Whether is a Lawyer/Doctor financial relation is discoverable?
In a 4 to 3 opinion issued by the Florida Supreme Court on April 13, 2017 overturned a ruling from the 5th Circuit that provides the following:
A Law firm referring a client to a treating physician is protected by the attorney/client privilege, and that the law firm may not be subject to costly records requests to determine if it has a “cozy relationship” with a medical provider.
The court further stated that to hold otherwise – would severely undermine the purpose of the privilege, which is to encourage the free flow of information between attorneys and their clients.
The court further reasoned that if Doctor’s were required to reveal how their patients were referred to them – that it would have a chilling effect on the ability of injured people to be treated - as may medical providers would avoid treating them to avoid the hassles and cost of litigation and discovery.