The constitutionality of state statutes requiring review of medical malpractice claims by a malpractice panel as a condition precedent to trial has been the source of much litigation.' These acts (hereinafter "panel acts") were motivated by the so-called medical malpractice "crisis."' In the mid-1970's, health care providers and other interested citizens became concerned that many malpractice claims were frivolous and requested unrealistic damages.4 State legislators responded by trying to find a means to limit malpractice filings to those cases which might have merit,5 thereby reducing the economic consequences to health care seekers.' This note discusses the constitutionality of these statutes as considered by the courts, both before they operated extensively and after experience in their operation.



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