Reprinted with permission from April 5, 2013 issue of The Legal Intelligencer. (c)
2013 ALM Media Properties.
Further duplication without permission is prohibited.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to hear argument on April 10, 2013 regarding the scope of the work product doctrine and the discovery of materials contained in a testifying expert’s file on April 10, 2013. The specific issue on appeal is whether Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 4003.3 provides absolute work product protection for all communications between a party’s counsel and its testifying trial expert. The decision may provide clarity and guidance to litigation counsel facing an otherwise clouded issue.
In Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital, 32 A. 3d. 800 (Pa. Super. 2011), the trial court was faced with a subpoena directed to a medical provider who was both a treating physician and an expert retained for the purpose of offering trial testimony. The trial court, after an in camera inspection, ordered the enforcement of the subpoena and the disclosure of communications between the expert and the Plaintiff’s counsel. Plaintiff appealed, arguing the application of the work product doctrine under Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 4003.3 and trial preparation materials under Rule 4003.5 protected the communications from disclosure.