion Seminar, Washington, DC, June 26-27, 2014
    Subjects: EFM: Decelerations & Management of Category III Patterns,
    2014 Neonatal Encephalopathy & Neurologic Outcome Litigation Criteria, Chorioamnionitis & Intrapartum Brain Injury
  • AAJ Education’s 1st Annual Total Electronic Fetal Monitoring Immersion Seminar, Washington, DC, June 27-28, 2013
    Subjects: EFM: Expectations, Problems, and Reality
    Algorithms for Management of Category II FHR Patterns
    The Causal Pathway from EFM to Cerebral Palsy
  • AAJ Winter Conference, Miami, February 2013
    Subject: How to Handle Damages in Opening Statement
  • AAJ Summer Conference, Chicago, July 2012
    Subject: Proving the Timing of Brain Damage: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction
  • AAJ Summer Conference, New York, July 2011
    Subject: The Timing of Emergency Cesarean Sections: When Every Minute Counts
  • Litigating Injured Infant Cases Seminar, Miami, April 2011
    Subject: New Fetal Monitoring Standards
  • AAJ Winter BTLG Educational Program, Miami, February 2011
    Subject: The Latest ACOG and AWHONN Electronic Fetal Monitoring Guidelines
  • Obstetric Malpractice Program, Sponsored by The American Conference Institute, Philadelphia, June 2009
    Subject: Fetal Asphyxia: Causes and Prevention
  • ATLA Winter Conference. New Orleans, February 2009
    Subject: Analysis of the 2008 NICHD Fetal Monitoring Guidelines
  • New York State Judicial Seminars, Rye Brook, NY, August 28, 2008 "Medicine for Judges" Program:
    Subject: Keeping Junk Science Out of Cerebral Palsy Cases: Analysis of Criteria for Linking Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy
  • AAJ Summer Conference, Philadelphia, July 2008
    Subject: Meconium Aspiration Syndrome and Postnatal Brain Damage
  • New York State Judicial Seminars, Rye Brook, NY, June 26, 2008 "Medicine for Judges" Program:
    Subject: Keeping Junk Science Out of Cerebral Palsy Cases: Analysis of Criteria for Linking Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy
  • Ohio Association for Justice -- Annual Medical Malpractice Educational Program, Columbus, Ohio, May 2008
    Subject: What's New in Electronic Fetal Monitoring?
  • New Jersey Trial Lawyers Association -- Annual Medical Malpractice Educational Program, The Best of the Best from Around the Country, Meadowlands, October 2007
    Subject: Perinatal Brain Injury.
  • Maryland Trial Lawyers Association -- Annual Medical Malpractice Educational Program, Baltimore, March 2007
    Subject: Using the Medical Literature to Rebut ACOG Publications.
  • Litigating Medical Negligence Cases: Updates and Techniques for Pretrial, Trial, and Settlement, Crystal City, Virginia, October 2005
    Subject: Closing Argument
  • ATLA Summer Conference, Boston, July 2004
    Subject: Keeping Junk Science Out of Cerebral Palsy Cases: ACOG's Criteria on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy
  • Maryland Trial Lawyers Association Annual Medical Malpractice Educational Program, Baltimore, May 2004
    Subject: Keeping Junk Science Out of Cerebral Palsy Cases: ACOG's Criteria on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy
  • Litigating Catastrophically Injured Infant Cases, ATLA Program, Atlanta, February, 2004
    Subject: Using the Medicine to Prove the Timing and Etiology of Irreversible Brain Damage
  • Co-Chairperson, Obstetric Malpractice Program, Sponsored by The American Conference Institute, Philadelphia, November 2003
    Subject: What's New in Obstetrical Malpractice and Placental Pathology
  • ATLA Summer Conference. San Francisco, July 2003
    Subject: Keeping Junk Science Out of Cerebral Palsy Cases: ACOG's Criteria on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy
  • Litigating Catastrophically Injured Infant Cases ATLA Program, Atlanta, February 2003
    Subject: Using the Medicine to Make Your Case: Electronic Fetal Monitoring
  • Co-Chairperson, Birth Trauma Litigation Group Educational Program, Atlanta, July, 2002
    Subject: Distinguishing Between Asphyxia and Stroke: The Timing of Brain Injury
  • Maryland Trial Lawyers Association Annual Medical Malpractice Educational Program, Baltimore, January 2002
    Subject: Using Fetal Monitoring to Assess Quality of Care and Timing of Injury
  • ATLA Summer Conference, Montreal, July 2001
    Chairperson: Birth Trauma Litigation Group Educational Program
