July 30, 2007
Attacking Advice Of Former Firm Requires Disqualification
A doctor who had had his hospital privileges revoked brought suit against the hospital. One of the purported reasons for the hospital's action was that the doctor had failed to report a malpractice lawsuit against him and others. He acknowleged the non-report but asserted that he had followed the advice of his counsel in that regard.
After the malpractice case settled, one of the partners of the attorney who gave the advice left the firm. The departed attorney now represents the hospital in the revocation of privileges case. The attorney professes no memory of the maplractice case. The Texas Supreme Court ordered the attorney and his firm disqualified: "... even if the departing attorneys have no connection with a former client of a former firm, they cannot take on a case against that client if it involves questioning the validity of the earlier representation." Disqualification is required whether or not the attorney in the malpractice case admits giving the advice asserted by the doctor. (Mike Frisch)
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