At the time that the panel is designated, the Supreme Court shall advise the clerk of the circuit court in which the matter was filed of the names of the panel members.Except for good cause shown, the date for completion of discovery shall not be set beyond 120 days from the date on which the panel was requested. Within the period set for the taking of discovery and upon consultation with the panel members, the judge shall notify the parties of the date set for a hearing by the review panel, if any, or the date on which the panel will convene. Such date shall not be set sooner than ten days after the date for completion of discovery. Upon completion of discovery, the clerk of the circuit court shall notify the parties of the name, address and professional practice of each panel member and shall also notify the panel members, in writing, of their appointment.The written notification to the panel members shall include the definitions of “impartial attorney” and “impartial health care provider” as contained in § 8.01-581.1 and a copy of the oath to which the panel members will be required to subscribe when the panel convenes. The oath shall be as follows:”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have no past or present relationship with the parties nor am I aware of anything that would prevent me from being impartial in my deliberations. I further swear (or affirm) that I will render an opinion faithfully and fairly on the basis of the evidence presented, applying any professional expertise I may have, giving due regard to the nature of the claim and the nature of the practice of the health care provider.” A panel member who, for any reason, could not take the oath of impartiality shall promptly notify the judge presiding over the panel, in writing, of such inability. The judge shall notify the Supreme Court, which shall then select and notify another panel member in place of and practicing the same profession as the disqualified member.
1986, c. 227; 1993, c. 928.