Tuesday, April 29, 2014

PA Supreme Court Rules in Barrick

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's much-anticipated decision on the issue of whether an attorney's communications with an expert are discoverable in the case of Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital, No. 76 MAP 2012 (Pa. April 29, 2014) was handed down yesterday and it was a.......SPLIT 3-3 DECISION?!

Justice Correale Stevens sat out of the decision-making process having weighed in on the issue at the Superior Court level.

The unfortunate split decision on such an important issue allows the en banc Superior Court decision (8-1) to stand which held that communications between a lawyer and an expert witness are not discoverable.

Justice Max Baer wrote an Opinion in support of affirmance which was joined by Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and Justice Debra M. Todd.  That Opinion can be viewed HERE  and HERE

Justice Thomas G. Saylor wrote an Opinion in support of reversal that was joined by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justice J. Michael Eakin.  The Opinion can be viewed HERE.

If you are interested in the history of this Barrick case as it proceeded up the appellate ladder, you can go to www.TortTalk.com and type in "Barrick" in the Search Box near the upper right hand corner of the Tort Talk Blog to review other posts.

Source: "Attorney-Expert Privilege Stands After Justices Split." by Gina Passarella. The Legal Intelligencer (April 29, 2014).

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