    Subjects: Maternal Infection in Pregnancy and Cerebral Palsy, and the International Consensus Template and the Criteria for Establishing a Link Between Birth Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy
  • ATLA Summer Conference, Chicago, August 2000
    Subject: Intrapartum Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring: Understanding FHR Variables and Nonreassuring Patterns
  • Chairperson: Birth Trauma Litigation Group Educational Program, San Juan, Puerto Rico, January 2000
    Subject: Maternal Infection in Pregnancy and Cerebral Palsy
  • ATLA Summer Conference, San Francisco, July 1999
    Subject: Maternal Infection in Pregnancy and Cerebral Palsy
    Subject: Early Onset Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Infection
  • ATLA Summer Conference. Washington, DC, July 1998
    Subject: Prenatal Care and Review of the Medical Chart
  • Canadian Trial Lawyers Conference, Calgary, Canada, April 1998
    Subject: Placental Pathology: A Primer for Birth Trauma Litigation
  • Chairperson: Birth Trauma Group Educational Program, Maui, Hawaii, February 1998
    Subject: The Timing and Etiology of Brain Injury in the Preterm Infant
  • ATLA Mid-Winter Conference, Maui, Hawaii, February 1998
    Subject: Antepartum Testing to Assess Fetal Well-Being in the Preterm Infant.
  • ATLA Mega Seminar on Profound Brain Injury in the Infant, West Palm Beach, Florida, January 1998
    Subject: Placental Pathology: The Use of Placental Findings to Prove or Negate Obstetrical Malpractice in Bad Baby Cases.
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 1996
    Subject: Placental Pathology: The Use of Placental Findings to Prove or Negate Obstetrical Malpractice in Bad Baby Cases.
  • ATLA Summer Conference, Boston, Mass, July 1996
    Subject: Antepartum Testing to Assess Fetal Well-Being.
  • ATLA Summer Conference, New York, New York, July 1995
    Subject: What's New in Placental Pathology?
    Subject: How to Cross-Examine a Defense Placental Pathology Expert in Obstetrical Malpractice Cases
  • Maryland Trial Lawyers Educational Program, February 10, 1995
    Subject: The Use of Demonstrative Evidence at Trial.
  • ATLA Winter Conference, Maui, Hawaii, February 1995
    Subject: Placental Pathology: The Use of Placental Findings to Prove or Negate Obstetrical Malpractice in Bad Baby Cases
  • Placental Pathology Conferences Sponsored by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Walter Reed Medical Center, 1991 and 1992
    Subject: The Use of Placental Findings to Prove or Negate Obstetrical Malpractice in Bad Baby Cases
Professional Publications
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring in Identifying Fetal Hypoxia and Acidemia, AAJ Birth Trauma Litigation Group Newsletter, July 2020.
  • Birth Injury Litigation Criteria Exposed, Trial Magazine, May 2015.
  • Hospital Liability for Misuse of Obstetrical Drugs, Trial Magazine, December 2013.
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring Plays a Vital Role in the Management of Pregnant Women and Their Babies, AAJ Birth Trauma Litigation Group Newsletter, February 2013.
  • Distinguishing Fact from Fiction in Cerebral Palsy Cases, Trial Magazine, November 2012.
  • When Every Minute Counts, Trial Magazine, May 2011.
  • Intrapartum Asphyxia is a Preventable, Not Inevitable, Cause of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy, New York Litigation Review, Vol. 2, 2010.
  • The case for national fetal monitoring standards, Trial Magazine, May 2009.
  • The 2008 NICHD Fetal Monitoring Workshop: The US Obstetrical Community Continues to Resist National Standards of Care, AAJ Birth Trauma Litigation Group Newsletter, February 2009.
  • Cerebral Palsy Litigation: Understanding Cytokines and the Infectious Pathways to Brain Damage in the Term Infant, AAJ Birth Trauma Litigation Group Newsletter, January 2008.
  • Settling the cerebral palsy case, Trial Magazine, December 2007.
  • Part II: Cerebral Palsy Litigation -- Understanding the Pathways to CP in the Term Infant, AAJ Professional Negligence Section Newsletter, 2007.
  • Part I: Cerebral Palsy Litigation -- Understanding the Pathways to CP in the Term Infant, AAJ Professional Negligence Section Newsletter, 2007.
  • Birth Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy, Trial Magazine, January 2007.
