Are Medical Referrals protected by privilege? Let us find out…

The issue is whether a lawyer/doctor financial relationship is discoverable

If you check out the latest article by one of the best family law paralegal services in the St petersburg, fl area, you will see what I mean.  A divided Florida Supreme Court held that 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 subjected to costly records requests to determine if it has a “cozy relationship” with a medical provider.  The 4-3 opinion, issued on April 13th, overturned a ruling from the Fifth District Court of Appeal in the case where the high-profile law firm, Morgan & Morgan, was representing a client suing the Central Florida YMCA.  The client, Heather Worley, had fallen in the YMCA parking lot and sought medical treatment.  Doctors in the emergency room, where she twice went for treatment, advised her to see a specialist concerning her knee injuries.  Instead, Worley hired Morgan & Morgan and was eventually treated by doctors at three different facilities, Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute, Underwood Surgery Center and Sanctuary Surgical & Anesthesia.  Morgan & Morgan eventually filed suit against the YMCA.  As part of discovery, the defendants asked Worley if she had been referred to the medical providers by her lawyers, who objected to the question, and sought to find out the relationship between the law firm and the medical providers.  Worley declined to answer the question about the referral at her initial deposition on the grounds of attorney-client privilege, and the YMCA then sent interrogatories to the doctors employed by the medical providers and a request to produce to Morgan & Morgan “in an effort to establish the existence of a referral relationship between Worley’s attorneys and her treating physicians.”  What are the thoughts of a divorce document preparation service in Florida?  Only time will tell, as she elaborates on her original thoughts….