Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

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Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby spreare on Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:22 pm

Would it be considered self referral if applicant atty refers client to a physician for tx, if AA and doctor are married? thanks!
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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California) (Cali

Postby jpod on Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:19 am

I'd like to hear the attorneys comment on this but a former boss who had been to law school but was not practicing attorney, used to say that in California services between immedidate family members are presumed to be gratuitous. He never said whether the presumption was rebuttable but I would bet it would be rebuttable.

If true, then the wife may have an uphill battle being paid.

In terms of the weight given to any opinion rendered on the case, I would be interested in Judge Baird's take.

Edit:
I misread the original post, I thought applicant's wife was the doctor, not applicant's attorney's wife...so please disregard my original comment about services between family members.
Last edited by jpod on Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby davidd on Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:38 am

Don't know about the self referral issue, but I'd be careful with conflict of interests. Doesn't pass the smell factor...
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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby steve appell on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:20 pm

I don't know about the self referral, but it is clearly a 4906G violation.
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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby postscript2 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:42 am

That was my first thought as well, 4906g

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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby steelmanlaw on Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:06 pm

the "real" conflict here is between A/A and A. A has an interest in proceeding with admissible, credible evidence with no unnecessary litigation just to make A/A's spouse happy. this is self-referral in that sense, but even more so a breach of the duty of loyalty and competent provision of legal duties to the client; whether or not a 4906(g) violation, the referral puts A/A's interests in direct conflict with A's interests. now, there could be any exception, such as where A/A's spouse/doc is highly specialized and is actually the best choice for A. however, in the absence of this unlikely scenario, which should be mitigated by referral to an independent attorney to consult with A, not only does it not pass the smell factor, it smells all the way to the State Bar Trial Counsel's office in downtown San Fran.

but that's just me.
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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby jakelast@aol.com on Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:49 pm

I looked carefully at LC 4906(g) and am not at all convinced there is a conflict of interest unless the aa arranges for a medical legal report from his spouse.

While this clearly looks and smells bad, I was not able to find any specific provision that rendered it unlawful. Is suspect there will be credibility issues and there may be ethical issues with the physician that are beyound my interest in researching, I am not conviced the referral necessarily is unlawful.
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Re: Applicant Atty referring to spouse/doctor (California)

Postby cmunday on Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:25 am

Ethics for MDs may be a bit different but for us psychologists this would be a clear ethical violation. We are strictly prohibited from providing any sort of service where there is a "dual relationship". The Board of Psychology has disciplined for this and in some cases taken the persons license (the cases were much more egregious than this one). I ended up peripherally involved in a case where the psychologist was treating a person who was then in a car accident. The psychologist referred his patient to his own personal attorney who in turn referred the patient back to the same psychologist for a medical-legal evaluation. I don't recall the punishment and it was short of losing his license but the psychologist involved did face Board action.

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