St. Mary's Law Journal
Texas attorneys should be obligated to disclose whether they referred their client to a pre-selected physician. Plaintiff attorneys, however, have been allowed to withhold this information from the court arguing the information is privileged. The practice of using a pre-selected physician is unethical and unfairly prejudicial. If the attorney and physician have an agreement, the attorney is likely to send numerous clients to that specific physician in order to receive a discount. The physician in turn is likely to recommend medically unnecessary procedures in order to inflate money damages. Therefore, in order to prevent potential abuse between the attorney-physician relationship, full disclosure is necessary. Attorney-client privilege should no longer be applicable. If asked directly, a physician should be obligated to testify as to whether she has a pre-existing arrangement with the attorney. The physician is not an agent of the attorney and the answer is not medically related, therefore the physician should be obligated to answer. Plaintiffs’ attorneys should no longer be allowed to conceal the relationship of between the attorney, client, and physician under the guise of attorney-client privilege. In order to ensure justice, Texas courts should allow the discovery and admissibility at trial of whether the plaintiff’s attorney referred his or her client to the medical provider. Texas juries should be allowed to know whether a plaintiff’s attorney has referred numerous clients to the treating physician. The jury would then be able to assess the legitimacy and reasonableness of the medical bills. Requiring the disclosure would further discourage attorneys from developing questionable relationships with physicians.
St. Mary's University School of Law
Martin J. Phipps,
Attorney Referral for Medical Treatment: A Wolf in Disguise.,
St. Mary's L.J.
Available at: https://commons.stmarytx.edu/thestmaryslawjournal/vol32/iss3/2
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