A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court has affirmed the Attorney-Expert privilege rule that protects communications between a treating doctor in a persona injury suit and Plaintiff’s legal counsel, if the treating doctor will be the case expert. The PA Supreme Court affirmed by a 3-3 split vote, in upholding a 2011 ruling by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, that barred an Orthopedic in Cumberland County from turning over correspondence between the Orthopedic Doctor and Plaintiff’s counsel.
“These rules attempt to balance the competing policies of promoting the truth-determining process through liberal discovery but also protecting attorney work product discovery to encourage efficient and effective client representation,” the opinion said. “After considering these policies under the language of the current rules, we would affirm the holding of the Superior Court and create a bright-line rule denying discovery of communications between attorneys and expert witnesses.”
Justice cited needless delay in trying to differentiate between work product in thee discovery process. The decision and affirmation is a win for Plaintiff attorneys and those whom are injured.