• Louisiana Addresses Ex Parte Contact With Treaters
  • April 27, 2017 | Author: Lea Ann Smith
  • Law Firm: Butler Snow LLP - New Orleans Office
  • The question of whether plaintiffs’ counsel should be permitted to have unfettered ex parte communication with treating and prescribing physicians has been heavily litigated. Unlimited contact between plaintiffs’ counsel and physicians is an area of concern particularly in toxic tort and pharmaceutical cases. These physicians are critical fact witnesses and allowing ex parte communication beyond their care and treatment of the plaintiff creates an imbalance and an opportunity for “woodshedding” by plaintiffs’ counsel. “Woodshedding” is the process by which plaintiffs seek to coach or prejudice the physician during these communications. Plaintiffs use this contact as a chance to preview their liability themes and in some cases provide the physicians with defendants’ internal documents without context. Plaintiffs are afforded a distinct advantage over defendants when they are permitted unrestricted ex parte access to these physicians prior to their depositions.