A former client of the Law Offices of Jason Turchin was injured years later in a slip and fall at WalMart. After he brought a lawsuit against the store, Walmart served a subpoena on the victim’s prior counsel to produce his entire file, less any privileged documents. Immediately upon receiving the subpoena, our law firm filed a Motion to Quash the Subpoena and for a Protective Order.
As we explained to the Court, the Law Offices of Jason Turchin was a former attorney for the Plaintiff who received a subpoena to produce certain records obtained during the course of the representation. We objected to the subpoena on the grounds that the request directed to it would violate its former client’s privacy rights, and all information sought through the subpoena was either work-product or attorney-client privilege, or involved confidential settlement discussions and/or communications.
Moreover, we argued that any public records requested by the Defendant are equally available to them as to our former client, and would cause undue burden and hardship to produce, and unnecessary expense to produce any such records in our possession.
With regard to medical records which were requested by Walmart, they failed to include a valid HIPAA or Court Order authorizing disclosure which would be needed so as not to violate the privacy rights of our former client.
The Court denied Walmart’s attempt to get private records without a true need for them. The Court articulately stated, “To the Court, the subpoena at issue appears to be a thinly-veiled attempt by Defendant to access materials that are protected by attorney-client privilege and work-product privilege.”
We pride ourselves on protecting the rights of our clients both during and after representation. If you are ever in a slip and fall case and had a prior claim, your attorney should review any subpoena to look out for not only their interests, but also for yours.