  • Using a Differential Diagnosis to Prove that Intrapartum Asphyxia is a Significant Cause of Cerebral Palsy, American Journal Of Trial Advocacy, 2006.
  • Proper use of Apgar scores, Trial Magazine, August 2005.
  • Keeping "junk science" out of birth injury cases, The Advocate - Journal of Consumer Attorneys for Southern California, July 2005.
  • Keep ‘junk science’ out of cerebral palsy cases, Trial Magazine, May 2004.
  • Fetal Monitoring Mistakes and Their Catastrophic Consequences, Trial Magazine, August 2003.
  • How to Derail Daubert Motions in Obstetrical Cases, Trial Magazine, May 2002.
  • Evaluating Obstetrical Cases: A Primer for the Trial Attorney, Prince Georges County Bar Bulletin, 2002.
  • Using Electronic Fetal Monitoring Strips to Assess the Quality of Care and the Timing of Delivery, ATLA Professional Negligence Section Reporter, 2001.
  • Evaluating Obstetrical Malpractice Cases: A Primer for the Trial Attorney, MTLA Trial Reporter, 2000.
  • Placental pathology: challenging the causation defenses, Trial Magazine, May 2000.
  • A primer on vaginal birth after cesarean, Trial Magazine, February 2000.
  • Evaluating Birth Trauma Cases Involving Brain Injury in the Premature Infant, ATLA Professional Negligence, 1999.
  • A Legal Discussion on Medical Malpractice: What Pregnant Women Should Know About Group B Streptococcal Infection, The Montgomery County Sentinel, November 18, 1999.
  • A Legal Discussion on Medical Malpractice: Is Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Safe?, The Montgomery County Sentinel, October 28, 1999.
  • A Legal Discussion on Medical Malpractice: Can cerebral palsy be prevented?, The Montgomery County Sentinel, October 21, 1999.
  • Evaluating Birth Trauma Cases Involving Brain Injury in the Premature Infant, ATLA Professional Negligence Law Reporter, July 1999.
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring: Criteria for Evaluating the Quality and Timing of Intrapartum Care, ATLA Birth Trauma Litigation Group Newsletter, June 1999.
  • Clinical Markers Establishing a Causal Relationship Between Birth Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy: A Primer for Trial Lawyers, American Journal Of Trial Advocacy, 1997.
  • Maternal Infection in Pregnancy and Perinatal Brain Damage, Trial Magazine, May 1996.
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring: An Overview, ATLA Professional Negligence Law Reporter, November 1995.
  • Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy: Understanding the Medical and Legal Issues, ATLA Birth Trauma Group Newsletter, June 1995.
  • Cervical and Lumbar Disc Injuries: Understanding the Medical and Legal Issues, Trial Magazine, January 1995.
  • Antepartum Evaluation of Fetal Well-Being, ATLA Birth Trauma Group Newsletter, December 1994.
  • Placental Pathology: A Tool for Obstetrical Cases, Trial Magazine, May 1994.
  • Loss of Chance in Obstetrical Cases, Trial Magazine, May 1993.
  • Obstetrical Negligence in Managing Hypertension: Legal Issues, Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, October 1992.
  • Obstetrical Negligence in Managing Hypertension: Medical Issues, Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, September 1992.
  • Obstetrical Malpractice: Hypertension in Pregnancy, Trial Magazine, May 1992.
Testimonials
★★★★★
Margaret, Daisy and Bryan. This magnificent cohesive team led by Margaret represented us for my mom's nursing home wrongful death case. They were most patient and responded timely to many questions throughout the entire process. All demonstrated professionalism and extensive knowledge of case and state laws. Their in-depth investigative work uncovered details which were unknown to us and yet sadly confirmed our suspicions. We would recommend the Levin and Perconti Law firm and especially this team. Kathy and Ron
★★★★★
Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Peconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. My family and I will always be grateful for the compassion that they showed us. I want to thank you for what you did for my family, and for always being there for us. W.R., Medical Malpractice Client
★★★★★
Our deepest appreciation to the law firm of Levin & Perconti, and in particular to Margaret Battersby Black, in the handling of the lawsuit we field n behalf of our sister who sustained life-threatening injuries as a nursing home resident. Margaret’s representation, guidance, and professionalism gave us the sense that we could put our trust in Levin & Perconti and the final outcome proved that to be true. D.G., Nursing Home Client
★★★★★
I want to send my heartfelt thanks to John Perconti and the Levin & Perconti staff in taking our case. Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf. M.R.Z., nursing home client
★★★★★
Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti, and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Perconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. W.R., medical malpractice client