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The post below was published on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 at 8:28 AM.

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Second District: Speaking With Hospitals’ Employed Physicians

This highly significant case involved parents who sued a hospital on their child’s behalf for medical malpractice. The hospital sought a protective order to block the parents’ attorneys from speaking with the child’s current treating physicians, who were hospital employees, without the hospital’s counsel present. The trial court denied the motion and the hospital petitioned for a writ of certiorari.

The Second District denied the petition. The court examined the ethics rules involving communications with represented persons and determined that the communications at issue would not be unethical because, at the risk of oversimplifying, the employee physicians were not shown to be involved with the underlying incident or the litigation or to have the authority to bind the hospital with respect to the incident.

The decision implies that the physician employees could not bind the hospital with regard to the litigation, but what it means to bind someone was not clear.

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