Discovery

May I instruct the witness not to answer?

Even seasoned attorneys sometimes struggle with whether a communication is privileged or protected by the work product doctrine. Whatever the attorney decides can have significant implications in discovery and the trajectory of a case. In Cohen v. Ellwood Crankshaft and Machine Co., No. 11212 C.A. 2016 (Pa. Ct. Comm. Pl. Lawrence Cnty. Aug. 29, 2019), […]

Plaintiffs Must Be Careful Using Social Media When Pursuing Injury Claims

According to recent surveys, two-thirds of all American adults use Facebook, with the majority using it on a daily basis. Social media platforms are ever-growing and changing, with 78% of people under the age of 24 now using Snapchat, and 71% using Instagram. Using these platforms to make statements or post photos has become second-nature […]

Philadelphia Bar Association Ethics Committee Concludes That Social Media Evidence Must Be Preserved and Produced

A lawyer has a duty to preserve relevant, or potentially relevant evidence posted on social media websites, according to an ethical guidance opinion issued by the Philadelphia Bar Association Professional Guidance Committee on July 7, 2014. The Opinion emphasized that a lawyer’s duty to preserve evidence does not change simply because the information is on […]

No Discovery of Communications Between Counsel and Experts

On July 10, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court erased any doubt that it intended to bar all discovery of communications between counsel and experts by amending Pa.R.Civ.P. 4003.5 to prohibit such communications. The amendment, effective August 9, 2014, confirms the Supreme Court’s Opinion in Support of Affirmance in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital of the […]

A Divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court Affirms That Communications Between Counsel and an Expert Are Not Discoverable

In the long-awaited decision in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital, an evenly-divided Supreme Court today held that communication between counsel and an expert are privileged material pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 4003.3 and 4003.5. In so ruling, the three Justices supporting affirmance noted that “Rule 4003.3 balances the general rule of expansive discovery with the deep-rooted protection of attorney […]

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